Upgrade Your Arm Drags With Pat Downey
Have you ever heard the term “Meta” used when describing certain strategies that rise to the top of competition? The cool kids refer to these Top-Tier Tactics as “meta” because they are used at the highest levels of competition. This is why most top level wrestlers are going to have a dead-to-rights single leg, or arm drag. These techniques have been proven time and time again.
That said, even at the very top athletes find ways to make techniques their own. Every wrestler can perform an arm drag, but over time they add little nuances to their technique that makes it uniquely perfect for them. This evolution of strategy and technique is what pushes sports forward!
Pat Downey is no stranger to using an unorthodox approach to getting his hand raised on the mat. As a matter of fact he recently released an entire instructional focusing on Unorthodox High Percentage Offense. This instructional looks to give you assistance in the creativity department. Pat teaches methods of movement that catch your opponent off-guard and off-balance.
One technique Pat has forged into his own personal masterpiece is the arm drag. Pat looks to create situations of pressure that forces his opponent to use heavy posts to keep him at bay. This post is all he needs to launch into his high percentage offense. Take a look at how he does it in this clip from High Percentage Offense.
Pat likes to keep things simple and direct. So much so, that he expresses that he will bash his opponent in the face with his head if they don’t post on his shoulder. It wouldn’t be his fault, his opponent shouldn’t have been standing there! This harsh reality is that Pat is going to get in your space, so you either let him and get launched OR you have to defend by posting. By knowing this ahead of time, you can keep your armdrag in the holster ready for a quickdraw.
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The classic inside-out armdrag is a thing of beauty. It has seen success at the highest levels of Wrestling as well as Jiu-Jitsu. That said, Pat prefers to perform what he calls a slap drag. As soon as his partner posts on his shoulder Pat immediately slaps the posting hand down. Keep in mind that the post was a reaction to Pat’s forward pressure. If you keep forward pressure you will find it difficult to clear the post from your shoulder. It can be hard to see, but when the hand posts on the shoulder Pat rolls with it. He pulls his shoulder away which allows the slap to clear the hand.
Now that the hand is clear Pat looks to reach high into his partner’s armpit. The higher the better in this case, since your opponent in a match is surely going to try to pull away from your arm drag. Placement is key throughout this technique. When you are executing the arm drag it’s important to not step around your partner. Instead Pat takes a step between his partner’s base. This shuts off the ability for his partner to run away from the arm drag.
This deep step not only keeps you better attached to your opponent, but it sets up high amplitude techniques that Pat is known for. The Air Downey System is another entry in the Pat Downey collection that lends itself particularly well to this position. By stepping into your opponent’s base it is much easier to reach around their waist to secure a grip. This is especially important in a match when you consider the competition factor and the amount of sweat.
If you are looking to get crisp with your arm drags, create a drill where you are reacting to your partner’s post. This will help develop the much needed timing required to pull off Downey-esque arm drags. Your partner can switch between shoulders to post on, and you can switch between the traditional “Mr. Miagi” style armdrag and the slap drag.
Downey offers several attack options based off of how they react to the arm drag. First you can get an outside single and run them to the mat like Pat does at the 2:38 mark. OR if your opponent steps away from your drag the only way that they can, you can execute a fireman’s carry. At the 3:45 mark Pat sends his partner through the air several times with this technique, but it’s worth re-watching for the sheer amount of technical prowess on display! That is gonna take some drilling!
Unorthodox High Percentage Offense is a 3-part dive into the mindset and techniques of Pat Downey. Downey is easily one of the most exciting wrestlers in the game due to his creativity and aggressiveness. Unorthodox High Percentage Offense focuses on those same strategies that keeps Pat at the top of the podium! Check it out today!