Five Olympic Level Takedowns You Need To Know
Qualifying and wrestling in the Olympics means that you have reached the best of the best in the sport of wrestling. There are so many different areas of wrestling that each of these Olympians have to be great at but probably the most important is being able to get takedowns. When you are wrestling the best of the best, you need to be hitting takedowns that will work against the best of the best. Sloppy setups and shots will not get the job done. Here are five different Olympians showing some of their favorite takedowns.
Hip Toss with Henry Cejudo
Henry Cejudo is not only an Olympic gold medalist, but also a two weight UFC world champion. When it comes to takedowns, Cejudo knows what it takes to takedown the best of the best. In this video, he shows a great hip toss that is set up with an outside sweep single leg.
This hip toss relies heavily on shooting the single leg. Watch how Henry shoots to the outside leg anticipating that he will step it back in order to defend it. When his opponent does step the leg back, Henry stays heavy on the outside arm, which is very important, and takes a center step with his inside leg. Next, he takes a back step to clear his hips through and loads his partner up for the throw. Notice how his partner almost perpendicular across his back and his butt and hips are all the way clear.
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This hip toss is very effective because it is disguised with a single leg attempt. This is an especially good throw to hit if you are down at the end of a match and need to score some points or get a pin. Most guys know if you are hunting for a throw and it is very difficult to hit one at this point, but since this starts out with a single leg, by the time they know what is happening it is too late for them to stop it.
Post Counter Double Leg by Bekzod Abdurakhminov
Bekzod Abdurakhminov wrestled in the United States for Clarion but competed on the Uzbekistan Olympic team. In 2016 he defeated Jordan Burrough 11-1 during the Rio Olympics. In this video, he demonstrates how to use your opponent’s reach to set up a double leg. This is a perfect example of how well basic techniques work at even the highest level.
When you watch Bekzod demonstrate this double leg, notice that he doesn’t post the arm very high, in fact he only moves the arm a couple of inches. Also, he likes to use an outside step for his double leg which can be quicker but you already need to be close when your opponent reaches. Lastly, you have to post the arm up before it makes contact with you. If you wait until your opponent has a collar tie, it is too late for this setup.
Two on One Lunge Step with Adam Wheeler
This is a great way to get in on your opponent from a two on one because it is very common for them to post on your head to defend the two on one just like Wheeler’s partner does in the video. Once you post up on their arm, it leaves a huge space for the lunge step shot and as you can see in the video, from this position, you can easily finish with a double leg, a single leg, or a duck under.
Elbow Pinch Lateral Drop with Georgi Ivanov
Georgi Ivanov is a Bulgarian wrestler who competed in the 2016 Olympics and is known for his takedowns using a two on one. In this video, he uses a two on one to set up a lateral drop to take his opponent straight to their back.
This throw from a two on one works well because it is setup when your opponent grabs your elbow to counter it. It starts out in a good Russian tie position and where the arm is tight to your body. Watch how Georgi uses his belly to block his opponent’s arm and then takes the hand that is on the wrist and brings it up to almost an underhook position. Be sure to look the direction you are planning on throwing. Then pop your hips and launch your opponent.
If you have trouble hitting this throw here are a couple of things to look at. First, are you stepping in deep enough. Your hips need to be close to your opponent’s hips. If there is too much space, the throw won’t work. Another thing to look at is are you able to pop your hips. If you can’t already do a lateral drop form and over under position, you probably aren’t ready to for this variation of a lateral drop. Lastly, make sure you are committing to the throw. It’s either all or nothing with throws, if you are only give 75% chances are it won’t work the way you want it to.
Sitting the Corner with Ben Askren
Ben Askren represented the United States in the 2008 Olympics and is known for his funky style of wrestling which includes a lot of scrambling. In this video, he shows how sit the corner to defend a high crotch. It may be a little unorthodox, but it is a highly effective way to defend the shot.
Sitting the corner neutralizes your opponent after they shoot a high crotch because it takes away the option of transitioning to a single leg or a double leg. It also takes takes a way the option for them to drive through you and it gives you a better angle to attack them.
When you sit the corner, be sure to push your opponent to the outside. This takes away their ability to drive through you. Watch now Ben sits to the mat. He doesn’t just drop to his butt; he sits in a circular motion. Once you are down on the mat, you can lock in the crotch, around the waist, or pull them in tight to you to eliminate space. Then post up and get your hips on top.
To become an Olympian you have to have great takedowns. If you feel like you need to add new setups and takedowns to your offense, all of these are great options. If they work at the Olympics, then they will work at any other tournament.
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