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The Unorthodox Offense Of Pat Downey

The Unorthodox Offense Of Pat Downey

The front headlock is one of the most powerful positions in grappling. As the old saying goes, if you control the head you control the body and control is what wrestling is all about. Even with how  powerful as the headlock is, there will always be equally strong counter move or escape. 

Attacking from the front headlock is often referred to as “Short Offense”. The term comes from the lack of distance between you and your opponent is greatly diminished.  Reachin for a leg becomes a pretty easy task. There are throws from the headlock and tilt’s if you are into freestyle. 

What are the marks of a good front headlock? What options are safe and which options are more high risk? Are the common counters or escapes? All questions that need to be addressed so they don’t get found out the hard way. 

Pat Downey is one of the more dominant wrestlers for the United States in recent years. Holding the number one spot after the Magic Man David Taylor stepped out of competition to address a knee injury. 

Here is PD3 Showing the finer details of setting up and locking down the front headlock. 


Utilizing Tight elbows and heavy pressure on the back helps inhibit Pats partners movement and already allows him to start to impose his will. Every moment his partner carries his weight is a moment he is wearing out faster than the top wrestler. 

Check out more of Pat’s work, Click Learn More!



Once we are locked in what do we do? The referee will step in if they believe you are stalling. ATTACK, you have to be aggressive with your offense at this point. You earned a small advantage over your opponent in this position, now is the time to exploit it!

Not to lose any momentum Pat prefers not to spin to the back or do any fancy reversals, instead he chooses to set up a leg attack. 

With his “T-Rex arms”  firmly gripping at the armpits Pat pulls his partner in and steps INLINE not off to the side, toward the same back side leg of his opponent. Reaching and cupping the hamstring Pat has now anticipated his opponents next move. 

As his partner stands to avoid the position it gives The Lizard KING exactly what he wants, an open lane into a quick turn double leg takedown. Earning him a minimum of two points in Folkstlye wrestling. 

Downey can also choose to set up the same but leave one arm heavy on the head, if his opponent does not stand he can just bulldog his way into a breakdown position and earn himself as little as 1 point in freestyle but he opens the door for plenty of Gut and Turn options leading into many more points!


Downey is a world level wrestler and will be looking to earn his spot on the US Olympic Team for the 2020ne Olympics. Him and his arch nemesis David Taylar are going to have to meet at some point and settle the score.

Downey is afraid of no one! So whoever steps on the mat with him is going to have their hands full. 

Being that Pat has quite the personality that is as big as his throws he has garnered attention from all over the combat sports world. Being open to any high level grappling contest that has been thrown his way, PD3 has the motto “Any time Any where” and he means it. When the Pound for Pound best submission grappler on the planet Gordon “The King” Ryan challenged Downey to a duel that is exactly how he responded. Any Time Any Where.. 

Downey took that match and told Ryan essentially “If I play your game, you have to play mine” and a grappling match was set for two parts. First a submission grappling match in which Ryan took almost 20 minutes wearing Downey but in the end becoming victorious. 

Many believed that Ryan took so long in defeating Downey to try and wear him down so much that he would lose his power in their freestyle match that immediately came after. The problem with that is Pat Downey is the Lizard King, and technique doesn't lie. 

As turn around is fair play the two men entered into a freestyle match which Downey showed his true world class wrestling. Dispatching Ryan with a series of throws in under a minute. It was pure domination by Downey and how powerful and technical he really is. 

Downey is a lone wolf of sorts. He has gone into major tournaments unattached. Meaning he is not directly tied to one of the major teams. One of his main coaches is Reece Humphrey and it shows as Downey gives people plenty of frequent flyer miles if you know what I mean. 

To highlight his unaffiliated status and unique personality, Downey showed up to the US Nationals in a singlet that read “Unattached Assassin”. That phrase was not lying as he dominated his weight class in stunning fashion. 

Unorthodox High Percentage Offense by Pat Downey
Downey has a outside the box way of thinking when it comes to wrestling and it is truly refreshing. He has come out with many instructionals and they all have that same Downey feel. Unorthodox but genius at the same time. Check out this instructional on his unorthodox approach that creates High percentage finishes!