Sitting The Corner With Ben Askren
It is just as important to have a good defense as it is to have a good offense in wrestling. If you get really good at defense, you can actually use it to score points on your opponent. Typically, when you are defending a shot, one of the most common things wrestlers do is to sprawl and whizzer. This is a great way to defend a shot, but it is not the only way.
Ben Askren was a four time NCAA finalist and a two time NCAA champion as well as Olympian. He is known for being a bit funky out on the mat, but over the years, he has turned what a lot of people consider funky wrestling into a systematic approach. One of the ways he likes to defend a high crotch is by sitting the corner.
Sitting the corner is an effective way to defend a high crotch because it takes away your opponent’s ability to drive through you. Essentially, it takes away the power from their hips and puts you in a great position to use yours to not only defend the shot, but also to score points. Check out this video of Askren where he demonstrates how he likes to sit the corner when someone shoots a high crotch on him.
As you can see in the video, this counter has some pretty technical aspests to it. Here are some key points you need to know to effectively use it in a match. First of all, one important part of shooting a high crotch is the shoulder position. When you go to sit the corner, the first thing you need to do is move the shoulder to the outside position. You can do this by pushing the lat or torso to the outside. One small detail to notice in the video is as soon as Askren pushes his partner to the outside, he immediately steps and lowers his level to prevent his opponent from putting the shoulder back where he wants it.
Increase the FUNK Factor Today!
Immediately after the push to the outside, the next thing Askren does is steps to the side and sits in a circular pattern. The leg that his opponent has stays straight and he bends the opposite knee. As soon as you hit the mat, you need to lock onto your opponent to control them. Askren shows three different options. One thing that Askren doesn’t talk about is your opponent will want to hip into you to knock you over and they will probably try to get their hips down low to the mat too. You may need to pressure back into them in order to stay in a good position.
Askren shows three different ways to score from this position. The first way is to simply hook the ankle and get your hips high so you end up on top. This is the simplest way but it might be difficult to get your hips on top against a good wrestler.
Another great option from this position is to roll your opponent and end up in a side control position. This works well if you opponent is pressuring into you. You can use their pressure against them by planting the foot on the mat and taking them over their own shoulder. Once you have rolled through, you can look for a near side cradle.
Another way you can hit a near side cradle from this position is by staying patient, and if they try to turn into you, simply slide the hand down to the neck and lock up the cradle. With this finish, it is important to hook the ankle first. If you don’t want to be patient or if your opponent is not turning into you, you can lock low onto the leg and forcibly lock up the cradle as well.
As you can see, sitting the corner can be a very dynamic position. It is a great way to turn your opponent’s high crotch into a great scoring or even pinning opportunity for you. This is definitely a more advanced technique so make sure you spend a lot of time working on it in practice before you go out on the mat and try it out.
If you would like to learn more wrestling technique from Ben Askren, be sure to check out his in depth video series titled “Ultimate Askren Wrestling by Ben Askren”. In this video series, Ben shows many different takedowns, pins, and ways to defend shots.