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Improve Your Defense With Two Time World Champion Kyle Dake

Improve Your Defense With Two Time World Champion Kyle Dake


Everyone knows involved in sports knows the saying “defense wins championships”, and in Kyle Dake’s case, defense has helped him win four NCAA titles at Cornell and two world championships. When you watch him wrestle, one of the things that is extremely impressive is how insanely difficult it is to score on him, which is why he is one of the best in the world. 

When you come across one of the best in the world at some technique, it is very beneficial to take a closer look at it to see exactly how they are doing so you can incorporate it into your wrestling. Let’s take a closer look at Kyle Dake’s defense starting with his stance.

Your wrestling stance is one of the most important parts of your offense and your defense. In fact, it is virtually impossible to have a good offense or defense if your stance is bad. Everything you do out on the mat when you are wrestling on your feet comes from a stance. 

When it comes to defense, without a good stance, you won’t be able to stop a shot. There are a lot of different aspects of a stance, and it can be very difficult, especially for beginners, to stay in a good stance. The first important aspect of a stance is getting your level low. By bending at the waist and at the knees, it helps prevent you opponent from being able to shoot in on your legs easily. Another important aspect is your feet. When you are in a stance, you want your weight to be slightly shifted forward, not back on your heels. If your weight is on you heels, it is difficult to move quickly to sprawl if your opponent shoots in on your legs.

Defense WINS championships!


Hands and elbows are another important thing to look at when dealing with a wrestling stance. You want to make sure you elbows stay nice and close to your side because if your opponent shoots on you, if you elbows are in you can get underhooks to defend the shot. Hands are another big element when it comes to your stance. You should try to keep your hands down low and not reach for the head until you make contact first. 

The last major part of a good wrestling stance is your head and back. In a good stance, the head is up and the back is flat, not rounded. If you drop your head and your back is rounded, you are an easy target to get snapped down. Plus, there is no way you can get a decent shot off in that position. 

Check out this video where Dake goes in depth about his wrestling stance and how he makes first contact.


Once you have a good stance, the next thing to look at in terms of defense is what you do when your opponent shoots on you. One thing that Dake does very well is he meets his opponents with his hips which means when they shoot in on him, instead of jumping his feet back and sprawling, he is digging his feet into the mat and driving his hips into his opponent. This is very important because the way you finish a shot like a double leg is by driving through you opponent. So if you can stop their drive with your hips, you are essentially stopping their shot. 

After he stops the shot, the next thing Dake does when an opponent shoots on him is he turns his hips and attacks the arm if it is a double leg and pushes it down. It is much easier to defend a single leg than a double leg. 

Check out this video where Dake explains in detail how he defends shots.

As you can see in the video, Dake’s shot defense is truly world class. If you would like to learn more defense from Kyle Dake, be sure to check out his in depth video series titled “Defense Wins Championships by Kyle Dake”.