Ride Legs and Pin with Hudson Taylor
One of the more popular riding strategies in wrestling today is the leg ride. What used to be a system that catered towards long-legged grapplers has slowly been integrated into folkstyle programs across the United States. In fact, middle schools are beginning to introduce the move into their wrestling curriculum and it’s provided demonstrable results as these athletes reach higher levels.
No matter how intriguing the leg riding system is though, it must be stressed that the endgame is to pin the opponent. Former Columbia University wrestling coach Hudson Taylor shows how to effectively pin an opponent using cross-body leg riding in the video below.
Taylor is using a cross-body leg riding system in this scenario. He begins by bumping his opponent forward to create space for his left leg to enter, wrapping his left ankle on the outside of his opponent’s left leg. To keep his posture, Taylor moves his left knee further outside to widen his opponent’s base and grabs their right armpit with the left hand.
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The opponent here is anticipating this move and sits out to their left hip. This is a common defense against leg riding as it neutralizes the hook and allows for space to be made. Taylor’s response to this is to pull the opponent over onto their right side. As he notes, the opponent may post out to prevent being turned over, leaving you on your side (albeit, with a secure hook). We can use that post to our advantage by bringing your near side arm (in this case, the right) under and trapping the post at the wrist. The set-up is finished when you bring your hips in and bring the opponent over to the opposite direction. If you hit this successfully, your opponent should be on or near their shoulder blades in a hold very similar to a crucifix.
Once you’ve brought your opponent over onto their back, it’s time to get the pin. Taylor first establishes back points from the shoulder exposure, and it makes sense as the hold still allows some space on their trapped arm. When you’re ready to pin, you can bring your other hook over (in the video, it’s his right hook onto the right side of the body), move your near side arm over into a half-nelson, and force the opponent onto their stomach. This is a very advantageous position, as you’ve taken away all planes of movement and isolated their arm for a pin. You can finish here with a power-half or pressure them over for a traditional half-nelson hold. Regardless, you’ve effectively taken away their ability to respond.
Leg riding can be a risky gamble in terms of setting up the pin, especially if you’re relatively new to it or lack proper height. However, it can be a very effective riding system that opens your opponent’s base and contorts their body into uncomfortable scenarios that forces the pin. Hudson Taylor’s demonstration above shows how to use your opponent’s hip heist defense against the legs to your advantage by adding leverage and core manipulation for a secure pin. Try it out the next time you’re experimenting with leg riding, you may be surprised by the results!
Hudson Taylor is now joining with Fanatic Wrestling to show the mat work and match management that led him to being one of the top-10 NCAA pin leaders of ALL TIME! Check Out Magic Mat Work By Hudson Taylor!