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Switch Up Your Arm Drag With Adam Wheeler

Switch Up Your Arm Drag With Adam Wheeler


Regardless of your preferred grappling method surely the arm drag is part of your toolkit. The arm drag is a great way to catch your opponent over extending and making them pay for it. In Jiu-Jitsu it often leads to taking the back like many greats have demonstrated over time. In Wrestling it also has a wide array of uses. 

Since the arm drag is so common across grappling sports sometimes you need a unique way to finish to keep your opponent guessing. Adam Wheeler has a unique perspective on the arm drag where he changes tactics from getting behind his opponent to executing a takedown. Here is a quick video of him and Bernardo Faria! Check it out.


Wheeler stresses first contact for an overall approach. If you can win the grip exchange you will find much more success. As Wheeler gets his preferred grip for the arm drag he quickly closes the distance. From here he changes his wrist grabbing hand to get the inside of Bernardo’s arm. This serves as Adam’s launchpad where he can execute different tactics from this grip. 

Check out more Upper Body Takedowns Here! Click Learn More



One way to look at how Adam executes the throw is how he steps in and switches his base. The old step and switch. Remember as Adam switches his grips his outside arm becomes free. This is important because now he can use it to grab Bernardo’s hip. Right before Adam hits the technique watch how his right foot steps into a new position. You can see this at the 1:44 mark. By stepping further under Bernardo’s base it allows Adam to control Bernardos weight in a way that is beneficial to score your takedown. 

Adam Wheeler knows a thing or two about how to use his upper body to generate some big throws. When he gets chest to chest with Bernardo you can see that in this position he has the ability to control the action. Another key detail points out is that you cannot pause when stepping in on your opponent. To pull of this technique timing is crucial, so chaining your movements closely together is ideal. 

There's a good chance that you have your own set ups and finishes with the arm drag, but surely you can always add another layer to your tactics. You can see with the proper timing and technique you don’t have to be a big athletic freak to pull this off. Follow Adam’s tips and you’ll be throwing folks too!

Upper Body Takedowns For Wrestling by Adam Wheeler
Upper Body Takedowns By Adam Wheeler is a two part instructional dedicated to the techniques that helped him become an Olympic medalist! Wheeler is great at pointing out the critical details that make his techniques work. All you gotta do is tune in and practice!