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Hit the Pushing Whip Over with Adam Wheeler

Hit the Pushing Whip Over with Adam Wheeler


When you think of the word “takedown”, what comes to mind? Images of driving double legs or snazzy single legs or even quick ankle picks may conjure up in your mind. For the most part, takedowns are done on the feet, which is natural given the starting position in wrestling is standing. However, not every takedown has to be from a shot or a misdirection. In fact, takedowns don’t have to be done exclusively on the legs. Many upper body takedowns exist from the standing position, but what about those from the scramble. 

The whip over is one such example of this concept, where you take advantage of an opponent’s lowered posture and use it to score points. To demonstrate this concept, 2008 Summer Olympics bronze medalist Adam Wheeler describes how to hit the pushing whip over. 


Getting to the Position

The pushing whip over is not performed from a completely neutral position like the traditional whip over. It is performed with a front headlock on a lowered opponent. Getting to this position can take many forms, both voluntarily and in the moment. One such option is to grab a collar tie on your opponent and snap them to the mat. This option is proactive, meaning that you are setting the opponent into the position on your own. Another method is to sprawl on the opponent after a failed shot. This is the reactive course of action, where you are starting off defensively but preparing to move to a more offensive chain of moves. Regardless of how you get to the position, the end result will be a front headlock. 

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Establishing the Headlock and Finish

Notice how Wheeler is positioned in the video once he has the front headlock. He is grabbing his opponent’s chin and turning it out, which will help steer the opponent to the intended direction. His other arm is poised with an underhook, though there is a catch. In order for Wheeler to effectively hit the move, his underhook on the far arm cannot be shallow or even in a normal position. The underhook is deep across the body as if it was “picking his pocket,” so to speak. He is on his toes to keep more weight on the opponent. When Wheeler is ready to hit the move, he angles his body off, turns the head away from his body, and drives across his opponent’s base to bring them flat on the mat. 

Following Up After the Whip Over

Ideally, the whip over should put you directly into a pinning position, specifically the half nelson. A few salient points to consider while using the move as a pin include maintaining chest pressure on your opponent, staying on your toes, and lifting the head to prevent bridging. If you are using this move for BJJ or submission grappling, you can move into side control with a crossface and underhook or follow up into mount and keep the head for a guillotine choke. 

Hitting the whip over doesn’t mean having to stay in a standing position. Whether you wind up in a scramble by choice or by reaction, the whip over can change the match from neutral to pin in a matter of seconds. Adam Wheeler’s variation as shown in the video above proves how versatile this takedown and finish can be for any wrestler. 

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