The Wave by Hudson Taylor
There’s nothing worse than being in bottom position. While you’ll probably see thousands of videos or articles proclaiming that bottom position is easy or the perfect bait for your opponent, those are well-meaning but disingenuous. It’s a physically taxing place to be, carrying your opponent’s weight and working to escape with time draining quickly all while they actively work for the pin. It is, without a doubt, an area of need for most wrestlers, regardless if they are novice or advanced.
With that said, you don’t have to view bottom position as a “glass half empty” situation if you know how to properly move. Stand-ups and switches are all fine and well, but sometimes you need to dig into your toolbox for something a little unconventional. To help demonstrate a unique escape called “the wave,” former Columbia University wrestling coach Hudson Taylor appears in the video below to get you from the mat to your feet in seconds.
Taylor’s partner has him in a tight waist and ankle ride. Their plan is to drive him forward and remove one of his posts by lifting the ankle high. Traditional wisdom tells us that Taylor should protect his ankles by keeping his weight back to hide his feet. Yet he does something interesting: he brings his hands high and raises his posture. His partner responds by driving them down to the mat, as they see this as him looking to escape vertically.
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Taylor brings his hands down to the mat while his partner lifts the ankle, as expected. It’s here that Taylor relies on the focal point of the wave: the Granby roll.
The Granby Roll
As mentioned above, Taylor is left in a compromised situation. His partner has his ankle and is working to pressure him down to the mat. While he is on his hands, Taylor windshield wipes his far leg under him. Doing so prevents the ankle from being caught up in the Granby roll and gives him the angle he needs to escape. From there, he hits the roll: he tucks his left arm under his body, rolls across his shoulders parallel to his partner’s hip, and staying tight after landing. For those unaware, the Granby roll is not a forward roll. Simply hitting a forward roll will do no good in this situation as the opponent has the tight waist and ankle. Moving laterally, on the other hand, uses space that’s already created to make further distance.
Once you hit the Granby roll from the wave, your job still isn’t finished. You’re still left in a compromised position where your opponent has higher hip elevation. Taylor recommends getting back to your feet with a technical stand-up. To do the technical stand-up, you post with the hand closest to the leg that is on the mat, hip heist to bring your leg back to a prone position, and keeping your distance with your other arm. This will allow you to get your escape point without worrying about a quick takedown from your position.
Bottom position does not have to be an instant defeat. With moves such as Hudson Taylor’s wave, you’ll be able to force your opponent to move on your watch and create plenty of separation before returning to your feet. Try the wave set-up to the Granby roll the next time you’re on the mat and experiment with different defensive scenarios from the bottom.
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