Gold Medal Takedowns With Henry Cejudo
In the sport of wrestling, there is no higher achievement than winning a gold medal at the Olympics. In order to win a gold medal, a wrestler must have elite level takedowns. Henry Cejudo was one of the youngest Americans to ever win a gold medal at the Olympics. After his wrestling career, he has gone on to become a two weight UFC champion.
It is safe to say that Cejudo has solidified himself as not only one of the best U.S. wrestlers ever, but one of the best combat athletes of all times. Here are some great takedowns that Cejudo has used in his career to takedown elite level competition.
Low Single Leg
One takedown that Cejudo has used with great success is a low single leg. This is a great takedown for wrestlers who like to wrestle out in space. It works well because you go really low and shoot under your opponent’s first line of defense, which is their head and hands. Another reason this is a great takedown is because when you shoot, you grab and an ankle and it makes it very difficult for your opponent to sprawl as opposed to a normal single leg. Check out this video of Cejudo demonstrating how he likes to hit a low single leg.
When working on a low single leg, there are a couple key points to keep in mind in order to be successful with it. The first is watch how Henry uses level changes and fakes to get is opponent to react for just a split second which allows him an opening to shoot. Getting your opponent to react freezes them up for just enough time to hit the low single. If you don’t fake, many times they will see it coming from a mile away and easily defend it.
Another important thing to notice is Henry’s position right before he shoots the low single. His level is really low, his head is up, and both of his legs are bent so he can use both of them to create the explosive power needed to close the distance quickly. Also, notice the direction he is aiming. He is not going straight at the leg, instead, he is going forward and down.
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Lastly, watch how he quickly brings his knees back under his hips once he has secured the ankle. If he didn’t, he would be spread out and his opponent could lock in the crotch to defend the shot.
This takedown is all about speed and timing, and both of those come with practice. The more you drill a low single, the more comfortable you will become with it. It is definitely a move you should have in your offense.
Double Leg to a Turk
One thing you see high level wrestlers do very well is transition from a takedown immediately into a turn, which makes sense because most guys are most vulnerable to be turn right when they have been taken down, before they have a chance to build up their base. In this video, Cejudo hits a cut back double leg and goes immediately into a turk.
The first thing to notice about this video is the way Cejudo finishes his double leg. As you can see, it is not the normal up and in finish most wrestlers do. Instead, once Cejudo feels the pressure on his head, he does a windshield wiper motion with his ankles to cut the corner which brings his partner down to the hip.
After Cejudo gets the takedown, he lifts the top leg and takes a big step between the legs. Notice how throughout the entire move, he is driving into his opponent. He takes a big step, almost like a penetration step in order to lock up high on the thigh with a figure four lock.
Once you have the leg locked, keep your head up and attack your opponent’s head and arm and look for the pin. When you get to this position, you will need to make adjustments because your opponent will be fighting to get off of their back. If they are turning into you, elevate the leg and if they are turning away from you, make your hips heavy slide back just a little.
This is a great combination of a takedown and a turn. If you work on these, you will definitely be able to score a lot of points and hopefully pick up some more pins.
Every wrestler needs to have some throws in their offense for times when you need a big move to win a match. This is a great hip toss because it uses an outside sweep single leg to set up the throw. Often, when you need to throw your opponent to win a match, they are ready for it and it can be very difficult, but with this throw, they are worried about defending a single leg and by the time they realize the throw is coming, it is often too late. Check out this video of Cejudo demonstrating this hip toss.
As you can see in the video, this all starts with hitting a good outside sweep single and getting your opponent to react. Watch how Cejudo keeps a tight grip on the arm even when he is in on the leg. From here he is waiting for his opponent to sprawl. When they do, he is driving into them and stepping up with his inside leg. Once he has stepped in, watch how he uses a back step to get his hips all the way through. It is important to clear your hips all the way through so your opponent is basically perpendicular to you.
If you try this and can’t seem to hit it, there are a couple common problems. First is to make sure you are really keeping a tight grip on the triceps throughout the whole move. If you don’t have that triceps tight, the throw won’t work. Another problem might be you aren’t stepping in deep enough. A deep step puts you in position for a good back step. A third common problem people have when hitting this throw is they don’t get their butt all the way through when they hit the back step. Your opponent’s body should be perpendicular to your body.
If you want to learn more wrestling from Henry Cejudo, be sure to check out his four volume video series titled “Gold Medal Wrestling by Henry Cejudo”. In this series, he breaks down the moves and techniques he has used in order to become an Olympic gold medalist. If you want to be the best, you should learn from one of the best.
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