Improve Your Upper Body Game With This Great Throw
Being able to hit throws is a great skill to have in wrestling; being able to take someone directly from their feet to their back makes you a much more dangerous wrestler. In this video, 2008 Olympic Greco-Roman bronze medalist Adam Wheeler teaches an upper body throw starting in the two on one position. Even though, Wheeler comes from a Greco-Roman background, this throw can be used in folkstyle or freestyle as well.
Let’s break this video down a bit because even though when you watch it, it may not seem that difficult, it actually has some foundational techniques that you need to know first before you go out and start hitting this move on the mat. So before you do, make sure you understand how to control a two on one and how to hit an arm drag.
First, you need to start off in a good two on one position, sometimes also called a Russian tie. You have one hand on their wrist and one on there upper arm. A two on one tie is a great position to be in not only to hit this throw, but also to hit double legs, single legs, and high crotches as well. If you do not feel comfortable in this position, start practicing it more because there are some many great attacks from here.
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Be sure to hold their arm tight to your chest, you don’t want any space between their arm and your body. For this particular move, even if you are wrestling freestyle or folkstyle, you want to be more upright in a Greco stance for this particular throw.
Once you have the two on one secured, the hand that was on the wrist is going to reach up and grab your opponent’s arm almost in their armpit and you will hit an arm drag. The hand that was on the upper arm will wrap around your opponent’s waist and you will hold on to their hip almost like a tight waist but only on your feet.
At the same time you drag the arm, you will take a deep step with your near leg between their legs. When you do, their initial reaction is going to be to step out of the position and try to face you (but if for some reason they don’t step out, drop your other arm down into a body lock and throw from that position). When they face you, let the hand that has the tight waist slide up and hook the armpit.
Now, because you have their armpit hooked and should still be gripping their upper arm, you should be able to pop your hips and twist your opponent and hit the throw. If you are going to hit this throw, you need to pull the trigger on it right when they turn and face you because as they do and your hand slides up to the armpit, it tightens everything up and that is going to be the best time to hit it.
Before you go out and start trying to hit this throw, make sure you are able to do a more basic throw like a lateral drop from the over under position or even from a body lock position because even if you have the two on one arm drag sequence down, if you can’t pop your hips and throw, then this won’t go well for you out on the mat. If you feel like you need more practice at throws, an easy way to get better is to grab a throwing dummy and a crash mat and drill the throw really focusing on popping your hips to generate power. Once you get throw aspect down, you can add the hand fighting and tie-ups to hit this particular throw.
Lastly, don’t think of upper body throws as just Greco moves. There have been a lot of folkstyle and freestyle matches won because of throws. At some point in your wrestling career, you will get into an upper body tie up situation so you better learn what to do from there. It is always great to have a couple big scoring moves in your back pocket in case you find yourself down a couple points at the end of a match.
If you want to hit throws out on the mat, make sure you are not only drilling them during practice and but also trying to hit them when you are going live in practice as well. Don’t wait until the end of a match where you are down by four points to attempt your first throw, it will not go well for you.
If you want to learn more about upper body throws check out “Upper Body Takedowns For Wrestling” by Adam Wheeler.