The most successful wrestling take down artists are those that have great setups.  Use the setup to clear your opponents defense in order for you to execute a successful take down.  When building your Wrestling Moves List be sure to put in a setup before every take down.

The Tie UpWrestling Moves List Tie Up

The biggest defense that you will face while attempting a take down will be your opponents hands and arms.  Doing this effectively usually involves some sort of tie up.  The different wrestling tie ups are also great for causing your opponent to become off-balance and leave them selves open for some type of offensive move.  The tie up is a constant battle for control.  It can take a tremendous amount of mental and physical energy to counter your opponents setups as you are trying to create your own.   As you grapple with your opponent keep in mind that he has the same thing on his mind as you do.  Take control, set you up and take you down.

I feel the tie up is best described with the Latin words: Improvidus , Apto quod Victum or as they say it in the USMC: “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome”.

You must improvise or constantly adjust to the current situation in the tie up, adapt to what your opponent is trying to do and quickly overcome the situation with your will and desire.

The purpose of the tie up is to try to cut the distance required to make an offensive move by moving your opponent closer to you while still maintaining control.  It may seem obvious, but the shorter the distance between you and your opponents legs the easier it will be for you to snatch them up.

Wrist Tie Up

This is the easiest tie up to get and still affords you some distance to back away quickly if your opponent decides to shoot. The most common way to get a wrist tie up is to simply grab your opponents wrist with your palm facing the inside and your thumb wrapped around on top. Unfortunately this is the easiest tie up for your opponent to break unless you have a grip of steel it takes no more than a twist and rotating of your opponents arm for him to break free. I always teach this defensive break-away as the hitch-hiker. Pop your thumb up and whip your arm out and away from your body. Then immediately once his grip is broken re-take the wrist control.

The more effective way to take wrist control is to grab your opponents wrist with your thumb under his arm and your palm on the inside of wrist. This may seem an awkward grab to make at first but it will allow you to make a much tighter lock on your opponents wrist and it puts your arm in the way of his which will allow you to drive his entire arm out and away from his body opening him up for a leg shot.

Holding the wrist with this inside grip focuses the power of your entire arm at the palm of your hand (versus the focus being at the thumb in the outside wrist grip). This will give you more strength to control your opponents arm including pushing his arm back into his own legs and once again clearing that arm for a leg shot.

The double wrist tie up is easy to catch and a good counter to an opponent grabbing your wrist from the outside.  First use your free hand to quickly snatch your opponents wrist.  Then hitch hike your caught wrist out and around your opponents arm breaking his grip then quickly re-grabbing his wrist.  At this point you will have two hands on his one wrist.

The Snap

Although it is easier to do when you have a double wrist tie up the snap is simply pushing up on your opponents arm to push them off-balance and then quickly pulling his arm down towards the mat.  In this off-balance state he will be easier to pull down to all fours on the mat.  As you pull down be sure to clear your legs since this movement will put your opponent very close to your legs and open you up slightly for a single leg.  You can put more power behind the snap by throwing your legs out into a sprawl at the same time.   This will clear your legs and will put a tremendous amount of pressure on your opponents arm and will shift his center of gravity up towards his head.  If you do this you must not to let go of the arm until you have pulled your opponent off his feet and you are able to move back in and around.

Wrestling is a Drag

The drag is simply creating a tug o war situation with the other guy by dragging him towards you.  The natural reaction will be to pull away which like in tug o war if you let go of the rope this will make the opposing team fall flat on their tails.   The same thing can occur here except when you let go follow quickly with a shot to take advantage of flailing arms as your opponent attempts to regain balance.

Bait and Switch

If you do not yet have wrist control you can simply offer your arm up for you opponent to grab.   If you offer your hand with the palm up be ready to quickly chop down on your opponents harm with your far side arm.  Push the arm towards his inside and clear it or an outside single leg.

Offer the arm and wrist with the palm facing down and quickly push up on your opponents hand and go for a high crotch.  If you can grab up on your opponents wrist you can also hold on to it and do a fireman carry.

Push off of your opponent’s head or cover your opponents face with your hand.  When your opponent grabs your wrist pull your arm towards you and with your free hand grab your opponents wrist and pull your opponent towards you at the same time roll your caught wrist free.  This will open your opponent up towards to the outside for a single leg snatch.

Wrestling and Newtons First Law

Use Newtons First Law in your favor; “… a body in motion tends to stay in motion … “.  The key to wrist control and the setups you can perform from this grip is to try not to muscle your opponents arm. Instead allow your opponent to resist the force then quickly change the direction of your force and use your opponents muscles and momentum against them. The more they resist what you are doing the harder it will be for them to stop when you change directions on them.

The wrist tie up is invaluable to learn and add to your wrestling moves list.

This wrestling video  demonstrates a great arm drag to a single about 50 seconds in.


Very clean technique on this arm drag take down.