Setting Up Takedowns With Fakes From These All-Time Greats!
Having the ability to secure takedowns in wrestling is one of the most important skills to have. When you get to high levels of competition, just being able to hit different kinds of shots is not good enough, you must be able to set up your shots effectively to create openings for the takedown. There are a lot of different ways you can set up a shot like using an under hook or a two on one, but a really effective way is with a fake shot or attack. When you fake a good attack, it gets your opponent to react and that creates an opening for you to attack and get your takedown. Here are some great takedowns you can add to your offense that are set up with fakes.
Double Leg with Ben Askren
A double leg is a fundamental takedown in wrestling. There are a lot of different setups you can use to shoot a double but one very effective setups is a reaching and faking a shot. Anytime you reach for your opponent, their natural tendency is for them to reach up and engage you. When they do, it creates space for your double leg. Then, when you add fake shots into the mix, it gets them to react. When you add them together, it creates a perfect opportunity for shooting double legs.
Check out this video of Ben Askren where he demonstrates how he likes to use a reach and fakes to set up a double leg.
Misdirection with Ed Ruth
Another great way to get in on the legs is with misdirection. Misdirection is when you shoot a shot to one side but immediately transitioning to a shot on the opposite side. It is all about thinking two steps ahead of your opponent and anticipating their reaction to your shot. You know if you shoot to your opponent’s right leg that they will pull it back which will put weight on their left leg. So by knowing this, your end goal is to attack that left leg.
Here is three time NCAA champion Ed Ruth going over the details of his misdirection shot. One important aspect about hitting misdirections is selling the first shot and getting them to react to it. If you drill misdirection shots, you can score a lot of takedowns with them.
Hip Toss with Henry Cejudo
Fakes don’t always have to end up with a shot. In this video, Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo shows how to fake an outside sweep single to set up a hip toss. Just like previously discussed, this is all about thinking two steps ahead of your opponent knowing how they will react and using it against them. Check out the video and drill it next time you are in practice.
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This is a great combo to know especially late in a match and you find yourself down by points and you need a big move to win. If your opponent knows you need to throw to win, they will be waiting for the throw, but with this throw, it is disguised by the single leg and by the time they know what is happening it will be too late for them to stop it.
Front Headlock Throw By With Bekzod
Fakes are all about baiting your opponent to move one way then changing directions on them. This is a perfect example of that. With a head lock throw by finish, you get your opponent to circle one direction, then you go the opposite way for an easy takedown. When you have a front headlock, the easiest finish is to just spin behind for two points, so if you start to circle towards the near leg, they have to circle to keep facing you. In this video, Olympic wrestler Bekzod Abdurakhminov shows how he likes to hit this throwby. Even though it is simple, it is so effective even olympians use it.
Single Leg to Ankle Pick with Dan Vallimont
This last takedown uses a single leg to set up an ankle pick. To hit an ankle pick, you must get your opponent to put most of their weight on the leg of the ankle you want to pick. A lot of the time this is done by circling you opponent, but in this case, it is done by faking a single leg. This takedown starts with a two on one and has some pretty technical aspects to it, but with some practice, you should be able to get it right. In this video, Dan Vallimont demonstrates the ankle pick.
Fakes are so important in wrestling. These takedowns are just the tip of the iceberg. If you get creative, the possibilities are endless like faking a high crotch then snapping them down to a front headlock or even faking a single leg to a knee pick. An important part of hitting fakes is practicing them first. The better wrestlers you are competing against, the better your fakes have to be and they won’t be good unless you have spent a lot of time drilling them in practice.
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