Discuss Defense at the High School Wrestling within the Wrestling Talk Forums; On my feet my defense is sub par. In almost every match this year no ...
On my feet my defense is sub par. In almost every match this year no matter the skill of the wrestler they have gotten in on my legs. Against better competition i cant constantly be fighting to get guys off my legs. How do i stop guys from getting to my legs? and also once they get to my leg how do i fight them off?
Downblock, downblock, downblock. If you're not sure what a downblock is, it's when the other guy shoots in, and you change your levels, bring your leg back, and put your hand in the mat, blocking him. In other words, you're going "down" and then "blocking" him with your hand. It's much like a sprawl. If you can change your level, get that leg back, and block him off, he won't even be able to touch your legs. From there, you can go into your short offense.
A couple of downblock drills - 1) Have a partner point to the leg that he's going to shoot at. Then, he shoots at it. You know which leg he will be shooting towards - all you need to focus on in this drill is the timing and the downblock itself. You can do this drill with outside shots or from handfighting/contact. 2) Be in a handfight with a partner, and have your partner try to hit all "high" shots. That means that he's not dropping to his knees on his shots. He's just reaching for the leg, basically. When he goes for the leg, you hit your downblock. 3) Just go live, basically, except that you are on defense and he is on offense. He is doing whatever he can to try and get in on the shot, and you are trying to downblock and not let him touch your leg. If you score, get back up and go again. If he gets in on the shot, get back up and go again. Do this in about 1 minute intervals.
Believe me, these drills help. Defense used to be the WORST part of my game. Flat out. I probably went a year and a half without successfully blocking off an opponent's shot. But, when I started working these drills, and continued to work them, keeping guys off of my legs became one of my best skills.
If a guy gets in on your leg, you have to just remember these key points - hips in, butt in, chest up, and driving into him. You want to break his lock around your leg. This is assuming the guy is in on your leg, but you have sprawled back to a point and he is underneath you. You HAVE to keep your hips in and your chest up. If your hips and butt are sticking way up in the air, you have no pressure on him and he will drive straight through you to finish. When you have him stuffed underneath you, keep your hips and butt in, keep your chest up, keep all your pressure on him, and, while you have this pressure on him, circle around. If you let the pressure off while circling around, he'll fight back up and be able to drive through you.
a down block is a good drill to practice but in my years of coaching, it's just that a drill. as a practical move against any wrestler with a decent offense it's just a way to get your arm trapped when they shoot on you. not saying it doesn't work, just that your arm is not strong enough to stop the momentum of a whole person going at your leg. as a defensive minded wrestler and coach, i feel that the best defense is deferred to 3 basic moves: a front headlock, whizzer, cross-face. as a defensive minded wrestler you have to understand that offensive positions haven't changed in decades. when a wrestler shoots on you there are a few basic constants you have to understand. first any wrestler with a good shot will do a few things, stay tight on the leg, head up, they will also keep their shoulders above their hips (b/c if their shoulders go too far in front of their hips, they'll be extended). get down how you can get your opponent off of the 3 constants that I listed for a shooter and you'll start to see defense is actually really easy. at this point you should focus on being able to slow down your opponents shot, remember a stalemate is a win for the defensive wrestler in the takedown battle. after you find that you can slow down your opponent, you should be able to start working defensive moves off the front headlock and whizzer to score or to pin. as a wrestler majority of my pins came from defending a shot more than from riding top.
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