USA Wrestling Chain Wrestling from...

Chain Wrestling from Bottom

By Ted Witulski | Nov. 26, 2002, 12 a.m. (ET)

Wrestlers continually work to improve technique by drilling. One wrestler shoots two takedowns and then the other takes his best two shots. Back and forth they will go, exchanging takedowns from November to March. Drilling in wrestling can sometimes focus only on takedowns, while omitting ways of improving bottom wrestling. To accomplish a solid drill of chain wrestling from the bottom, wrestlers will need to know the following moves. 1. Switch 2. Stepover 3. Granby or Shrug 4. Short Sit to a Gazonie 5. Short Sit to a Hip-Heist The switch is one of the more universal terms in scholastic wrestling most people. Coaches and wrestlers know the goal is to gain a reversal using an opponent's arm as a lever while scooting their hips into a position of control. When wrestlers work on switches to often they perform them from a stationary almost stagnate position. Commonly, these wrestlers will hit a switch from only the top-bottom starting position---step one clear the arm---step two sit to your hips. This switch situation while good at introducing kids to the move when they first learn the sport does little for wrestlers when they have to perform the technique under match conditions when their opponent is no longer static. To further improve wrestlers switches teach the kids to perform their switches out of motion. Five Good Motion Set-ups for Switches: A. Tripod B. Camel Crawl C. Leaper D. Head Post Shrug/Sit-out Turn-in E. Standup Each of these motions can be very effective in clearing hips or forcing the top-man out of position. Tripod: The wrestler on bottom rises to the four-point stance often referred to as a bear-crawl position or a tripod. The bottom wrestler's only contact with the mat is his two hands and his two feet dug into the mat. This position elevates the bottom wrestlers hips usually forcing the top man out of position. A coach-able phrase that comes from this setup for a switch is to get wrestlers "far hip to hit the mat first". Commonly wrestlers mistakenly believe an effective switch comes from the power of the arms. Instead, a strong switch comes from the power of a strong side hip-heist. When wrestlers practice a tripod switch they should really focus on getting their far hip to hit the mat first. Camel Crawl: Wrestlers may feel embarrassed at first, but an effective way to setup a switch is to use a simple crawling motion. The camel crawl is really just a quick scamper across the mat that forces the top wrestler to clutch and chase their opponent. Out of this motion wrestlers can clear their arm and switch. The teachable phrase from this setup comes out of the top man tendency to grasp the near arm or to chop it. Here wrestlers should be taught to "limp arm and switch". The limp arm motion is very useful in many match situations and the camel crawl setup consistently forces wrestlers to practice this motion. Leaper: A less common bottom motion for wrestlers to learn is the diving motion known as a leaper. A leaper is a hard springing motion forward. The wrestlers load their hips back over their ankles while their toes curl under their feet. The wrestler dives forward using an extended leaping motion. The leaper when performed correctly forces the top wrestler back down the opponent's torso and towards his ankles. Essentially the top wrestler slides down the bottom man's body taking him out of position. Once the top person is out of position if their hand is not around the bottom man in a tight waist they will quickly attempt to return to this position. As the top man tries to regain a tight waist the bottom man can hit his switch. Head Post/Shrug: Wrestlers spend much of their career following the axiom "head up". However, one effective way to set up a switch is to teach the bottom man how to move his hips with his head posted to the mat. There are a variety of ways that a wrestler can get into a head post. Wrestlers that are well versed in the Granby School of bottom offense know this position as a shrug. Being able to smash back into the top man and shrug your head to the mat while getting off of your knees is an excellent position to set up motion for a switch. Essentially the head post is a pivot point. Once in proper head post or shrug position the bottom wrestler should get off of his knees and on his toes. From this true tripod position the wrestler should begin to circle his hips away from the top man. As the wrestler clears his hips he forces the top man to follow his movement. The wrestler can then hit his switch by pushing out of the head post. Standup: The standup to a switch is probably one of the most practiced ways to drill a switch out of motion. The half standup can be a powerful way to catch an opponent off guard. If a wrestler can get to his feet an escape may not be their only option. The bottom man that can control the lever arm of their opponent should also consider the possibility of a switch instead of the simple escape. While wrestlers may be used to hitting a standing switch with their feet on the ground, another unique way to practice this switch is to have the top man lift the bottom wrestler. Switching out of a lift can help wrestlers learn movement even when their feet are not in contact with the mat. To switch out of a lift, wrestlers should practice moving their hips while they are elevated, basically falling to the mat in good switching position. Stepover: The stepover is one of the earliest moves that wrestlers learn from the bottom. The key component of the stepover is to get the bottom man to bring his inside leg over first that he doesn't get rolled through. The stepover can be successfully accomplished to either side in scholastic wrestling. Wrestlers should be able to develop hand control and force the top man into a bad position. Once hand elbow or arm control on the top man is had, then the wrestler can "wing" the top man down to the mat effectively posting his arm down giving the bottom man the stepover opportunity. Granby or Shrug: The granby and shrug series are very complex rolling maneuvers that can become a whole practice in and of itself. The easier to teach of the two is probably the shrug, where the bottom man posts his head to the mat using his forehead as a turning axis he then walks his hips in a circle away from the top man. With wrist control off of the stomach a shrug can lead to a simple reversal or even a three point nearfall, using the granby cradle. Gazonie: The gazonie is a less universal term for scholastic wrestling, so a description of the move may help coaches understand its intent. The bottom wrestler gets to a short sit position, with top man riding directly behind him. The gazonie also called a head wrap, in some parts of the country requires the bottom man to catch the top man's head hanging over either of his shoulders. When the top man gets out of position his head might slip on to the right man's shoulder. If this happens, then the bottom man would use his right arm to wrap around the head while "turning in" to his left shoulder. The bottom wrestler would gain a reversal by shrugging out the back door perfecting the gazonie reversal. Hip Heist: The last fundamental move that wrestlers need to know from bottom is a hip heist. The hip heist can be done from a number of positions on bottom, but for simplicity teach wrestlers to get to a short sit position. When a bottom wrestler can stay solid in a short sit position, then the top wrestler's offense can often be frustrated. Once in a short sit the bottom wrestler will battle for hand control. This is a very important position for wrestlers to wrestle well in. As they clear wrists, or backside underhooks, the bottom wrestler will perform a hip heist. The hip heist when done correctly will get the bottom man in a face off position, earning an escape. Chain Wrestling from Bottom: The objective of the bottom wrestling drill chain is to have the wrestlers performing all five of the base bottom moves correctly in a series