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Sitting The Corner with Tyler Caldwell

Sitting The Corner with Tyler Caldwell


Tyler Caldwell was a four-time all american and two time NCAA finalist at 165 pounds, wrestling for the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, finishing with a 98-25 record. In high school, he totaled 150 wins and only 4 losses, and owns the Kansas record for pins in a career. He would also go on to be a U23 World Champion. Coached under the legendary John Smith, his DVD Quick Draw Defense by Tyler Caldwell is available, along with many other instructionals from the most elite wrestlers in the world on Fanatic Wrestling’s shop. 

Sitting The Corner

This position can be very frustrating to both new and advanced wrestlers. Once a sprawl and downblock fails, this staple of scrambling can often result in a stalemate, as both wrestlers jockey for position but fail to employ a complete system to tackle the position and score. Tyler Caldwell, in this clip from his instructional only available on Fanatic Wrestling, demonstrates how to enter and tackle the position as the defensive wrestler, and begin to score off your opponent’s high crotch shot.


Initial Shot Defense

Fundamental head hands and hip defense is generally going to be your first response to a shot. If scrambling is your preferred method of defense, or you just end up in the crackdown frequently, sitting the corner is going to be an important motion to get down from the feet. As shown in the clip, as your opponent shoots their high crotch, you’re already circling away. As he makes contact with the leg, and you sit out, this initial circling will give you a head start on the necessary hip position. In addition, your second line of defense, your hands, need to keep contact with your opponent as he shoots. This is how you can start defending in an even better position, as you can push his shoulder outside your leg, taking away leverage he would need to continue to wrestle. 

Hip Position And “Beating The Shoulder”

Caldwell only shows one finish from the position, and it isn’t anything fancy with a crotch lift or far ankle. It’s solid fundamental wrestling, and while it isn’t crowd pleasing it’s high percentage. The two key points here are the position of your opponent’s shoulder, and your own hips. Inside control is king in wrestling, but not only in the hand fight on the feet. If his shoulder is inside your hips, he’s likely to score. You need to get his shoulder outside so he loses that leverage it provides him. Secondly, the hip position. Whenever you sit out on a high crotch, an opponent that’s learned the position is going to be getting their hips down and away, before circling, his goal being again to bump you to one hip, elevate one or both legs and finish. The problem here is they can circle either way depending on how they’d like to finish. 

They could circle to the side of the leg they attacked, elevate your foot and take two, or circle the other way and try to control both legs. This is how the shoulder and hip position working together become important as a whole. Taking out the shoulder removes half his offense, as he circles outside you would simply get your hip up and out and you’re in a standard sprawl. As your partner shoots, sit the corner and get his shoulder outside, ideally on the mat. You can now post your outside hand, and circle. 

The goal here is to get your hips to their hips. This “hip race” is a pretty common concept in multiple positions in wrestling. Sitting the corner often occurs when a single leg is attempted but the attacking wrestler fails to get their hips to the leg. Getting your hips to a goal spot is the primary way to control your opponent or whatever limb you are attempting to isolate. As you circle your hips to your opponent’s, you want to stay off your butt. The offensive wrestler’s scoring opportunities will be built on bumping you to one hip or another. If you are going to have your butt on the ground, keep your weight on your post hand and feet. Your outside leg needs to be as far outside as possible, so your opponent can’t reach over it to take both legs and score. 

Final Thoughts

When a downblock fails and your opponent makes contact with the leg, those that are more inclined towards scrambling will likely find themselves sitting the corner. This crackdown position has given us some great scramblin and scramblers, like David Taylor, Yianni Diakomihalis, even the man considered the godfather of modern scrambling, Ben Askren (who has an instructional with us that includes this position and more).

While flashy rolls and high risk pins are what gets applause and winds up on the highlight reels, it’s fundamental finishes like this that will be consistently providing points and shutting down offense completely. Fundamentals will set the foundation for the fun flashy moves, and this universal concept is evident here in a position not often graced by simple wrestling.

Tyler’s DVD includes multiple defenses to multiple different takedowns, finishes and includes some great setups for pins off of your opponent’s offense. Pick it up today, and get 15% off when you subscribe to a text list from Fanatic Wrestling.They say defense wins championships, so why not take this opportunity to improve yours and start shutting people down as they attempt to score.