Get Better At Escapes
Being able to earn an escape when you are in the bottom position is a vitally important skill to have if you want to excel in wrestling. If you are on bottom and are unable to escape it gives your opponent opportunity to work pinning combinations on you which could lead to you being pinned. Also, if you are stuck in the bottom position, you aren’t able to score points, and if you are in college, you are getting riding time against you. In addition, there will come some point in your wrestling career when the match is close or you are in double overtime and need an escape to win.
There are many different reasons why you need to escape, but the other question is how do you escape? Unfortunately it isn’t as easy as hitting an inside leg stand up and turning to face your opponent. When the guy on top is putting a lot of pressure on you, you need to make sure to establish hand control and create motion which will help to create openings you need in order to earn your escape. Another important aspect of being able to escape from the bottom is to know what the correct move to hit in different positions that will lead to an escape. So here are some great options you can use when trying to escape from the bottom.
Anticipate The Breakdown
When you are starting down in referee’s position, one thing you can do that will help you with your escapes is to anticipate your opponent’s breakdown. You know that when the whistle blows, your opponent will hit some type of breakdown and chances are it will be a tight waist ankle, a spiral ride, or an elbow chop. These are the main three breakdowns wrestlers use and you can use this to your advantage. By knowing what to do to defend each breakdown, you give yourself a better of earning an escape as opposed to being broken down flat. There are many different defenses to these three breakdowns, here is a great option when the top guy tries to hit a tight waist ankle on you.
One of the best ways to escape from bottom is by creating motion. If you just base out on bottom and let the top guy work pinning combinations on you, you will not be able to escape. By creating motion on bottom, you are creating potential openings to hit an escape. Motion on bottom is usually created with sit outs, hip heists, and other movements like granby rolls. Here are great videos demonstrating how to hip heist and how to hit a granby roll.
Here is Hudson Taylor showing a granby roll.
One common position that happens when you are on the bottom is the top guy will put the legs in. It is absolutely no fun being stuck on bottom while the guy on top is riding legs and is working power halfs. It is very important to be able to defend a leg ride. The first step in defending the legs is to not let them in. That may sound a bit silly, but it is much easier to prevent the leg from being thrown in than it is to get it out after it is put in. Be mindful of your opponent and the opportunities you are giving them so you can minimize the openings available to them to put the legs in.
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If they do get the legs in, your best defense is to try to sit them to their hip and create space between your hips and their hips. By sitting out, it takes away the leverage they have and gives you a chance for an escape or even a reversal. There are a lot of different techniques to escape from the legs once you have sat to your hips, but here are two videos where Chael Sonnen and Hudson Taylor go over the way they like to defend the legs. They are similar but have minor differences, but both videos show techniques that are highly effective.
And here is how Hudson Taylor likes to defend the legs.
When it comes to escaping from the bottom, there is not one singular magical move that will work in every match. So much depends on what the guy on top is doing which is why it is important to be prepared for many different scenarios that can play out. Just remember, one of the most important things you can do to help you escape from the bottom is to get hand control and keep moving.
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