Escape The Cage With Zack Esposito
Wall or Cage wrestling has become one of the most important aspects of MMA. depending on what setting you’re fighting in, the wall, cage or ropes plays a massive role in both offensive and defensive wrestling, as well as being a strong position in itself.
The cage is used offensive to both limit your opponents movement to score takedowns. The cage can also be used to hold your opponent in a limited clinch so that you can land strikes. In terms of defensive use, the cage can help defend against takedowns by stopping your opponent from further pushing forward for the finish. The cage can also be used to help a fighter who has been taken down get back to their feet by using wall walking to get back up on the wall.
Even though the wall is useful for defensive purposes, it’s usually not good to have your back against it for too long. That's why learning how to either switch the position or just escape from the cage completely is very important.
In this video, Wrestling coach Zack Esposito shows a drill he likes to do to improve his wrestlers wall escapes. Wall wrestling in MMA, like any skill, needs to be trained in isolation to really improve. It’s hard to get better at Wall wrestling in standard MMA sparring, as for the majority of it you are likely going to be either in space striking or on the ground grappling, not giving you much time to work new skills.
This is why strict wall work is great and full rounds of wrestling or sparring focused on the wall. The drill that Zack Esposito is just that, Wall sparring. The drill starts off with one wrestler in the corner or with their back against the wall and the other wrestler pinning them there.
The goal of the wrestler with their back against the wall is to switch the position while the attacking wrestler is trying to keep it. This is a great way to train your defense and reversals as well as your ability to keep the position. The defending wrestler can also try to completely disengage and escape from the wall but working switches and offence is more important. If you are able to switch the positions successfully, from that position you are able to separate.
The drill that Zack shows in the video is shown from a corner, which further limits the defending wrestlers options. This means that trying to move to the side for extra separation is harder if not impossible. This is really good for people who might have to fight an MMA match in a traditional boxing ring or even those people who fight in Muay Thai. This will help accurately simulate the situation that might happen.
This drill will give you time to work your wall wrestling technique but it’s also good for developing the specific strength and conditioning that is necessary for successful wall wrestling. This is a great finisher to end a wrestling or MMA session with.
If you want to learn more wrestling drills like this one from Zack Espostio, check out our complete video series with him, available now!