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Improve Your Far Side Cradle with Hudson Taylor

Improve Your Far Side Cradle with Hudson Taylor


Think about your game from top position. How effective are you at being able to break down your opponent after you’ve taken them down? As much emphasis as we place on being dominant from the top, it’s understandable if you feel overwhelmed at first. After all, there are many, many holds to use to bring the pinfall. 

Are you going with a wrist and half? What about the arm bar series? What if, instead, you decided on the reliable cradle? 

If you’re former Columbia University wrestling coach Hudson Taylor, then you’re a master of the far side cradle. In the video below, Taylor breaks down his variation of the far side cradle and how successful it can be. 


To start the far side cradle, Taylor initiates movement by quickly bringing his right arm over his opponent’s shoulder and goes under their left armpit, gripping their lat muscle. This accomplishes two things: makes it difficult for the opponent to face forward, and contorts the upper body for a reaction. After grabbing the far side lat muscle, Taylor pushes their far side ankle flat against the mat. By doing so, the opponent is forced to lift up their knee and open their frame up more for attacks. You need this reaction in order to hit the cradle; otherwise, you will need to switch to a different move, such as a butcher. Taylor completes the set-up by moving around his opponent’s body to bring their head close to the knee.

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Another option for the set-up could be from the spiral ride. You can begin with a normal spiral entry with your left hand gripping the front of their left shoulder and your right arm opening the hips on their ride side. By doing so, you’re eliciting the same requirements: a compromised base and the far side leg posted up. The only adjustment you would need to make before continuing is to get your left arm into position under their right armpit (or vice-versa as shown above).

The Finish

Unlike the drop cradle or suicide cradle, Taylor doesn’t force himself under or over his opponent’s body. Instead he moves his bottom leg away to pull them out and away from their missing posts for back exposure. This is a much safer option and minimizes any reversal attempts that would come from exposing your own back. As expected, your opponent will not go willingly to their shoulders. The solution to this is simple: bring your bottom knee out from under their lower back and push against their hip to boost their frame  onto the mat. For added pressure, bring your forehead to their forehead, temple to temple. 

In terms of your lock, Taylor goes with a standard grip on the wrist instead of releasing and clasping hands. If you are not able to keep this grip, a Gable grip will suffice rather than something temporary like an S-grip. 

Boost your cradle success with Hudson Taylor’s far side cradle. By keeping their body contorted, working against their far side, and maintaining distance with proper knee placement, your opponents will be staring at the lights in no time. Check Out Magic Mat Work for MORE Hudson Taylor!