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Fake Single To Ankle Pick With Dan Vallimont

Fake Single To Ankle Pick With Dan Vallimont


One of the most basic wrestling takedowns is a single leg. You see it in all levels of competition in both folkstyle and freestyle. Having a good single leg with multiple different set ups and finishes is very important if you want to be successful out on the mat. By practicing single legs, not only will you score more takedowns from them, but you will also start to be able to use them to set up different types of takedowns. If you shoot three or four single legs in a match, chances are you opponent will start to anticipate them and start to block them off. When this happens, you can then use them to set up different offensive attacks like an ankle pick from a Russian tie position.

Check out this awesome video by two-time NCAA All American and NCAA finalist Dan Vallimont where he shows us how to fake a single leg in order to hit an ankle pick starting in a Russian tie position.

There are a lot of different aspects to this move. Let’s break it down and look at it more in depth.

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First thing you should notice is the Russian tie starting position. Dan has the arm tight to his chest trying to eliminate as much space a possible between himself and his opponent. Even though he has the Russian tie, Dan still is staying in a good stance and making sure that he has inside head control which gives him a great angle to attack his opponent from. If you don’t have proper head position when starting this sequence, the attack will most likely be stopped before it really even starts. 

Once you have control of the Russian tie and head position, then you can go for the fake single which baits your opponent into stepping his near leg back. To do this, you will just take a small step behind your opponent’s near foot and block it. Watch how Dan does it in the video, he is not trying to scoop it up or sweep it out. Just a small step and plant your foot behind your opponent’s. From there, most people’s immediate response will be to lift their foot and step it back. If they don’t, then the single leg is right here. 

When they step their foot back, you will bring your far leg in and bring it right next to your near foot; basically touching your heels together. As soon as your heels touch, the near leg will step and plant behind your opponent’s far foot. Make sure your toe is pointed up which prevents your opponent from pulling their foot back. This small heel to heel movement is very important to the success of this takedown. Be sure to watch exactly how Dan demonstrates it in the video. You can even practice just the footwork to be sure you have it down before you start drilling the actual takedown. Once you have your opponent’s far foot blocked, all of their weight should be on that foot. 

During this entire movement, you should still maintain a tight Russian tie. When you have their far foot blocked, use your hand that is on their wrist to reach down and scoop up the ankle all while keeping a tight grip on their upper arm with your other hand. When you scoop up the ankle, drive forward, almost like you are taking a shot. Elevate there ankle and finish with their ankle on your thigh. Watch how Dan does this in the video, because if you do it correctly, you should be able to keep them there and earn back points.  

One of the things that will really help your takedowns is to learn and practice attack series like this instead of just one shot attacks. When you watch high level wrestlers, you often see them using one shot to set up another shot or attack. It is easy for your opponent to anticipate when a shot is coming from a certain position and defend it, but it is very difficult to anticipate what the second or third shot will be. That is why practicing and drilling different types of re-shots and fakes are so important if you want to get better. 

If you watched this video and don’t feel comfortable with Russian ties or would just like to get better at them, be sure to check out Dan’s DVD series titled “The Russian Tie Formula by Dan Vallimont”. In this four part DVD series, Dan breaks down the Russian tie and teaches many attacks from this great position.