Take downs will win you more matches than anything else. Do you want to know how to go from a good wrestler to a great wrestler? Master your take downs and you will win more of those tough matches.
I have completely rewritten this article from the ground up. It’s not finished yet, but I feel this is useful information for wrestlers to use as a guide to get better at takedowns. Feel free to bookmark this page to keep up with the latest updates.
- Why Takedowns are Important
- How to Become a Master at Takedowns
- Mastering Setups, Head Control, and Angles
- Practice a Takedown 10,000 times
- Stay Updated
Why Takedowns are Important
In the world of folk-style wrestling, mastering takedowns is the key to success on the mat. Understanding why takedowns are crucial can significantly impact a wrestler’s overall performance, setting the stage for victory. A recent junior high wrestling tournament vividly illustrates the pivotal role takedowns play in match outcomes.
Consider this scenario: Many skilled wrestlers found themselves on the losing end of matches by a slim margin of two points or less. Notably, the common factor in many of these matches was a takedown scored in the first period. Coaches often assert, “If you can take anyone down, you will win the match.” Let’s delve into an illustrative example that underscores the significance of this adage.
Example Scenario: Wrestler A vs. Wrestler B
- 1st Period: Wrestler A executes four takedowns on opponent B, establishing a substantial lead with a score of 8-4.
- 2nd Period: Wrestler B, recognizing the deficit, opts to start the period in the top position. While Wrestler B manages to put Wrestler A on his back, a pin eludes him. However, the score narrows to 8-7, favoring Wrestler A.
- 3rd Period: Wrestler A, strategically choosing the neutral position, capitalizes on their superior takedown ability, securing four more takedowns against opponent B. The final score stands at 16-11, culminating in Wrestler A’s triumph. The prowess demonstrated in executing takedowns ultimately determines the match’s outcome.
This scenario serves as a poignant reminder that excelling in takedowns can compensate for shortcomings in other facets of wrestling. While it is essential to be well-rounded and proficient in all technical aspects, the ability to secure takedowns lays a solid foundation for success.
In essence, takedowns set the tone for a match, offering wrestlers an opportunity to establish dominance early on. A wrestler who can consistently execute effective takedowns places themselves in a favorable position, both strategically and psychologically. By seizing control of the scoring and dictating the pace, a wrestler with superior takedown skills can secure not just points but, more importantly, a pathway to victory on the wrestling mat.
How to Become a Master at Take Downs
Becoming a Master at Takedowns: A Step-by-Step Guide
Discover Your Signature Moves:
The first crucial step is to identify three takedowns that resonate with you. These should be moves that feel natural and align with your wrestling style. Everyone is different, so it’s essential to choose techniques that complement your strengths and preferences.
Study and Practice:
Once you’ve selected your three favorite takedowns, dive deep into studying them. Analyze the mechanics, timing, and nuances of each move. Dedicate extensive practice time to these takedowns until you can execute them in practice without conscious thought. This repetitive practice builds muscle memory and familiarity.
Application in Matches:
Transition from practice to live matches. Start incorporating your chosen takedowns into your wrestling matches. Pay attention to how well you can execute them under real match conditions. This phase is crucial for refining your technique and adapting the moves to different opponents and scenarios.
Mastered Three? Rinse and Repeat:
Once you’ve achieved a level of mastery with your initial three takedowns, don’t rush to learn new moves. Instead, replicate the process. Identify three more takedowns that complement your existing skill set and repeat the cycle of studying, practicing, and applying them in matches.
Depth, Not Breadth:
The key to becoming a master at takedowns is depth, not breadth. Elite wrestlers often have a handful of go-to moves, their “bread and butter.” Strive to be exceptional at a select few rather than mediocre at many. This focused expertise gives you a distinct advantage on the mat.
Confidence and Consistency:
As you accumulate a repertoire of mastered takedowns, your confidence in matches will soar. The goal is to reach a point where you feel you can take anyone down with your chosen moves consistently. This confidence translates into a mental edge over opponents.
Wrestling is a dynamic sport, and there’s always room for improvement. Even as you master takedowns, seek opportunities to refine and enhance your techniques. Learn from experiences in matches, analyze successes and failures, and continually strive for improvement.
In conclusion, the path to becoming a master at takedowns involves a thoughtful and focused progression. Identify, study, and practice a select few moves until they become ingrained in your wrestling DNA. Embrace the philosophy of depth over breadth, and remember that the journey to mastery is continuous and dynamic. By following this guide, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a formidable reputation on the mat with your signature takedowns.
Building Blocks of Takedowns: Mastering Setups, Head Control, and Angles
Before a wrestler can excel at executing takedowns on opponents, they must first master the fundamental building blocks that pave the way for success. The journey to becoming a proficient takedown artist involves honing skills such as setups, head control, wrist control, and the art of creating angles – essential components that lay the foundation for a formidable offensive game.
Setups are the precursors to successful takedowns. Wrestlers must develop a diverse arsenal of setups to keep opponents guessing and off-balance. These can include feints, level changes, and deceptive footwork. A well-executed setup not only creates openings but also disrupts the opponent’s defensive stance, making them vulnerable to takedown attempts.
Moving and controlling the opponent’s head is a key element in setting up takedowns. Techniques like collar ties and hand fighting help wrestlers dictate head positioning, disrupting their opponent’s balance, limiting visibility, and making them susceptible to takedowns.
Wrist control is a subtle yet powerful tool. Managing an opponent’s wrists not only limits their defensive capabilities but also provides openings for redirection and attacks. Effective wrist control enhances a wrestler’s offensive options and disrupts the opponent’s game plan.
Moving an Opponent and Off-Balancing
Mastery of movement and off-balancing is crucial for successful takedowns. Techniques such as pulls, drags, and level changes are used to disrupt an opponent’s stability, creating openings for attacks. Off-balancing sets the stage for quick and effective takedowns.
Creating angles is a sophisticated aspect of setup strategy. By maneuvering around an opponent and changing attack angles, a wrestler can exploit defensive weaknesses. Pivoting, circling, and changing directions keep opponents guessing and set the stage for successful takedowns.
In the journey to becoming a skilled takedown artist, these foundational skills are as vital as the takedowns themselves. Wrestlers should see setups, head control, wrist control, and creating angles as interconnected elements that contribute to overall versatility on the mat. Recognizing these fundamental building blocks is key to developing a holistic and effective approach to offensive wrestling.
Practice a Takedown 10,000 Times
Mastering Takedowns in Wrestling: The Power of Repetition
In the world of wrestling, the idea that “I fear not the wrestler who has practiced 10,000 takedowns once, but I fear the one who has practiced one takedown 10,000 times” resonates deeply. This concept emphasizes the importance of dedicated repetition in mastering a specific takedown, and its relevance is evident in several aspects of wrestling:
Depth of Understanding
Focusing on a single takedown allows wrestlers to delve deep into its nuances. Understanding the mechanics, timing, and subtleties becomes second nature through repeated practice, fostering a profound level of understanding.
Muscle Memory and Precision
Repetition cultivates muscle memory. Executing the same takedown thousands of times hones the body’s response, enhancing speed, accuracy, and efficiency. This muscle memory ensures precise execution during the intensity of a match.
Adaptability in Matches
Mastery of a specific takedown promotes adaptability. Wrestlers become skilled at recognizing opportunities for the chosen move in diverse situations, allowing them to seamlessly integrate it into their overall strategy.
Confidence and Mental Toughness
Repetitive practice breeds confidence. Wrestlers who have perfected a specific takedown approach matches with mental toughness and familiarity. This confidence can be a psychological advantage, influencing the wrestler’s mindset and their opponent’s perception.
Mastery of one takedown doesn’t mean a lack of versatility; it provides a strategic advantage. Wrestlers surprise opponents with the speed, precision, and unexpectedness of their attacks, showcasing the power of a focused approach.
Efficiency in Training
Focused repetition is an efficient training method. Instead of spreading efforts across multiple techniques, wrestlers optimize training time by honing in on a single takedown. This efficiency accelerates the learning curve and facilitates quicker improvement.
In the pursuit of wrestling excellence, the principle of mastering one takedown through relentless repetition stands as a guiding principle. Through this focused approach, wrestlers cultivate expertise that extends beyond technical proficiency, embracing muscle memory, adaptability, confidence, and a strategic edge in competition. In wrestling, it’s not about the quantity of techniques but the depth of mastery achieved through dedicated practice.
One of the best ways to study wrestling moves is to invest in wrestling instructional DVDs. The advantage to buying the DVDs, is you can watch them over and over again. YouTube is also a great option.
This will allow you to focus on very specific techniques to improve your take downs. I recommend you take a look at dvds by John Smith. He is truly a takedown technician. One of my favorites is Scrambling – Scoring from a Bad Position. You can read my read by review here.
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