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Step Up Your Shot Defense With These Techniques

Step Up Your Shot Defense With These Techniques


Just like most other sports, defense is a very important part of wrestling. How your react when someone shoots in on you can determine if you get taken down or if you end up with two points after it is all said and done. There are three main types of shots in wrestling: single leg, double leg, and a high crotch and each one of these shots is defended differently. 

Single Leg

To defend a head inside single leg, the first thing you want to do is get a whizzer, but as you will see in the video, Cejudo does not get the whizzer in deep. Instead, he does what he calls a “raptor whizzer” because he keeps his elbow tight to his side and makes hook with his hand and wrist. With his other hand, he is attacking the far wrist.


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Another thing Cejudo does right away is moves his right leg from in between his opponent's leg to the outside so he can use it to pressure into his opponent and block. It is very important to move you leg to the outside to prevent your opponent from elevating the leg and putting you in an even worse position. 

Once he has the raptor whizzer and has the leg blocking on the outside of the thigh, Cejudo is using his foot that is planted on the mat to drive into his opponent. It is very difficult to finish a single leg when you are moving backwards. Also, you will notice that Cejudo does not have inside head position, but if you can get your head to the inside, it makes it even more difficult for your opponent to finish the single leg.

Once you have defended the initial part of the single leg, the next thing to do is to get your leg back down to the mat. To do this, the hand that is down on the wrist is going to come under the chin and it will push up on the chin and you will turn and face your opponent. 

The last step is to break the leg free. To do this, Cejudo locks over his opponent’s arms with an “S” grip and kicks the leg down to the mat and pulls the arms up.

High Crotch

In this video, two time NCAA champion and Olympian Ben Askren shows how to defend a high crotch by sitting the corner. 

Sitting the corner really neutralizes an opponent after they shoot a high crotch in a couple of ways. First, it takes away the option of transitioning to a single leg or a double leg. It also takes takes a way the option for them to drive through you and lastly, it gives you an angle to attack them. 

When you sit the corner, be sure to push your opponent to the outside. This takes away their ability to drive through you. Watch now Ben sits to the mat. He doesn’t just drop to his butt; he sits in a circular motion. Once you are down on the mat, you can lock in the crotch, around the waist, or pull them in tight to you. The big thing is to not give them space. 

From here, Askren shows a couple different options. The easiest is to post up and get your hips on top so you end up on top in a leg ride position or you can roll them and end up on top and hit a near side cradle. He also shows two great cradle options from the sit the corner position. 

Double Leg

In this last video, four time NCAA champion and world champion goes in depth how to defend a double leg. 

Let’s break this video down a bit. First, whenever someone shoots a double on you, it is important that you meet them with your hips. Watch how Dake uses his hips to stop the momentum of his partner. This is very important, because if your opponent can blast you backwards with the double then turns the corner and drives across, it is very hard to defend. So you must stop it before it starts. 

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Another big thing that Dake goes over is moving your opponent’s head. There is a basic rule you can follow when defending shots, not just doubles. Put your opponent's head on the opposite position they want it to be. Basically, if they shoot a head inside single, put their head to the outside and then you sit the corner. If they shoot a double with their head on the outside stuff it to the inside. Where the head goes the hips follow, so if you can put the head in a bad position, the hips usually end up in a bad position. 

After he stuffs the head to the inside, then sprawls to put his weight on his opponent. Watch how he circles to collapse his opponent down to take the power out of his opponent’s hips. Towards the end of the video, he even uses it to lock up a cradle. 

These are all very effective shot defenses that are used in the highest levels of wrestling. Be sure to drill these defenses and try them when you are wrestling in practice. Really pay attention to the small details in the video because the small details often make a huge difference, especially with higher level competition. 

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