Riding Legs with Ben and Max Askren: Four Moves You Need to Know
Riding legs is a very common yet difficult ride from top. If you are on top and you put a leg in, one of the most common ways that your opponent will try to defend you is to sit out and put you on your hip. From here, they will try to scoot their hips away to create space to escape. Obviously, the guy on top wants keep the leg in and return to a dominant position. In this video, the Askren brothers, Ben and Max, show four ways to return to good position after the guy on bottom has sat out.
The first variation that Max shows is to lock around the head and arm and then he pulls his opponent’s hips back on to his and rolls the rest of the way through ending up on top. Watch the way he pulls this opponent back on top of him. He is going to his back to really load his opponent's hips on top of his hips before he rolls. The other important thing he is doing is he is keeping the head and arm nice and tight and this takes away the bottom guys ability to post and defend the roll through. When you do this move, be aware that the bottom guy could reach back and attack your head when you pull him on top of you and you go to your back.
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The next way to defend the hip down is to position is to post and scoot. When your opponent hips you down and is posting hard on the mat on the same side you have the leg in on, use your hand to post their wrist or elbow, whichever is on the mat, and then use your free foot to scoot in a circular motion away until you can figure four your own foot and end up back on top or you could continue to pull your knee out and end up back on top.
A third way to maintain control when your opponent sits out and hips you down is to grab your own ankle or foot. When your opponent hips you down, their next objective is to try to scoot down and create space between there hips and your hips. So one effective way to keep their hips tight to yours is to keep them close by using your own ankle to pull them in tight. Once you have locked onto your own ankle, you can use your free foot to push off the mat to try get back on top or if you are a bit more desperate, you could try to hold it there until the referee calls a stalemate.
The last move that Askren shows is a variation of a power half. When a guy sits you down to your hip, it is really common to try to hit a power half, but because it is so common, the guy on bottom is usually ready to defend it and is blocking the top guy from getting under the arm. So instead of attacking under the arm, Askren shows how to hit a variation of a power half where you do not need to go under the arm.
So instead of going under the arm with the far arm, watch how Askren pulls up on the wrists to make space to hook the elbow. This position is pretty much the same as a power half. From here, you can proceed the same way you would if you had an actual power half and look for back points.
Riding legs can be very effective but it is also very technical. You need to spend a lot of time in a leg ride to feel comfortable with pressure and know what to do in different positions. These four options are all very effective when your opponent sits you to your hip.
Be sure to check out the video series “Ultimate Askren Wrestling by Ben Askren” where the Askren brothers show tons of great wrestling techniques that made them some of the most successful college wrestler ever.