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CHE’s ULTIMATE GUIDE to

THE SINGLE LEG TAKEDOWN

CHE’s ULTIMATE GUIDE to

THE SINGLE LEG TAKEDOWN

CHE’s ULTIMATE GUIDE to

THE SINGLE LEG TAKEDOWN

The numbers don’t lie. Based on research from the Division I NCAA championships and the Freestyle Wrestling Olympic games in 2016, the single leg takedown is by far the most common takedown in wrestling (the other two being double legs and variations of the go-behind). 
 
This is for good reason. When you secure your opponent’s leg while maintaining strong position, you have a significant positional advantage over your opponent. Their offensive options and ability to move are severely limited until they regain control of their leg. Other takedowns, while having their own advantages, don’t give you nearly the same amount of positional advantage as a single leg takedown.
 
You’ll also be able to personalize the single leg takedown based on your own strengths, style, and body type. There’s a single leg variation for everybody. 
 
Of course, with all the variability that comes with the single leg takedown, there are a lot of technical key points too. The good news is that unlike judo throws where the margin of error is much smaller, you can execute an effective single leg takedown as long as your technique is “good enough”. Once you learn how to look at the technique, you’ll find positional faults at every level including a few at the world class level (they’re minimal, but they happen). 
 
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t learn throws or that you should focus on the single leg takedown entirely. After all, throws and other takedowns are badass too.

Kosei Inoue, known as the king of the uchi mata throw in Judo

All sorts of different takedowns from the 2015 Freestyle Wrestling World Championships

I am, however, saying that you’re severely limiting yourself in wrestling (as well as other grappling sports like jiu-jitsu) if you don’t have an effective single leg takedown that you can practically hit with your eyes closed. After all, the numbers don’t lie.
 
Understanding all the various different parts and finer points of the single leg takedown can be very confusing or overwhelming especially if you don’t have much wrestling experience. In this guide, I’ll break it down piece by piece for you while showing you some visual examples. Remember that it’s important to aim for perfect positioning, but you won’t be perfect on day one. Start by getting good enough. Then, you’ll have the foundation set to pursue excellence.
 
Ready to break it down and learn? Let’s get started.
The numbers don’t lie. Based on research from the Division I NCAA championships and the Freestyle Wrestling Olympic games in 2016, the single leg takedown is by far the most common takedown in wrestling (the other two being double legs and variations of the go-behind). 
 
This is for good reason. When you secure your opponent’s leg while maintaining strong position, you have a significant positional advantage over your opponent. Their offensive options and ability to move are severely limited until they regain control of their leg. Other takedowns, while having their own advantages, don’t give you nearly the same amount of positional advantage as a single leg takedown.
 
You’ll also be able to personalize the single leg takedown based on your own strengths, style, and body type. There’s a single leg variation for everybody. 
 
Of course, with all the variability that comes with the single leg takedown, there are a lot of technical key points too. The good news is that unlike judo throws where the margin of error is much smaller, you can execute an effective single leg takedown as long as your technique is “good enough”. Once you learn how to look at the technique, you’ll find positional faults at every level including a few at the world class level (they’re minimal, but they happen). 
 
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t learn throws or that you should focus on the single leg takedown entirely. After all, throws and other takedowns are badass too.

Kosei Inoue, known as the king of the uchi mata throw in Judo

All sorts of different takedowns from the 2015 Freestyle Wrestling World Championships

I am, however, saying that you’re severely limiting yourself in wrestling (as well as other grappling sports like jiu-jitsu) if you don’t have an effective single leg takedown that you can practically hit with your eyes closed. After all, the numbers don’t lie.
 
Understanding all the various different parts and finer points of the single leg takedown can be very confusing or overwhelming especially if you don’t have much wrestling experience. In this guide, I’ll break it down piece by piece for you while showing you some visual examples. Remember that it’s important to aim for perfect positioning, but you won’t be perfect on day one. Start by getting good enough. Then, you’ll have the foundation set to pursue excellence.
 
Ready to break it down and learn? Let’s get started.
The numbers don’t lie. Based on research from the Division I NCAA championships and the Freestyle Wrestling Olympic games in 2016, the single leg takedown is by far the most common takedown in wrestling (the other two being double legs and variations of the go-behind). 
 
This is for good reason. When you secure your opponent’s leg while maintaining strong position, you have a significant positional advantage over your opponent. Their offensive options and ability to move are severely limited until they regain control of their leg. Other takedowns, while having their own advantages, don’t give you nearly the same amount of positional advantage as a single leg takedown.
 
You’ll also be able to personalize the single leg takedown based on your own strengths, style, and body type. There’s a single leg variation for everybody. 
 
Of course, with all the variability that comes with the single leg takedown, there are a lot of technical key points too. The good news is that unlike judo throws where the margin of error is much smaller, you can execute an effective single leg takedown as long as your technique is “good enough”. Once you learn how to look at the technique, you’ll find positional faults at every level including a few at the world class level (they’re minimal, but they happen). 
 
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t learn throws or that you should focus on the single leg takedown entirely. After all, throws and other takedowns are badass too.

Kosei Inoue, known as the king of the uchi mata throw in Judo

All sorts of different takedowns from the 2015 Freestyle Wrestling World Championships

I am, however, saying that you’re severely limiting yourself in wrestling (as well as other grappling sports like jiu-jitsu) if you don’t have an effective single leg takedown that you can practically hit with your eyes closed. After all, the numbers don’t lie.
 
Understanding all the various different parts and finer points of the single leg takedown can be very confusing or overwhelming especially if you don’t have much wrestling experience. In this guide, I’ll break it down piece by piece for you while showing you some visual examples. Remember that it’s important to aim for perfect positioning, but you won’t be perfect on day one. Start by getting good enough. Then, you’ll have the foundation set to pursue excellence.
 
Ready to break it down and learn? Let’s get started.

Why I wrote this guide to single leg takedowns

My sophomore year of high school was a mess.
 
I lost my wrestle-off for the varsity spot, but the guy who beat me quit halfway through the season, which gave me another chance to compete at the varsity level. Still, I took my lumps. After a particularly frustrating loss (in fact, my inability to finish a single leg takedown drained the energy right out of me and cost me the match), I remember sitting and bawling on the sidelines afterwards. “I worked so hard,” I thought. “Why was this happening to me?” I went on to finish my sophomore season with a varsity record of 2 wins and 9 losses (I remember this number very clearly because my coach and mentor tells his wrestlers this story every year).
 
At the end of the season, I got a chance to compete at a regional JV tournament where I won the tournament. I had clearly made technical strides, but I got my first ever black eye by essentially DDT’ing myself on the way to finishing a double leg in overtime to win the match. In hindsight, it was ugly, but it was “good enough”. 

Why I wrote this guide to single leg takedowns

My sophomore year of high school was a mess.
 
I lost my wrestle-off for the varsity spot, but the guy who beat me quit halfway through the season, which gave me another chance to compete at the varsity level. Still, I took my lumps. After a particularly frustrating loss (in fact, my inability to finish a single leg takedown drained the energy right out of me and cost me the match), I remember sitting and bawling on the sidelines afterwards. “I worked so hard,” I thought. “Why was this happening to me?” I went on to finish my sophomore season with a varsity record of 2 wins and 9 losses (I remember this number very clearly because my coach and mentor tells his wrestlers this story every year).
 
At the end of the season, I got a chance to compete at a regional JV tournament where I won the tournament. I had clearly made technical strides, but I got my first ever black eye by essentially DDT’ing myself on the way to finishing a double leg in overtime to win the match. In hindsight, it was ugly, but it was “good enough”. 

Why I wrote this guide to single leg takedowns

My sophomore year of high school was a mess.
 
I lost my wrestle-off for the varsity spot, but the guy who beat me quit halfway through the season, which gave me another chance to compete at the varsity level. Still, I took my lumps. After a particularly frustrating loss (in fact, my inability to finish a single leg takedown drained the energy right out of me and cost me the match), I remember sitting and bawling on the sidelines afterwards. “I worked so hard,” I thought. “Why was this happening to me?” I went on to finish my sophomore season with a varsity record of 2 wins and 9 losses (I remember this number very clearly because my coach and mentor tells his wrestlers this story every year).
 
At the end of the season, I got a chance to compete at a regional JV tournament where I won the tournament. I had clearly made technical strides, but I got my first ever black eye by essentially DDT’ing myself on the way to finishing a double leg in overtime to win the match. In hindsight, it was ugly, but it was “good enough”. 
In hindsight, it was ugly, but it was good enough. That was the last JV match I would ever wrestle for the remainder of my wrestling career.
 
After that season, I made drastic changes. Any moment of free time was spent studying wrestling or training to be a better wrestler. My initial love of running took a backseat to wrestling, and that became just another vehicle for me to become a better wrestler. At that point, I stopped playing video games entirely and studied wrestling technique whenever I wasn’t eating, sleeping, in class, doing homework, or training. In short, I had caught the wrestling bug and it became my obsession from there on out.
 
How far did I go, exactly? I took any option that was available or affordable to me.

Ouch!

In hindsight, it was ugly, but it was good enough. That was the last JV match I would ever wrestle for the remainder of my wrestling career.
 
After that season, I made drastic changes. Any moment of free time was spent studying wrestling or training to be a better wrestler. My initial love of running took a backseat to wrestling, and that became just another vehicle for me to become a better wrestler. At that point, I stopped playing video games entirely and studied wrestling technique whenever I wasn’t eating, sleeping, in class, doing homework, or training. In short, I had caught the wrestling bug and it became my obsession from there on out.
 
How far did I go, exactly? I took any option that was available or affordable to me.

Ouch!

In hindsight, it was ugly, but it was good enough. That was the last JV match I would ever wrestle for the remainder of my wrestling career.
 
After that season, I made drastic changes. Any moment of free time was spent studying wrestling or training to be a better wrestler. My initial love of running took a backseat to wrestling, and that became just another vehicle for me to become a better wrestler. At that point, I stopped playing video games entirely and studied wrestling technique whenever I wasn’t eating, sleeping, in class, doing homework, or training. In short, I had caught the wrestling bug and it became my obsession from there on out.
 
How far did I go, exactly? I took any option that was available or affordable to me.

Ouch!

I called up the Thai national team to train in freestyle wrestling. They welcomed the opportunity and said it was free since the program was sponsored by the government, but I’d effectively be living in poverty (we stayed in makeshift dorm rooms in what used to be waiting rooms in a small sports arena). Initially, I was so nervous that heart rate would spike just from the thought of it. At the age of sixteen, this would be far and away the hardest challenge I’d have ever faced in my life. That being said, it would also be the best thing I could do for myself at the time. Well, it turns out that I was right about both things.
 
The whole experience completely transformed me. My coach later told me that in his experience in coaching for over a decade, he had never seen anyone improve so much over one summer. My teammates voted me team captain, but I still didn’t get the results that I wanted. The following summer, I had the same option to train with the national team, and the thought of that made my heart rate spike once again.
 
Walking through a hallway at my high school, a quote attributed to Thucydides struck me one day.
 
“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.” -Thucydides
 
For whatever reason, I had never noticed this quote before, but the message was loud and clear. You see, the brave soul and the coward feel the same thing. The difference is how they respond to that feeling. Once again, I gritted my teeth and faced my fears head on. I ended up taking third place at the cadet national team trials that summer in Thailand, placed 3rd at the prep school equivalent of the Connecticut State Championships, 6th place at the New England Prep School championships, and went on to wrestle as a four-year starter at an NCAA Division 3 program.

Every single step of the way, technique played a huge role in my development.

You know what you should be doing, but can’t seem to do it. Sound familiar? From tons of experience, it means that you’re missing one piece of the puzzle and that your instructor neglected to explain it to you since he probably did this part subconsciously.
 
For example, let’s say you find yourself stuck in the same particular position. Maybe you’re getting extended on your shots. Maybe you’re telegraphing your attack to your opponents and they see it coming from a mile away.
 
Have you ever heard these words of advice?
“You gotta be tougher in there!” 
“It’s all about setting it up!”
“Maybe you just don’t have a feel for that.”
“You either have it or you don’t.”
“Don’t sweat it- your opponent just has god-given abilities.”
 
If you’ve ever heard these, do your best not to get offended. It’s not completely your fault. They might not technically be wrong, but they’re not as helpful as they could be. It’s another less embarrassing way of saying “I don’t know. That goes beyond some combination of my current technical understanding and my ability to explain to you how the technique works.”
 
You gotta get tougher in that position? Good. Let’s figure out exactly what you need to do in that position, grit your teeth, and go full throttle into that position.
 
Telling any half decent wrestler that they have to set up their attacks is obvious- they probably already know that. The next step is to figure out how or why something works. You’ll also need to figure out what you’re doing (or not doing) that’s preventing the setup from working.
 
You don’t have a feel for that? Some wrestlers do naturally gravitate towards certain moves, so there’s some merit to that. However, it’s more than possible to develop a feel for a move. You probably just haven’t spent enough time in the position to develop a technical understanding of it both physically and mentally. Of course, this takes time.
 
You either have it or you don’t? It’s true that some people naturally have it, but most people don’t realize that you can create it yourself. Does it take work? Of course, but it’s far better than just giving up by failing to acknowledge that it’s possible.
 
While it’s important to trust in your instructor, understand that you’ll also need to take ownership over your own technical development if you want to jump levels. That’s where I come in. I’m here to show you how to look at technique from both the macro and the micro levels. I’ll show you how it works and why it works.
 
It’s time to dig deeper.
I called up the Thai national team to train in freestyle wrestling. They welcomed the opportunity and said it was free since the program was sponsored by the government, but I’d effectively be living in poverty (we stayed in makeshift dorm rooms in what used to be waiting rooms in a small sports arena). Initially, I was so nervous that heart rate would spike just from the thought of it. At the age of sixteen, this would be far and away the hardest challenge I’d have ever faced in my life. That being said, it would also be the best thing I could do for myself at the time. Well, it turns out that I was right about both things.
 
The whole experience completely transformed me. My coach later told me that in his experience in coaching for over a decade, he had never seen anyone improve so much over one summer. My teammates voted me team captain, but I still didn’t get the results that I wanted. The following summer, I had the same option to train with the national team, and the thought of that made my heart rate spike once again.
 
Walking through a hallway at my high school, a quote attributed to Thucydides struck me one day.
 
“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.” -Thucydides
 
For whatever reason, I had never noticed this quote before, but the message was loud and clear. You see, the brave soul and the coward feel the same thing. The difference is how they respond to that feeling. Once again, I gritted my teeth and faced my fears head on. I ended up taking third place at the cadet national team trials that summer in Thailand, placed 3rd at the prep school equivalent of the Connecticut State Championships, 6th place at the New England Prep School championships, and went on to wrestle as a four-year starter at an NCAA Division 3 program.

Every single step of the way, technique played a huge role in my development.

You know what you should be doing, but can’t seem to do it. Sound familiar? From tons of experience, it means that you’re missing one piece of the puzzle and that your instructor neglected to explain it to you since he probably did this part subconsciously.
 
For example, let’s say you find yourself stuck in the same particular position. Maybe you’re getting extended on your shots. Maybe you’re telegraphing your attack to your opponents and they see it coming from a mile away.
 
Have you ever heard these words of advice?
“You gotta be tougher in there!” 
“It’s all about setting it up!”
“Maybe you just don’t have a feel for that.”
“You either have it or you don’t.”
“Don’t sweat it- your opponent just has god-given abilities.”
 
If you’ve ever heard these, do your best not to get offended. It’s not completely your fault. They might not technically be wrong, but they’re not as helpful as they could be. It’s another less embarrassing way of saying “I don’t know. That goes beyond some combination of my current technical understanding and my ability to explain to you how the technique works.”
 
You gotta get tougher in that position? Good. Let’s figure out exactly what you need to do in that position, grit your teeth, and go full throttle into that position.
 
Telling any half decent wrestler that they have to set up their attacks is obvious- they probably already know that. The next step is to figure out how or why something works. You’ll also need to figure out what you’re doing (or not doing) that’s preventing the setup from working.
 
You don’t have a feel for that? Some wrestlers do naturally gravitate towards certain moves, so there’s some merit to that. However, it’s more than possible to develop a feel for a move. You probably just haven’t spent enough time in the position to develop a technical understanding of it both physically and mentally. Of course, this takes time.
 
You either have it or you don’t? It’s true that some people naturally have it, but most people don’t realize that you can create it yourself. Does it take work? Of course, but it’s far better than just giving up by failing to acknowledge that it’s possible.
 
While it’s important to trust in your instructor, understand that you’ll also need to take ownership over your own technical development if you want to jump levels. That’s where I come in. I’m here to show you how to look at technique from both the macro and the micro levels. I’ll show you how it works and why it works.
 
It’s time to dig deeper.
I called up the Thai national team to train in freestyle wrestling. They welcomed the opportunity and said it was free since the program was sponsored by the government, but I’d effectively be living in poverty (we stayed in makeshift dorm rooms in what used to be waiting rooms in a small sports arena). Initially, I was so nervous that heart rate would spike just from the thought of it. At the age of sixteen, this would be far and away the hardest challenge I’d have ever faced in my life. That being said, it would also be the best thing I could do for myself at the time. Well, it turns out that I was right about both things.
 
The whole experience completely transformed me. My coach later told me that in his experience in coaching for over a decade, he had never seen anyone improve so much over one summer. My teammates voted me team captain, but I still didn’t get the results that I wanted. The following summer, I had the same option to train with the national team, and the thought of that made my heart rate spike once again.
 
Walking through a hallway at my high school, a quote attributed to Thucydides struck me one day.
 
“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.” -Thucydides
 
For whatever reason, I had never noticed this quote before, but the message was loud and clear. You see, the brave soul and the coward feel the same thing. The difference is how they respond to that feeling. Once again, I gritted my teeth and faced my fears head on. I ended up taking third place at the cadet national team trials that summer in Thailand, placed 3rd at the prep school equivalent of the Connecticut State Championships, 6th place at the New England Prep School championships, and went on to wrestle as a four-year starter at an NCAA Division 3 program.

Every single step of the way, technique played a huge role in my development.

You know what you should be doing, but can’t seem to do it. Sound familiar? From tons of experience, it means that you’re missing one piece of the puzzle and that your instructor neglected to explain it to you since he probably did this part subconsciously.
 
For example, let’s say you find yourself stuck in the same particular position. Maybe you’re getting extended on your shots. Maybe you’re telegraphing your attack to your opponents and they see it coming from a mile away.
 
Have you ever heard these words of advice?
“You gotta be tougher in there!” 
“It’s all about setting it up!”
“Maybe you just don’t have a feel for that.”
“You either have it or you don’t.”
“Don’t sweat it- your opponent just has god-given abilities.”
 
If you’ve ever heard these, do your best not to get offended. It’s not completely your fault. They might not technically be wrong, but they’re not as helpful as they could be. It’s another less embarrassing way of saying “I don’t know. That goes beyond some combination of my current technical understanding and my ability to explain to you how the technique works.”
 
You gotta get tougher in that position? Good. Let’s figure out exactly what you need to do in that position, grit your teeth, and go full throttle into that position.
 
Telling any half decent wrestler that they have to set up their attacks is obvious- they probably already know that. The next step is to figure out how or why something works. You’ll also need to figure out what you’re doing (or not doing) that’s preventing the setup from working.
 
You don’t have a feel for that? Some wrestlers do naturally gravitate towards certain moves, so there’s some merit to that. However, it’s more than possible to develop a feel for a move. You probably just haven’t spent enough time in the position to develop a technical understanding of it both physically and mentally. Of course, this takes time.
 
You either have it or you don’t? It’s true that some people naturally have it, but most people don’t realize that you can create it yourself. Does it take work? Of course, but it’s far better than just giving up by failing to acknowledge that it’s possible.
 
While it’s important to trust in your instructor, understand that you’ll also need to take ownership over your own technical development if you want to jump levels. That’s where I come in. I’m here to show you how to look at technique from both the macro and the micro levels. I’ll show you how it works and why it works.
 
It’s time to dig deeper.

Who Am I?

Hi, I’m Chayoot Chengsupanimit, but people just call me Che. I’m a former NCAA Division III collegiate wrestler, Thai national team member, and current combat sport enthusiast. I share the technical, physical, and mental lessons that I’ve learned over the course of my wrestling career.

Interested in my weekly updates? If you’re operating on a tight schedule and a tight budget, then I’ve got tons of stuff for you! All I need is your name and email. 

As a sign up bonus, you’ll also get access to all of the additional resources that supplement this guide.

Let me show you how to get to that next level even if you're on a budget and a busy schedule!

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email

Let me show you how to get to that next level even if you're on a budget and a busy schedule!

Who Am I?

Hi, I’m Chayoot Chengsupanimit, but people just call me Che. I’m a former NCAA Division III collegiate wrestler, Thai national team member, and current combat sport enthusiast. I share the technical, physical, and mental lessons that I’ve learned over the course of my wrestling career.

Interested in my weekly updates? If you’re operating on a tight schedule and a tight budget, then I’ve got tons of stuff for you! All I need is your name and email. 

As a sign up bonus, you’ll also get access to all of the additional resources that supplement this guide.

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email

Who Am I?

Hi, I’m Chayoot Chengsupanimit, but people just call me Che. I’m a former NCAA Division III collegiate wrestler, Thai national team member, and current combat sport enthusiast. I share the technical, physical, and mental lessons that I’ve learned over the course of my wrestling career.

Interested in my weekly updates? If you’re operating on a tight schedule and a tight budget, then I’ve got tons of stuff for you! All I need is your name and email. 

As a sign up bonus, you’ll also get access to all of the additional resources that supplement this guide.

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email

Let me show you how to get to that next level even if you're on a budget and a busy schedule!

Position: How to Improve Any Wrestling Takedown

Everything starts with a solid wrestling stance and most people still get it wrong. The best way to improve your offense and defense at the same time is to learn how to hold solid positioning. In this section you'll learn how to hold a rock-solid wrestling stance. You'll also understand why we do what we do with stance, and the body mechanics behind strong positioning.

Principles: How to Make Any Single Leg Takedown Effective

When you understand the few principles behind every successful single leg and how to apply them, you'll be able to learn single leg variations very quickly. By learning the principles, you'll pick up the technical details behind the single leg much faster since you'll essentially develop an intuitive sense of what you're looking to do. This is basically starting from the macro. Once you understand the concepts behind a successful single leg, you'll be able to tweak certain parts of your single leg takedown based on your own personal preference. You'll also be able to look at any single leg takedown and understand how or why any given variation works.

Single Leg Takedowns in Wrestling: Making the Principles Work For You

Now that you get the principles, here's a little something more concrete. Here, you'll learn the variations of the single leg and how they relate to certain styles or body types. Next, you'll learn the advantages of each single leg. Once you understand how each of these single leg takedowns work, you'll be able to master the most common single leg positions that you'll find yourself in. Don't worry- I'll show you those positions too.

Single Leg Finishes: Building Takedown Confidence to Attack Whenever You Want

Some people hesitate or are scared to shoot takedowns but don't understand why. I've found that the biggest obstacle is their lack of confidence in their ability to finish their takedown. Here, you'll learn the biggest key to gaining confidence in your takedowns. You'll also learn the two main categories behind single leg finishes. Once you are well-practiced using what you see in this section, you'll reach the point where you think to yourself, "once I can connect to that leg, this takedown's as good as mine."

Position: How to Improve Any Wrestling Takedown

Everything starts with a solid wrestling stance and most people still get it wrong. The best way to improve your offense and defense at the same time is to learn how to hold solid positioning. In this section you'll learn how to hold a rock-solid wrestling stance. You'll also understand why we do what we do with stance, and the body mechanics behind strong positioning.

Principles: How to Make Any Single Leg Takedown Effective

When you understand the few principles behind every successful single leg and how to apply them, you'll be able to learn single leg variations very quickly. By learning the principles, you'll pick up the technical details behind the single leg much faster since you'll essentially develop an intuitive sense of what you're looking to do. This is basically starting from the macro. Once you understand the concepts behind a successful single leg, you'll be able to tweak certain parts of your single leg takedown based on your own personal preference. You'll also be able to look at any single leg takedown and understand how or why any given variation works.

Single Leg Takedowns in Wrestling: Making the Principles Work For You

Now that you get the principles, here's a little something more concrete. Here, you'll learn the variations of the single leg and how they relate to certain styles or body types. Next, you'll learn the advantages of each single leg. Once you understand how each of these single leg takedowns work, you'll be able to master the most common single leg positions that you'll find yourself in. Don't worry- I'll show you those positions too.

Single Leg Finishes: Building Takedown Confidence to Attack Whenever You Want

Some people hesitate or are scared to shoot takedowns but don't understand why. I've found that the biggest obstacle is their lack of confidence in their ability to finish their takedown. Here, you'll learn the biggest key to gaining confidence in your takedowns. You'll also learn the two main categories behind single leg finishes. Once you are well-practiced using what you see in this section, you'll reach the point where you think to yourself, "once I can connect to that leg, this takedown's as good as mine."

Position: How to Improve Any Wrestling Takedown

Everything starts with a solid wrestling stance and most people still get it wrong. The best way to improve your offense and defense at the same time is to learn how to hold solid positioning. In this section you'll learn how to hold a rock-solid wrestling stance. You'll also understand why we do what we do with stance, and the body mechanics behind strong positioning.

Principles: How to Make Any Single Leg Takedown Effective

When you understand the few principles behind every successful single leg and how to apply them, you'll be able to learn single leg variations very quickly. By learning the principles, you'll pick up the technical details behind the single leg much faster since you'll essentially develop an intuitive sense of what you're looking to do. This is basically starting from the macro. Once you understand the concepts behind a successful single leg, you'll be able to tweak certain parts of your single leg takedown based on your own personal preference. You'll also be able to look at any single leg takedown and understand how or why any given variation works.

Single Leg Takedowns in Wrestling: Making the Principles Work For You

Now that you get the principles, here's a little something more concrete. Here, you'll learn the variations of the single leg and how they relate to certain styles or body types. Next, you'll learn the advantages of each single leg. Once you understand how each of these single leg takedowns work, you'll be able to master the most common single leg positions that you'll find yourself in. Don't worry- I'll show you those positions too.

Single Leg Finishes: Building Takedown Confidence to Attack Whenever You Want

Some people hesitate or are scared to shoot takedowns but don't understand why. I've found that the biggest obstacle is their lack of confidence in their ability to finish their takedown. Here, you'll learn the biggest key to gaining confidence in your takedowns. You'll also learn the two main categories behind single leg finishes. Once you are well-practiced using what you see in this section, you'll reach the point where you think to yourself, "once I can connect to that leg, this takedown's as good as mine."

Single Leg Set Ups: Making Your Takedowns Unstoppable

At the highest level, you'll see performers that are well known for certain techniques and attributes. Everyone seems to know what's coming and they still can't stop it. What's going on here? Well, this is a clear sign of true mastery. To get to this point, you need to master the small details, and now that you've gotten an understanding of takedowns and finishes, it's time to look at set ups. Set ups make your attack unpredictable. Here, I'll show you the principles behind a successful setup and how to apply them.

How to Improve Single Leg Takedowns: Drills, Sparring, Live, and Other Concepts

What's the biggest mistake in many practice sessions? The answer is too much live wrestling or grappling without enough emphasis put on drilling or sparring. In this section, you'll learn how different practice methods fit into the big picture while getting a better understanding of how to bring your single leg takedowns to the next level.

Putting Everything Together: Studying the Greats

At this point, you've got a pretty good idea of how the single leg takedown works. Now, I'll show you how some of the best in the world apply these principles. This section will show you some great examples of chain wrestling and holding great position. You'll also see the concept of depth over breadth at work.

Where Do You Go From Here?

You've learned a ton by reaching this section. Now, let's make it work for you. Find specific techniques, set ups, and finishes that work for you. If you've ever competed before and failed to execute something you learned in practice, we'll set expectations on the learning process. Finally, you'll learn other ways to improve your position during your attacks.

Single Leg Set Ups: Making Your Takedowns Unstoppable

At the highest level, you'll see performers that are well known for certain techniques and attributes. Everyone seems to know what's coming and they still can't stop it. What's going on here? Well, this is a clear sign of true mastery. To get to this point, you need to master the small details, and now that you've gotten an understanding of takedowns and finishes, it's time to look at set ups. Set ups make your attack unpredictable. Here, I'll show you the principles behind a successful setup and how to apply them.

How to Improve Single Leg Takedowns: Drills, Sparring, Live, and Other Concepts

What's the biggest mistake in many practice sessions? The answer is too much live wrestling or grappling without enough emphasis put on drilling or sparring. In this section, you'll learn how different practice methods fit into the big picture while getting a better understanding of how to bring your single leg takedowns to the next level.

Putting Everything Together: Studying the Greats

At this point, you've got a pretty good idea of how the single leg takedown works. Now, I'll show you how some of the best in the world apply these principles. This section will show you some great examples of chain wrestling and holding great position. You'll also see the concept of depth over breadth at work.

Where Do You Go From Here?

You've learned a ton by reaching this section. Now, let's make it work for you. Find specific techniques, set ups, and finishes that work for you. If you've ever competed before and failed to execute something you learned in practice, we'll set expectations on the learning process. Finally, you'll learn other ways to improve your position during your attacks.

Single Leg Set Ups: Making Your Takedowns Unstoppable

At the highest level, you'll see performers that are well known for certain techniques and attributes. Everyone seems to know what's coming and they still can't stop it. What's going on here? Well, this is a clear sign of true mastery. To get to this point, you need to master the small details, and now that you've gotten an understanding of takedowns and finishes, it's time to look at set ups. Set ups make your attack unpredictable. Here, I'll show you the principles behind a successful setup and how to apply them.

How to Improve Single Leg Takedowns: Drills, Sparring, Live, and Other Concepts

What's the biggest mistake in many practice sessions? The answer is too much live wrestling or grappling without enough emphasis put on drilling or sparring. In this section, you'll learn how different practice methods fit into the big picture while getting a better understanding of how to bring your single leg takedowns to the next level.

Putting Everything Together: Studying the Greats

At this point, you've got a pretty good idea of how the single leg takedown works. Now, I'll show you how some of the best in the world apply these principles. This section will show you some great examples of chain wrestling and holding great position. You'll also see the concept of depth over breadth at work.

Where Do You Go From Here?

You've learned a ton by reaching this section. Now, let's make it work for you. Find specific techniques, set ups, and finishes that work for you. If you've ever competed before and failed to execute something you learned in practice, we'll set expectations on the learning process. Finally, you'll learn other ways to improve your position during your attacks.

Running low on time? Want to read the guide later?

That’s okay. Let me send you a copy so you can read it whenever you want. Just let me know where to send it by filling out the form below.

When you sign up, I’ll also keep you updated with a few emails per week.

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“Did I just headbutt a brick wall?”
 
Tonight was certainly not a regular open mat session at the New York Athletic Club. The Bulgarian national team for the cadet age group was in town. A few coaches from the United States also showed up with their younger wrestlers. Individuals from Israel, Tajikistan, and Thailand also represented. My sparring partner this evening happened to be quite literally twice my size. Supposedly he was a former NFL lineman for the Saints (for you international readers, this is a professional American Football team). His experience was limited to several months of freestyle wrestling, but he had hoped to represent Israel at the European championships. Why not? This man was built like a tank. After showing him some technique, his regular training partner suggested that we did some live goes on the feet. A true demonstration of size and strength vs. technique and speed. A few exchanges happened, but no one scored points or really came close. With nearly ten years of wrestling experience, the advantage should have been mine. What the hell?
 
Coaches later pointed out that my tank of a sparring partner held incredible positioning in the form of something that resembled a wrestling stance. Without a doubt, he had learned this from his football days. This maximized his force output as well as ability to block my attacks. To my credit though, he couldn’t generate any offense on me either. The moral of the story? Technique and positioning are two sides of the same coin.
 
Everything starts with a solid wrestling stance. In terms of bang for your buck, the best way to improve your offense and defense at the same time is to learn how to hold solid positioning. 

Stance

In this section, you’ll learn how to hold a solid wrestling stance.
Your stance should be low, but not as low as a parallel squat. If this position isn’t familiar to you, your legs and core will mostly get tired and you’ll start to break position. No one said this was easy! High enough to move around relatively freely, but low enough to defend yourself from your opponent’s leg attacks.
Keep your shoulders roughly in line with your knees. If you’re too far forward, you leave yourself vulnerable to your opponent’s heavy hands. Too far backwards, and you lose balance while opening yourself to attacks.
Foot placement depends on your preference. A square stance (feet aligned with each other) puts you in a good position to block, but slows down your attack speed. A staggered stance is the stance of choice for most wrestlers, with the lead leg being the same side of your dominant arm. Think fencing, not boxing. This is because in general, you want more body control from your dominant side. However, there are exceptions. Some right handed wrestlers will still lead with their left foot forward. If you have experience in an orthodox stance like in boxing, this might make sense to you. Again, all preference. It’s easier to learn everything right-handed because the majority of instruction will be right handed. Of course, left-handed attacks are a bit harder to stop just because people aren’t used to it (this is more often the case at the lower levels. At the higher levels, it doesn’t matter nearly as much).
You’ll also see stylistic differences between an American stance vs. a European stance. You can succeed with both. It’s more tiring to hold position in an American stance, but much easier to generate offense. In the European stance, it’s less tiring to hold position, but you do need to transition to proper athletic position when you attack an opponent. Not coincidentally, American wrestlers tend to be more offense-oriented while European wrestlers tend to be more tactical (but again, there are exceptions).
Che in wrestling stance
“Did I just headbutt a brick wall?”
 
Tonight was certainly not a regular open mat session at the New York Athletic Club. The Bulgarian national team for the cadet age group was in town. A few coaches from the United States also showed up with their younger wrestlers. Individuals from Israel, Tajikistan, and Thailand also represented. My sparring partner this evening happened to be quite literally twice my size. Supposedly he was a former NFL lineman for the Saints (for you international readers, this is a professional American Football team). His experience was limited to several months of freestyle wrestling, but he had hoped to represent Israel at the European championships. Why not? This man was built like a tank. After showing him some technique, his regular training partner suggested that we did some live goes on the feet. A true demonstration of size and strength vs. technique and speed. A few exchanges happened, but no one scored points or really came close. With nearly ten years of wrestling experience, the advantage should have been mine. What the hell?
 
Coaches later pointed out that my tank of a sparring partner held incredible positioning in the form of something that resembled a wrestling stance. Without a doubt, he had learned this from his football days. This maximized his force output as well as ability to block my attacks. To my credit though, he couldn’t generate any offense on me either. The moral of the story? Technique and positioning are two sides of the same coin.
 
Everything starts with a solid wrestling stance. In terms of bang for your buck, the best way to improve your offense and defense at the same time is to learn how to hold solid positioning. 

Stance

In this section, you’ll learn how to hold a solid wrestling stance.
Your stance should be low, but not as low as a parallel squat. If this position isn’t familiar to you, your legs and core will mostly get tired and you’ll start to break position. No one said this was easy! High enough to move around relatively freely, but low enough to defend yourself from your opponent’s leg attacks.
Keep your shoulders roughly in line with your knees. If you’re too far forward, you leave yourself vulnerable to your opponent’s heavy hands. Too far backwards, and you lose balance while opening yourself to attacks.
Foot placement depends on your preference. A square stance (feet aligned with each other) puts you in a good position to block, but slows down your attack speed. A staggered stance is the stance of choice for most wrestlers, with the lead leg being the same side of your dominant arm. Think fencing, not boxing. This is because in general, you want more body control from your dominant side. However, there are exceptions. Some right handed wrestlers will still lead with their left foot forward. If you have experience in an orthodox stance like in boxing, this might make sense to you. Again, all preference. It’s easier to learn everything right-handed because the majority of instruction will be right handed. Of course, left-handed attacks are a bit harder to stop just because people aren’t used to it (this is more often the case at the lower levels. At the higher levels, it doesn’t matter nearly as much).
You’ll also see stylistic differences between an American stance vs. a European stance. You can succeed with both. It’s more tiring to hold position in an American stance, but much easier to generate offense. In the European stance, it’s less tiring to hold position, but you do need to transition to proper athletic position when you attack an opponent. Not coincidentally, American wrestlers tend to be more offense-oriented while European wrestlers tend to be more tactical (but again, there are exceptions).
Che in wrestling stance
“Did I just headbutt a brick wall?”
 
Tonight was certainly not a regular open mat session at the New York Athletic Club. The Bulgarian national team for the cadet age group was in town. A few coaches from the United States also showed up with their younger wrestlers. Individuals from Israel, Tajikistan, and Thailand also represented. My sparring partner this evening happened to be quite literally twice my size. Supposedly he was a former NFL lineman for the Saints (for you international readers, this is a professional American Football team). His experience was limited to several months of freestyle wrestling, but he had hoped to represent Israel at the European championships. Why not? This man was built like a tank. After showing him some technique, his regular training partner suggested that we did some live goes on the feet. A true demonstration of size and strength vs. technique and speed. A few exchanges happened, but no one scored points or really came close. With nearly ten years of wrestling experience, the advantage should have been mine. What the hell?
 
Coaches later pointed out that my tank of a sparring partner held incredible positioning in the form of something that resembled a wrestling stance. Without a doubt, he had learned this from his football days. This maximized his force output as well as ability to block my attacks. To my credit though, he couldn’t generate any offense on me either. The moral of the story? Technique and positioning are two sides of the same coin.
 
Everything starts with a solid wrestling stance. In terms of bang for your buck, the best way to improve your offense and defense at the same time is to learn how to hold solid positioning. 

Stance

In this section, you’ll learn how to hold a solid wrestling stance.
 
Your stance should be low, but not as low as a parallel squat. If this position isn’t familiar to you, your legs and core will mostly get tired and you’ll start to break position. No one said this was easy! High enough to move around relatively freely, but low enough to defend yourself from your opponent’s leg attacks.
 
Keep your shoulders roughly in line with your knees. If you’re too far forward, you leave yourself vulnerable to your opponent’s heavy hands. Too far backwards, and you lose balance while opening yourself to attacks.
 
Foot placement depends on your preference. A square stance (feet aligned with each other) puts you in a good position to block, but slows down your attack speed. A staggered stance is the stance of choice for most wrestlers, with the lead leg being the same side of your dominant arm. Think fencing, not boxing. This is because in general, you want more body control from your dominant side. However, there are exceptions. Some right handed wrestlers will still lead with their left foot forward. If you have experience in an orthodox stance like in boxing, this might make sense to you. Again, all preference. It’s easier to learn everything right-handed because the majority of instruction will be right handed. Of course, left-handed attacks are a bit harder to stop just because people aren’t used to it (this is more often the case at the lower levels. At the higher levels, it doesn’t matter nearly as much).
 
You’ll also see stylistic differences between an American stance vs. a European stance. You can succeed with both. It’s more tiring to hold position in an American stance, but much easier to generate offense. In the European stance, it’s less tiring to hold position, but you do need to transition to proper athletic position when you attack an opponent. Not coincidentally, American wrestlers tend to be more offense-oriented while European wrestlers tend to be more tactical (but again, there are exceptions).

Athletic Position

So what the hell is this athletic position that I keep talking about?
 
The main idea behind athletic position is to be able to generate the most power out of your own body. Physiologically, this means that your spine is straight and all your muscles are engaged from head to toe (where possible). When your spine is in alignment from hips to neck and your core is engaged, you’ll notice that you are much stronger and more stable. This is good news for you and bad news for your opponent.
 
Follow these principles and you’ll be in a good spot for athletic position.
  • Head up (mostly facing forward)
  • Back straight
  • Hips underneath
Some wrestlers or grapplers make the mistake of neglecting to check their own position. I’ve been guilty of this too. Just like you’d pay attention to your positioning while performing a compound lifting exercise like the front squat or the deadlift, you should give your own wrestling position the attention it deserves.
 
Take the analogy of a car with a six-cylinder engine, for example. Most people (wrestling or otherwise) are only operating at two cylinders. If you wanted to get stronger, you could theoretically get an engine with more cylinders (getting bigger) and hope that more of the cylinders are actually operating. Alternatively, you could go from operating at two cylinders to four cylinders (for purposes beyond the scope of this guide, I’ll skip the explanation on why getting all six cylinders to work is actually extremely difficult). The latter is far more useful in any weight-class driven sports like wrestling, judo, or jiu-jitsu.

Athletic Position

So what the hell is this athletic position that I keep talking about?
The main idea behind athletic position is to be able to generate the most power out of your own body. Physiologically, this means that your spine is straight and all your muscles are engaged from head to toe (where possible). When your spine is in alignment from hips to neck and your core is engaged, you’ll notice that you are much stronger and more stable. This is good news for you and bad news for your opponent.
Follow these principles and you’ll be in a good spot for athletic position.
  • Head up (mostly facing forward)
  • Back straight
  • Hips underneath
Some wrestlers or grapplers make the mistake of neglecting to check their own position. I’ve been guilty of this too. Just like you’d pay attention to your positioning while performing a compound lifting exercise like the front squat or the deadlift, you should give your own wrestling position the attention it deserves.
Take the analogy of a car with a six-cylinder engine, for example. Most people (wrestling or otherwise) are only operating at two cylinders. If you wanted to get stronger, you could theoretically get an engine with more cylinders (getting bigger) and hope that more of the cylinders are actually operating. Alternatively, you could go from operating at two cylinders to four cylinders (for purposes beyond the scope of this guide, I’ll skip the explanation on why getting all six cylinders to work is actually extremely difficult). The latter is far more useful in any weight-class driven sports like wrestling, judo, or jiu-jitsu.

Athletic Position

So what the hell is this athletic position that I keep talking about?
 
The main idea behind athletic position is to be able to generate the most power out of your own body. Physiologically, this means that your spine is straight and all your muscles are engaged from head to toe (where possible). When your spine is in alignment from hips to neck and your core is engaged, you’ll notice that you are much stronger and more stable. This is good news for you and bad news for your opponent.
 
Follow these principles and you’ll be in a good spot for athletic position.
  • Head up (mostly facing forward)
  • Back straight
  • Hips underneath
Some wrestlers or grapplers make the mistake of neglecting to check their own position. I’ve been guilty of this too. Just like you’d pay attention to your positioning while performing a compound lifting exercise like the front squat or the deadlift, you should give your own wrestling position the attention it deserves.
 
Take the analogy of a car with a six-cylinder engine, for example. Most people (wrestling or otherwise) are only operating at two cylinders. If you wanted to get stronger, you could theoretically get an engine with more cylinders (getting bigger) and hope that more of the cylinders are actually operating. Alternatively, you could go from operating at two cylinders to four cylinders (for purposes beyond the scope of this guide, I’ll skip the explanation on why getting all six cylinders to work is actually extremely difficult). The latter is far more useful in any weight-class driven sports like wrestling, judo, or jiu-jitsu.

Key Positional Points in a Leg Attack (and any Technique)

Pay attention to the following points when studying any technique.
  • Head positioning. Is the head straight? Where is the head relative to the opponent’s body?
  • Posture. Is the back in a straight line? If the wrestler is skilled, the answer is almost always yes.
  • Base. What base support is the wrestler using? Feet, knees, elbows, or hands?
  • Limbs. Where are the limbs positioning in this technique? What is the wrestler doing with the other feet, knees, elbows, and hands that aren’t used as base support?

Key Positional Points in a Leg Attack (and any Technique)

Pay attention to the following points when studying any technique.
  • Head positioning. Is the head straight? Where is the head relative to the opponent’s body?
  • Posture. Is the back in a straight line? If the wrestler is skilled, the answer is almost always yes.
  • Base. What base support is the wrestler using? Feet, knees, elbows, or hands?
  • Limbs. Where are the limbs positioning in this technique? What is the wrestler doing with the other feet, knees, elbows, and hands that aren’t used as base support?

Key Positional Points in a Leg Attack (and any Technique)

Pay attention to the following points when studying any technique.
  • Head positioning. Is the head straight? Where is the head relative to the opponent’s body?
  • Posture. Is the back in a straight line? If the wrestler is skilled, the answer is almost always yes.
  • Base. What base support is the wrestler using? Feet, knees, elbows, or hands?
  • Limbs. Where are the limbs positioning in this technique? What is the wrestler doing with the other feet, knees, elbows, and hands that aren’t used as base support?

Would you like a few more examples of how to analyze good positioning?

I have a blog post and a video I can send your way. Just let me know who I’m sending it to.

When you sign up, I’ll also keep you updated with a few emails per week.

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Would you like a few more examples of how to analyze good positioning?

I have a blog post and a video I can send your way. Just let me know who I’m sending it to.

When you sign up, I’ll also keep you updated with a few emails per week.

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Would you like a few more examples of how to analyze good positioning?

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When you sign up, I’ll also keep you updated with a few emails per week.

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Now that you have some idea of what solid positioning looks like, we’ve got one last bit of foundational knowledge for you before we move onto single legs!
 
As you may be aware, there are tons of different and equally effective variations to the single leg takedown. Most world class wrestlers will have their own personal twist or detailed nuance to the single leg. It’s possible to study all of them, but that is extremely time consuming. Instead, let’s start with the principles that they all have in common and work from there. This way, when you see a new variation of the single leg, you won’t feel like you’re learning a new single leg from the ground up each and every time. 

The Main Principles Behind a Takedown

  • Maintain strong athletic position. We covered this in the previous section.
  • Secure the leg that you’re attacking. Have a good enough grip on the leg so that they can’t kick away unless your position is compromised (in which case you recover strong position even if you need to let go of the leg).
  • While in control of their base, displace their center of gravity relative to their base support. In other words, you’re blocking their base and either pushing or pulling your opponent into empty space.
For a single leg takedown in particular, you have already secured control of one of their bases. Your goal is to knock the other base down (their other leg). Their center of gravity is their hips, so you’ll be pushing or pulling your opponent’s hips into empty space to bring them to the ground. 
 
Let’s use the analogy of a four-legged table. If you take out one of its legs, it may be able to stand, but it will certainly have significantly less balance. If you take out two legs, the table will almost certainly fall over. The same concept is true for finishing a single leg takedown.
 
There you have it! The principles. These principles are true for every leg attack. The final principle (displacing your opponent’s center of gravity relative to their base support) is the main principle behind every takedown that you can think of.
Now that you have some idea of what solid positioning looks like, we’ve got one last bit of foundational knowledge for you before we move onto single legs!
 
As you may be aware, there are tons of different and equally effective variations to the single leg takedown. Most world class wrestlers will have their own personal twist or detailed nuance to the single leg. It’s possible to study all of them, but that is extremely time consuming. Instead, let’s start with the principles that they all have in common and work from there. This way, when you see a new variation of the single leg, you won’t feel like you’re learning a new single leg from the ground up each and every time. 

The Main Principles Behind a Takedown

  • Maintain strong athletic position. We covered this in the previous section.
  • Secure the leg that you’re attacking. Have a good enough grip on the leg so that they can’t kick away unless your position is compromised (in which case you recover strong position even if you need to let go of the leg).
  • While in control of their base, displace their center of gravity relative to their base support. In other words, you’re blocking their base and either pushing or pulling your opponent into empty space.
For a single leg takedown in particular, you have already secured control of one of their bases. Your goal is to knock the other base down (their other leg). Their center of gravity is their hips, so you’ll be pushing or pulling your opponent’s hips into empty space to bring them to the ground. 
 
Let’s use the analogy of a four-legged table. If you take out one of its legs, it may be able to stand, but it will certainly have significantly less balance. If you take out two legs, the table will almost certainly fall over. The same concept is true for finishing a single leg takedown.
 
There you have it! The principles. These principles are true for every leg attack. The final principle (displacing your opponent’s center of gravity relative to their base support) is the main principle behind every takedown that you can think of.
Now that you have some idea of what solid positioning looks like, we’ve got one last bit of foundational knowledge for you before we move onto single legs!
 
As you may be aware, there are tons of different and equally effective variations to the single leg takedown. Most world class wrestlers will have their own personal twist or detailed nuance to the single leg. It’s possible to study all of them, but that is extremely time consuming. Instead, let’s start with the principles that they all have in common and work from there. This way, when you see a new variation of the single leg, you won’t feel like you’re learning a new single leg from the ground up each and every time. 

The Main Principles Behind a Takedown

  • Maintain strong athletic position. We covered this in the previous section.
  • Secure the leg that you’re attacking. Have a good enough grip on the leg so that they can’t kick away unless your position is compromised (in which case you recover strong position even if you need to let go of the leg).
  • While in control of their base, displace their center of gravity relative to their base support. In other words, you’re blocking their base and either pushing or pulling your opponent into empty space.
For a single leg takedown in particular, you have already secured control of one of their bases. Your goal is to knock the other base down (their other leg). Their center of gravity is their hips, so you’ll be pushing or pulling your opponent’s hips into empty space to bring them to the ground. 
 
Let’s use the analogy of a four-legged table. If you take out one of its legs, it may be able to stand, but it will certainly have significantly less balance. If you take out two legs, the table will almost certainly fall over. The same concept is true for finishing a single leg takedown.
 
There you have it! The principles. These principles are true for every leg attack. The final principle (displacing your opponent’s center of gravity relative to their base support) is the main principle behind every takedown that you can think of.

Running low on time? Want to read the guide later?

That’s okay. Let me send you a copy so you can read it whenever you want. Just let me know where to send it by filling out the form below.

When you sign up, I’ll also keep you updated with a few emails per week.

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Running low on time? Want to read the guide later?

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When you sign up, I’ll also keep you updated with a few emails per week.

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Running low on time? Want to read the guide later?

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Single legs can be divided into three main categories: high, mid-level, and low.
 
For future reference, virtually nobody says “mid-level singles”. They’ll typically just refer to three variations as high singles, single legs, and low singles.

High Single

High singles are easiest to learn since you don’t need to get into the complexities of the penetration step (which is where most beginners make their mistakes). For the high single, you step towards your opponent’s leg, put your forehead to their chest, and grab the back of their knee with your arms. This variation is great if your opponent stands up in a very high stance or if you don’t want to drop to your knees with a single leg (due to a knee injury, for example).
 

Mid Level Single

Mid level singles are the most common variation you’ll see in grappling because you have the most options with set ups and finishes. With the mid level single, you can finish your takedown as a high single or as a low single, so you get more flexibility with your options. However, this also means that it’ll take longer to master.
 
The basics are simple enough to learn, but it does take longer to learn than the high single since the penetration step is introduced. If you follow the principles I mentioned earlier, though, your single leg will be much more effective early on.

Low Single

Low singles are generally the favorite for fast and technical wrestlers since the attack focuses on precision and leverage (though there are exceptions). Setups are somewhat limited because you’ll tend to shoot a low single from a slightly farther distance. 
 
Done wrong, a failed low single also puts you in a bad position where you’re extended and your opponent can put their weight on top of you like a sprawl, so there is more room for error than the other two variations. The plus side is that with the additional technical mastery, it’s also potentially the least energy consuming of the single legs, which is why it tends to be the energy-efficient attack of choice for quick and technical wrestlers that can pull it off.

What’s next?

Choose your leg attack variation, learn the key finishing positions in that variation, and then master the set ups. This sequence is unorthodox but there is a reason to the madness.
 
At the beginner levels, you can get a lot of mileage out of a mediocre set up but your inability to finish will put you in all kinds of trouble. You may also develop bad positional habits down the road if you’re used to getting extended as well.
 
Of course, I don’t mean have zero knowledge of how to set up an attack. Learn the basics there, but sharpen them after you feel confident in your finishes. Wrestlers tend to hesitate on their attacks due to their inability to finish their takedowns, so we want to mitigate this as much as possible. 
 
Single legs can be divided into three main categories: high, mid-level, and low.
 
For future reference, virtually nobody says “mid-level singles”. They’ll typically just refer to three variations as high singles, single legs, and low singles.

High Single

High singles are easiest to learn since you don’t need to get into the complexities of the penetration step (which is where most beginners make their mistakes). For the high single, you step towards your opponent’s leg, put your forehead to their chest, and grab the back of their knee with your arms. This variation is great if your opponent stands up in a very high stance or if you don’t want to drop to your knees with a single leg (due to a knee injury, for example).
 

Mid Level Single

Mid level singles are the most common variation you’ll see in grappling because you have the most options with set ups and finishes. With the mid level single, you can finish your takedown as a high single or as a low single, so you get more flexibility with your options. However, this also means that it’ll take longer to master.
 
The basics are simple enough to learn, but it does take longer to learn than the high single since the penetration step is introduced. If you follow the principles I mentioned earlier, though, your single leg will be much more effective early on.

Low Single

Low singles are generally the favorite for fast and technical wrestlers since the attack focuses on precision and leverage (though there are exceptions). Setups are somewhat limited because you’ll tend to shoot a low single from a slightly farther distance. 
 
Done wrong, a failed low single also puts you in a bad position where you’re extended and your opponent can put their weight on top of you like a sprawl, so there is more room for error than the other two variations. The plus side is that with the additional technical mastery, it’s also potentially the least energy consuming of the single legs, which is why it tends to be the energy-efficient attack of choice for quick and technical wrestlers that can pull it off.

What’s next?

Choose your leg attack variation, learn the key finishing positions in that variation, and then master the set ups. This sequence is unorthodox but there is a reason to the madness.
 
At the beginner levels, you can get a lot of mileage out of a mediocre set up but your inability to finish will put you in all kinds of trouble. You may also develop bad positional habits down the road if you’re used to getting extended as well.
 
Of course, I don’t mean have zero knowledge of how to set up an attack. Learn the basics there, but sharpen them after you feel confident in your finishes. Wrestlers tend to hesitate on their attacks due to their inability to finish their takedowns, so we want to mitigate this as much as possible. 
 
Single legs can be divided into three main categories: high, mid-level, and low.
 
For future reference, virtually nobody says “mid-level singles”. They’ll typically just refer to three variations as high singles, single legs, and low singles.

High Single

High singles are easiest to learn since you don’t need to get into the complexities of the penetration step (which is where most beginners make their mistakes). For the high single, you step towards your opponent’s leg, put your forehead to their chest, and grab the back of their knee with your arms. This variation is great if your opponent stands up in a very high stance or if you don’t want to drop to your knees with a single leg (due to a knee injury, for example).
 

Mid Level Single

Mid level singles are the most common variation you’ll see in grappling because you have the most options with set ups and finishes. With the mid level single, you can finish your takedown as a high single or as a low single, so you get more flexibility with your options. However, this also means that it’ll take longer to master.
 
The basics are simple enough to learn, but it does take longer to learn than the high single since the penetration step is introduced. If you follow the principles I mentioned earlier, though, your single leg will be much more effective early on.

Low Single

Low singles are generally the favorite for fast and technical wrestlers since the attack focuses on precision and leverage (though there are exceptions). Setups are somewhat limited because you’ll tend to shoot a low single from a slightly farther distance. 
 
Done wrong, a failed low single also puts you in a bad position where you’re extended and your opponent can put their weight on top of you like a sprawl, so there is more room for error than the other two variations. The plus side is that with the additional technical mastery, it’s also potentially the least energy consuming of the single legs, which is why it tends to be the energy-efficient attack of choice for quick and technical wrestlers that can pull it off.

What’s next?

Choose your leg attack variation, learn the key finishing positions in that variation, and then master the set ups. This sequence is unorthodox but there is a reason to the madness.
 
At the beginner levels, you can get a lot of mileage out of a mediocre set up but your inability to finish will put you in all kinds of trouble. You may also develop bad positional habits down the road if you’re used to getting extended as well.
 
Of course, I don’t mean have zero knowledge of how to set up an attack. Learn the basics there, but sharpen them after you feel confident in your finishes. Wrestlers tend to hesitate on their attacks due to their inability to finish their takedowns, so we want to mitigate this as much as possible. 
 

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WORD OF WARNING: This is the longest section of the ultimate guide, but probably the most useful to your mastery of the single leg takedown.

WORD OF WARNING: This is the longest section of the ultimate guide, but probably the most useful to your mastery of the single leg takedown.

WORD OF WARNING: This is the longest section of the ultimate guide, but probably the most useful to your mastery of the single leg takedown.

Finishing the single leg is possibly one of the biggest problem areas for most wrestlers at all levels. Inability to finish kills your attacking confidence and also puts you in danger of exposing yourself to a counter. For this reason, I recommend you get to the point where you feel very comfortable finishing your single leg takedowns before learning setups. 
 
After securing the single leg, finishes fall under two categories:
  1. Pull opponent into empty space
  2. Push opponent into empty space
Once your opponent gets to the ground, securing control and working up to their core for more control becomes much easier.
 
Just like there are three main categories of single legs, there are three main levels where you’ll see finishes fall into:
  • On the mat
  • Mid level
  • Standing
For examples, check out the following grid.
Finishing the single leg is possibly one of the biggest problem areas for most wrestlers at all levels. Inability to finish kills your attacking confidence and also puts you in danger of exposing yourself to a counter. For this reason, I recommend you get to the point where you feel very comfortable finishing your single leg takedowns before learning setups. 
 
After securing the single leg, finishes fall under two categories:
  1. Pull opponent into empty space
  2. Push opponent into empty space
Once your opponent gets to the ground, securing control and working up to their core for more control becomes much easier.
 
Just like there are three main categories of single legs, there are three main levels where you’ll see finishes fall into:
  • On the mat
  • Mid level
  • Standing
For examples, check out the following grid.
Finishing the single leg is possibly one of the biggest problem areas for most wrestlers at all levels. Inability to finish kills your attacking confidence and also puts you in danger of exposing yourself to a counter. For this reason, I recommend you get to the point where you feel very comfortable finishing your single leg takedowns before learning setups. 
 
After securing the single leg, finishes fall under two categories:
  1. Pull opponent into empty space
  2. Push opponent into empty space
Once your opponent gets to the ground, securing control and working up to their core for more control becomes much easier.
 
Just like there are three main categories of single legs, there are three main levels where you’ll see finishes fall into:
  • On the mat
  • Mid level
  • Standing
For examples, check out the following grid.

On the Mat

Pull Into Empty Space

Cut back

Push Into Empty Space

Shelf, backside double

On the Mat

Pull Into Empty Space

Cut back

Push Into Empty Space

Shelf, backside double

On the Mat – Pull Into Empty Space

Cut back

On the Mat – Push Into Empty Space

Shelf, backside double

Mid Level

Run the pike/pipe

Note: The example is with the head outside, but you can do it with the head inside too.

Barzigar

Note: They’re drilling double legs in this video, but the Barzigar finish works for single legs too.

Mid Level

Run the pike/pipe

Note: The example is with the head outside, but you can do it with the head inside too.

Barzigar

Note: They’re drilling double legs in this video, but the Barzigar finish works for single legs too.

Mid Level – Pull Into Empty Space

Run the pike/pipe

Note: The example is with the head outside, but you can do it with the head inside too.

Mid Level – Push Into Empty Space

Barzigar

Note: They’re drilling double legs in this video, but the Barzigar finish works for single legs too.

Standing

Club head, pull

Foot sweep

Standing

Club head, pull

Foot sweep

Standing – Pull Into Empty Space

Club head, pull

Standing – Push Into Empty Space

Foot Sweep

There are more finishing variations out there, but learning these six finishes should get you very far. Sometimes, when your opponent resists your takedowns, you’ll need to alternate between pushing and puling finishes in order to secure your takedown. For this reason, learn both the pulling and pushing finishes for each level as a pair.

Common Counters

Of course, an experienced opponent won’t stand there and let you do what you want with him. Defensive techniques to a single leg typically fall under four categories:

Sprawl

Whizzer

Limp-leg / Step-out

Funk

There are more finishing variations out there, but learning these six finishes should get you very far. Sometimes, when your opponent resists your takedowns, you’ll need to alternate between pushing and puling finishes in order to secure your takedown. For this reason, learn both the pulling and pushing finishes for each level as a pair.

Common Counters

Of course, an experienced opponent won’t stand there and let you do what you want with him. Defensive techniques to a single leg typically fall under four categories:

Sprawl

Whizzer

Limp-leg / Step-out

Funk

There are more finishing variations out there, but learning these six finishes should get you very far. Sometimes, when your opponent resists your takedowns, you’ll need to alternate between pushing and puling finishes in order to secure your takedown. For this reason, learn both the pulling and pushing finishes for each level as a pair.

Common Counters

Of course, an experienced opponent won’t stand there and let you do what you want with him. Defensive techniques to a single leg typically fall under four categories:

Sprawl

Whizzer

Limp-leg / Step-out

Funk

Sprawl

Sprawls put you in the most trouble. Remember that takedown principle of securing control of their base in order to displace their center of gravity? In a sprawl, your opponent’s center of gravity (hips) blocks you from reaching their base (legs). 
 
The three main responses to a sprawl are as follows.
Circle around, get an angle
To secure the leg, simply driving through your opponent isn’t an efficient use of your horsepower since you’re trying to outmuscle your opponent from a position of significant disadvantage. One option is to circle around your opponent and get an angle on the leg. Once you do this, you’ll be able to finish from the mat.
Reset position, get back to the feet
This puts you in the least amount of danger since you’ll be going back to a neutral position where neither wrestler has the advantage. The downside? You’re no closer to getting that takedown.
Up the middle, turn around
This position is far more common at the beginner and intermediate level (at least in the United States) than at the advanced level for some reason. Why is this the case? Well, part of the reason is that in order for this move to work, there needs to be space between your opponent’s hips and the mat. This is generally not the case when the opponent has a great sprawl (but it does happen sometimes).
Experienced opponents can come up with all sorts of counters from this position since your own legs are now exposed to your opponent. Once your opponent is elevated, the main idea is to pick one side, secure the leg, and turn around to face your opponent in order to establish control.

Sprawl

Sprawls put you in the most trouble. Remember that takedown principle of securing control of their base in order to displace their center of gravity? In a sprawl, your opponent’s center of gravity (hips) blocks you from reaching their base (legs). 
 
The three main responses to a sprawl are as follows.
Circle around, get an angle
To secure the leg, simply driving through your opponent isn’t an efficient use of your horsepower since you’re trying to outmuscle your opponent from a position of significant disadvantage. One option is to circle around your opponent and get an angle on the leg. Once you do this, you’ll be able to finish from the mat.
Reset position, get back to the feet
This puts you in the least amount of danger since you’ll be going back to a neutral position where neither wrestler has the advantage. The downside? You’re no closer to getting that takedown.
Up the middle, turn around
This position is far more common at the beginner and intermediate level (at least in the United States) than at the advanced level for some reason. Why is this the case? Well, part of the reason is that in order for this move to work, there needs to be space between your opponent’s hips and the mat. This is generally not the case when the opponent has a great sprawl (but it does happen sometimes).
Experienced opponents can come up with all sorts of counters from this position since your own legs are now exposed to your opponent. Once your opponent is elevated, the main idea is to pick one side, secure the leg, and turn around to face your opponent in order to establish control.

Sprawl

Sprawls put you in the most trouble. Remember that takedown principle of securing control of their base in order to displace their center of gravity? In a sprawl, your opponent’s center of gravity (hips) blocks you from reaching their base (legs). 
 
The three main responses to a sprawl are as follows.
Circle around, get an angle
To secure the leg, simply driving through your opponent isn’t an efficient use of your horsepower since you’re trying to outmuscle your opponent from a position of significant disadvantage. One option is to circle around your opponent and get an angle on the leg. Once you do this, you’ll be able to finish from the mat.
Reset position, get back to the feet
This puts you in the least amount of danger since you’ll be going back to a neutral position where neither wrestler has the advantage. The downside? You’re no closer to getting that takedown.
Up the middle, turn around
This position is far more common at the beginner and intermediate level (at least in the United States) than at the advanced level for some reason. Why is this the case? Well, part of the reason is that in order for this move to work, there needs to be space between your opponent’s hips and the mat. This is generally not the case when the opponent has a great sprawl (but it does happen sometimes).
Experienced opponents can come up with all sorts of counters from this position since your own legs are now exposed to your opponent. Once your opponent is elevated, the main idea is to pick one side, secure the leg, and turn around to face your opponent in order to establish control.

Sprawl

Sprawls put you in the most trouble. Remember that takedown principle of securing control of their base in order to displace their center of gravity? In a sprawl, your opponent’s center of gravity (hips) blocks you from reaching their base (legs). 
 
The three main responses to a sprawl are as follows.

Circle around, get an angle

To secure the leg, simply driving through your opponent isn’t an efficient use of your horsepower since you’re trying to outmuscle your opponent from a position of significant disadvantage. One option is to circle around your opponent and get an angle on the leg. Once you do this, you’ll be able to finish from the mat.

Reset position, get back to the feet

This puts you in the least amount of danger since you’ll be going back to a neutral position where neither wrestler has the advantage. The downside? You’re no closer to getting that takedown.

Up the middle, turn around

This position is far more common at the beginner and intermediate level (at least in the United States) than at the advanced level for some reason. Why is this the case? Well, part of the reason is that in order for this move to work, there needs to be space between your opponent’s hips and the mat. This is generally not the case when the opponent has a great sprawl (but it does happen sometimes).
Experienced opponents can come up with all sorts of counters from this position since your own legs are now exposed to your opponent. Once your opponent is elevated, the main idea is to pick one side, secure the leg, and turn around to face your opponent in order to establish control.

Whizzer

In technical terms, the sprawl created distance between you and your opponent’s base by blocking you with your opponent’s center of gravity. An opponent’s whizzer basically serves to block you off from securing your opponent’s base too, but instead of using just hip pressure, they’re also using their arm to block you. 
 
Wrestlers tend to do one of two things with their whizzer.

Pull opponent up whizzer

If you opponent does this right, you lose control of the leg and end up in an underhook. You can either use the underhook or clear the underhook and return to neutral position.

Pressure down whizzer

To clear the pressure down whizzer, guess what you need to do? If you guessed “displace their center of gravity relative to base support”, you were right. Pressure down whizzers are effective when your opponent can shift their center of gravity (by putting as much of their weight as possible) right above their base. To prevent this, you’ll need to apply shoulder pressure, pull the leg towards you, and elevate the leg.
 
There are several ways to apply this principle, but here are two examples:

Elevate leg, work to the body

Hook leg, limp arm

Whizzer

In technical terms, the sprawl created distance between you and your opponent’s base by blocking you with your opponent’s center of gravity. An opponent’s whizzer basically serves to block you off from securing your opponent’s base too, but instead of using just hip pressure, they’re also using their arm to block you. 
 
Wrestlers tend to do one of two things with their whizzer.

Pull opponent up whizzer

If you opponent does this right, you lose control of the leg and end up in an underhook. You can either use the underhook or clear the underhook and return to neutral position.

Pressure down whizzer

To clear the pressure down whizzer, guess what you need to do? If you guessed “displace their center of gravity relative to base support”, you were right. Pressure down whizzers are effective when your opponent can shift their center of gravity (by putting as much of their weight as possible) right above their base. To prevent this, you’ll need to apply shoulder pressure, pull the leg towards you, and elevate the leg.
 
There are several ways to apply this principle, but here are two examples:

Elevate leg, work to the body

Hook leg, limp arm

Whizzer

In technical terms, the sprawl created distance between you and your opponent’s base by blocking you with your opponent’s center of gravity. An opponent’s whizzer basically serves to block you off from securing your opponent’s base too, but instead of using just hip pressure, they’re also using their arm to block you. 
 
Wrestlers tend to do one of two things with their whizzer.

Pull opponent up whizzer

If you opponent does this right, you lose control of the leg and end up in an underhook. You can either use the underhook or clear the underhook and return to neutral position.

Pressure down whizzer

To clear the pressure down whizzer, guess what you need to do? If you guessed “displace their center of gravity relative to base support”, you were right. Pressure down whizzers are effective when your opponent can shift their center of gravity (by putting as much of their weight as possible) right above their base. To prevent this, you’ll need to apply shoulder pressure, pull the leg towards you, and elevate the leg.
 
There are several ways to apply this principle, but here are two examples:

Elevate leg, work to the body

Hook leg, limp arm

Kick-out or Step-out

This one’s self explanatory. Basically, your opponent is forcefully trying to break free of the leg. To achieve this, your opponent will usually have to knock you off balance to loosen your grip of the leg.
 
If you can keep the leg secure without breaking your position, however, your opponent’s back will be exposed.

Here, Kyle Dake maintains solid position despite the backflip kickout attempt and manages to finish the single leg takedown.

Kick-out or Step-out

This one’s self explanatory. Basically, your opponent is forcefully trying to break free of the leg. To achieve this, your opponent will usually have to knock you off balance to loosen your grip of the leg.
 
If you can keep the leg secure without breaking your position, however, your opponent’s back will be exposed.

Here, Kyle Dake maintains solid position despite the backflip kickout attempt and manages to finish the single leg takedown.

Kick-out or Step-out

This one’s self explanatory. Basically, your opponent is forcefully trying to break free of the leg. To achieve this, your opponent will usually have to knock you off balance to loosen your grip of the leg.
 
If you can keep the leg secure without breaking your position, however, your opponent’s back will be exposed.

Here, Kyle Dake maintains solid position despite the backflip kickout attempt and manages to finish the single leg takedown.

Funk/Scramble

Wrestling is always evolving so this is harder to explain in textbook fashion. The principles don’t change though. When your opponent initiates a scramble, keep your hips low, your head high, and base away from your opponent. If you have to give up control of the leg to do so, that’s fine since you’ll essentially shift from an advantageous offensive position to an advantageous defensive position.
 
Many injuries happen as a result of scrambles so be extremely careful. Giving up a takedown is smarter than giving up several weeks or months of practice due to a serious injury.
 
This concept is extremely hard to explain so here are some examples.
Overwhelmed and confused? Don’t worry! That was a lot of information to take in. I introduced those positions in that order on purpose, so just start from the fundamental finishes and work your way into the common counters from the order it was presented to you.

Funk/Scramble

Wrestling is always evolving so this is harder to explain in textbook fashion. The principles don’t change though. When your opponent initiates a scramble, keep your hips low, your head high, and base away from your opponent. If you have to give up control of the leg to do so, that’s fine since you’ll essentially shift from an advantageous offensive position to an advantageous defensive position.
 
Many injuries happen as a result of scrambles so be extremely careful. Giving up a takedown is smarter than giving up several weeks or months of practice due to a serious injury.
 
This concept is extremely hard to explain so here are some examples.
Overwhelmed and confused? Don’t worry! That was a lot of information to take in. I introduced those positions in that order on purpose, so just start from the fundamental finishes and work your way into the common counters from the order it was presented to you.

Funk/Scramble

Wrestling is always evolving so this is harder to explain in textbook fashion. The principles don’t change though. When your opponent initiates a scramble, keep your hips low, your head high, and base away from your opponent. If you have to give up control of the leg to do so, that’s fine since you’ll essentially shift from an advantageous offensive position to an advantageous defensive position.
 
Many injuries happen as a result of scrambles so be extremely careful. Giving up a takedown is smarter than giving up several weeks or months of practice due to a serious injury.
 
This concept is extremely hard to explain so here are some examples.
Overwhelmed and confused? Don’t worry! That was a lot of information to take in. I introduced those positions in that order on purpose, so just start from the fundamental finishes and work your way into the common counters from the order it was presented to you.

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The Jordan Burroughs double leg.
The John Smith low single.
The Cael Sanderson ankle pick.
The Dave Schultz front headlock.
 
It takes an incredibly high level of mastery to be notorious for certain moves at that level. What do these moves have in common? 
 
Everyone knows what’s coming but they just can’t stop it.
 
How is that possible?
 
Set ups! 
 
You see, after drilling single leg finishes for some time, you’ll eventually feel pretty comfortable with them. At some point, your training partners and opponents will definitely know what’s coming. When your opponent can successfully predict your attack and defend it effectively, you are at a serious advantage.
 
A common mistake is to learn a ton of different attacks to compensate for this predictability. This works to some extent, of course. Great wrestlers often have more than one move in their repertoire, but generally not more than that. As you might have seen from the previous section, you could be spending a lot of time figuring out a bunch of new positions.
 
Also, it’s not like your opponent hasn’t seen that new technique before from someone else. Learning a ton of different moves but having a shallow understanding of all of them doesn’t go very far against high level competition.
 
That brings us back to set ups. You already know the finer points of the move, so now it’s time to keep your opponent guessing and feeling helpless by refining your set ups.

The Set Up: Principles

You guessed it. More principles! This time, though, it’ll work a little differently. These principles aren’t necessarily in chronological order. You also don’t need to have done all of them to create an effective set up. Think of it as a checklist for best practices. The more of these you can do at one time, the more successful your set up will be.
 
Break your opponent’s position. Throw jab fakes, pull their head down, snap them down to the mat, push them, make them step forward by circling or pulling them, etc.
 
Put yourself within shooting distance. Close the distance on your opponent and get a good feel for how far away from your opponent you need to be in order to fire off a successful attack. 
 
Clear your opponent’s head/hands defense. Lower your level and clear your opponent’s hands for a clear shot to your opponent’s legs.
Reza Yazdani setup to single leg takedown
The Jordan Burroughs double leg.
The John Smith low single.
The Cael Sanderson ankle pick.
The Dave Schultz front headlock.
 
It takes an incredibly high level of mastery to be notorious for certain moves at that level. What do these moves have in common? 
 
Everyone knows what’s coming but they just can’t stop it.
 
How is that possible?
 
Set ups! 
 
You see, after drilling single leg finishes for some time, you’ll eventually feel pretty comfortable with them. At some point, your training partners and opponents will definitely know what’s coming. When your opponent can successfully predict your attack and defend it effectively, you are at a serious advantage.
 
A common mistake is to learn a ton of different attacks to compensate for this predictability. This works to some extent, of course. Great wrestlers often have more than one move in their repertoire, but generally not more than that. As you might have seen from the previous section, you could be spending a lot of time figuring out a bunch of new positions.
 
Also, it’s not like your opponent hasn’t seen that new technique before from someone else. Learning a ton of different moves but having a shallow understanding of all of them doesn’t go very far against high level competition.
 
That brings us back to set ups. You already know the finer points of the move, so now it’s time to keep your opponent guessing and feeling helpless by refining your set ups.

The Set Up: Principles

You guessed it. More principles! This time, though, it’ll work a little differently. These principles aren’t necessarily in chronological order. You also don’t need to have done all of them to create an effective set up. Think of it as a checklist for best practices. The more of these you can do at one time, the more successful your set up will be.
 
Break your opponent’s position. Throw jab fakes, pull their head down, snap them down to the mat, push them, make them step forward by circling or pulling them, etc.
 
Put yourself within shooting distance. Close the distance on your opponent and get a good feel for how far away from your opponent you need to be in order to fire off a successful attack. 
 
Clear your opponent’s head/hands defense. Lower your level and clear your opponent’s hands for a clear shot to your opponent’s legs.
Reza Yazdani setup to single leg takedown
The Jordan Burroughs double leg.
The John Smith low single.
The Cael Sanderson ankle pick.
The Dave Schultz front headlock.
 
It takes an incredibly high level of mastery to be notorious for certain moves at that level. What do these moves have in common? 
 
Everyone knows what’s coming but they just can’t stop it.
 
How is that possible?
 
Set ups! 
 
You see, after drilling single leg finishes for some time, you’ll eventually feel pretty comfortable with them. At some point, your training partners and opponents will definitely know what’s coming. When your opponent can successfully predict your attack and defend it effectively, you are at a serious advantage.
 
A common mistake is to learn a ton of different attacks to compensate for this predictability. This works to some extent, of course. Great wrestlers often have more than one move in their repertoire, but generally not more than that. As you might have seen from the previous section, you could be spending a lot of time figuring out a bunch of new positions.
 
Also, it’s not like your opponent hasn’t seen that new technique before from someone else. Learning a ton of different moves but having a shallow understanding of all of them doesn’t go very far against high level competition.
 
That brings us back to set ups. You already know the finer points of the move, so now it’s time to keep your opponent guessing and feeling helpless by refining your set ups.

The Set Up: Principles

You guessed it. More principles! This time, though, it’ll work a little differently. These principles aren’t necessarily in chronological order. You also don’t need to have done all of them to create an effective set up. Think of it as a checklist for best practices. The more of these you can do at one time, the more successful your set up will be.
 
Break your opponent’s position. Throw jab fakes, pull their head down, snap them down to the mat, push them, make them step forward by circling or pulling them, etc.
 
Put yourself within shooting distance. Close the distance on your opponent and get a good feel for how far away from your opponent you need to be in order to fire off a successful attack. 
 
Clear your opponent’s head/hands defense. Lower your level and clear your opponent’s hands for a clear shot to your opponent’s legs.
Reza Yazdani setup to single leg takedown

Possible Set Ups

Some setups are more effective than others based on which single leg variation you use. This mostly has to do with distance. For example, you’d have to be very close to a person to get into an underhook.
 
This is not an exhaustive list and people will always find exceptions, but you can use this chart as a general guideline.
 
 HighMidLow
Open setup
X
X
X
Snap down
X
X
X
Inside tie
X
X
 
Elbow control
X
X
 
Clear wrists
X
X
X
Arm drag
X
X
X
Underhook
X
X
 
Overhook
X
X
 
Two on one
X
X
 

 

At most levels, one set up is enough and you can focus on really refining those individual set ups. 

Once you reach the higher levels, you’ll need to be able to chain set ups to be effective. The best attacks at the world level usually have at least two and sometimes three set ups in combination before the actual attack.
 
Almost all of these set up combinations include an open set up and a snap down since they’re flexible and you can set up multiple variations of attacks with those two set ups in particular.

Possible Set Ups

Some setups are more effective than others based on which single leg variation you use. This mostly has to do with distance. For example, you’d have to be very close to a person to get into an underhook.
 
This is not an exhaustive list and people will always find exceptions, but you can use this chart as a general guideline.
 
 HighMidLow
Open setup
X
X
X
Snap down
X
X
X
Inside tie
X
X
 
Elbow control
X
X
 
Clear wrists
X
X
X
Arm drag
X
X
X
Underhook
X
X
 
Overhook
X
X
 
Two on one
X
X
 

At most levels, one set up is enough and you can focus on really refining those individual set ups. 

Once you reach the higher levels, you’ll need to be able to chain set ups to be effective. The best attacks at the world level usually have at least two and sometimes three set ups in combination before the actual attack.
 
Almost all of these set up combinations include an open set up and a snap down since they’re flexible and you can set up multiple variations of attacks with those two set ups in particular.

Possible Set Ups

Some setups are more effective than others based on which single leg variation you use. This mostly has to do with distance. For example, you’d have to be very close to a person to get into an underhook.
 
This is not an exhaustive list and people will always find exceptions, but you can use this chart as a general guideline.
 
 HighMidLow
Open setup
X
X
X
Snap down
X
X
X
Inside tie
X
X
 
Elbow control
X
X
 
Clear wrists
X
X
X
Arm drag
X
X
X
Underhook
X
X
 
Overhook
X
X
 
Two on one
X
X
 

At most levels, one set up is enough and you can focus on really refining those individual set ups. 

Once you reach the higher levels, you’ll need to be able to chain set ups to be effective. The best attacks at the world level usually have at least two and sometimes three set ups in combination before the actual attack.
 
Almost all of these set up combinations include an open set up and a snap down since they’re flexible and you can set up multiple variations of attacks with those two set ups in particular.

Want a few more examples of world class takedowns and setups?

I’ve got you covered. Just let me know where to send the resources by filling out the form below.

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Just because you know how to do something doesn’t mean you can do it in a live situation when the pressure’s on.
 
Now that you get the technical aspects and the principles behind the single leg takedown, the next step is applying what you learned to practice. This section covers the various different methods to practice a given move and how you’d use each method to your advantage.
Just because you know how to do something doesn’t mean you can do it in a live situation when the pressure’s on.
 
Now that you get the technical aspects and the principles behind the single leg takedown, the next step is applying what you learned to practice. This section covers the various different methods to practice a given move and how you’d use each method to your advantage.
Just because you know how to do something doesn’t mean you can do it in a live situation when the pressure’s on.
 
Now that you get the technical aspects and the principles behind the single leg takedown, the next step is applying what you learned to practice. This section covers the various different methods to practice a given move and how you’d use each method to your advantage.

Drills

From learning a move to the first time to perfecting a move, drilling is great. Your partner can give you a different amounts of resistance depending on what you’re looking to do. This is mostly a one-sided benefit, so you’ll take turns when drilling. Partners will alternate anywhere from 2-5 repetitions of a move before letting the other partner drill their 2-5 repetitions. 
 
Of course, as a partner, you’re trying to give enough resistance so that the person executing the move is getting a good feel but you’re also not giving too much resistance so that they can actually execute the move in order to understand how it works and what it’s supposed to feel like.
 
You can also drill parts of a technique if you really want to focus on certain aspects of a move such as the finish or the attack itself.
 
Drills can also vary in intensity from very light to very intense. Drilling will take up the majority of most practices.
 

Drills

From learning a move to the first time to perfecting a move, drilling is great. Your partner can give you a different amounts of resistance depending on what you’re looking to do. This is mostly a one-sided benefit, so you’ll take turns when drilling. Partners will alternate anywhere from 2-5 repetitions of a move before letting the other partner drill their 2-5 repetitions. 
 
Of course, as a partner, you’re trying to give enough resistance so that the person executing the move is getting a good feel but you’re also not giving too much resistance so that they can actually execute the move in order to understand how it works and what it’s supposed to feel like.
 
You can also drill parts of a technique if you really want to focus on certain aspects of a move such as the finish or the attack itself.
 
Drills can also vary in intensity from very light to very intense. Drilling will take up the majority of most practices.
 

Drills

From learning a move to the first time to perfecting a move, drilling is great. Your partner can give you a different amounts of resistance depending on what you’re looking to do. This is mostly a one-sided benefit, so you’ll take turns when drilling. Partners will alternate anywhere from 2-5 repetitions of a move before letting the other partner drill their 2-5 repetitions. 
 
Of course, as a partner, you’re trying to give enough resistance so that the person executing the move is getting a good feel but you’re also not giving too much resistance so that they can actually execute the move in order to understand how it works and what it’s supposed to feel like.
 
You can also drill parts of a technique if you really want to focus on certain aspects of a move such as the finish or the attack itself.
 
Drills can also vary in intensity from very light to very intense. Drilling will take up the majority of most practices.

Sparring

Sparring is a less structured form of drilling and can be less intense. The main objective is to get a better feel for certain positions, and there is less of a focus on repetitions. This isn’t a competition to see who can score the most takedowns, but more of an effective way to understand multiple positions and how they transition from one to another.
 
When learning how to scramble, for instance, sparring is probably the most effective way to go about it. Sparring is also where you can try new things (different techniques, different transitions, different combinations of set ups). It’s great both offensively and defensively.

Sparring

Sparring is a less structured form of drilling and can be less intense. The main objective is to get a better feel for certain positions, and there is less of a focus on repetitions. This isn’t a competition to see who can score the most takedowns, but more of an effective way to understand multiple positions and how they transition from one to another.
 
When learning how to scramble, for instance, sparring is probably the most effective way to go about it. Sparring is also where you can try new things (different techniques, different transitions, different combinations of set ups). It’s great both offensively and defensively.

Sparring

Sparring is a less structured form of drilling and can be less intense. The main objective is to get a better feel for certain positions, and there is less of a focus on repetitions. This isn’t a competition to see who can score the most takedowns, but more of an effective way to understand multiple positions and how they transition from one to another.
 
When learning how to scramble, for instance, sparring is probably the most effective way to go about it. Sparring is also where you can try new things (different techniques, different transitions, different combinations of set ups). It’s great both offensively and defensively.

Live

Live wrestling is the closest to competition-intensity wrestling you can get, and it’s exhausting. It’s the most intensive out of all the training methods (though hard drilling can be equally effective for different reasons). If you can execute a technique in a live wrestling situation, you can definitely execute the move in a competition setting, so it’s a good test of applying what you’ve learned.
 
However, it’s also the most injury-prone training method of the three. In live wrestling, the intensity is such that you often don’t have time to think so you fall back to habits and whatever’s ingrained in your subconscious. For this reason, most high level programs only use live as a way of “sharpening the tip of the spear.”
 
 

Live

Live wrestling is the closest to competition-intensity wrestling you can get, and it’s exhausting. It’s the most intensive out of all the training methods (though hard drilling can be equally effective for different reasons). If you can execute a technique in a live wrestling situation, you can definitely execute the move in a competition setting, so it’s a good test of applying what you’ve learned.
 
However, it’s also the most injury-prone training method of the three. In live wrestling, the intensity is such that you often don’t have time to think so you fall back to habits and whatever’s ingrained in your subconscious. For this reason, most high level programs only use live as a way of “sharpening the tip of the spear.”
 
 

Live

Live wrestling is the closest to competition-intensity wrestling you can get, and it’s exhausting. It’s the most intensive out of all the training methods (though hard drilling can be equally effective for different reasons). If you can execute a technique in a live wrestling situation, you can definitely execute the move in a competition setting, so it’s a good test of applying what you’ve learned.
 
However, it’s also the most injury-prone training method of the three. In live wrestling, the intensity is such that you often don’t have time to think so you fall back to habits and whatever’s ingrained in your subconscious. For this reason, most high level programs only use live as a way of “sharpening the tip of the spear.” 

Studying Film / Visualization

Studying film is the least physically demanding method of training, but also gives you the most potential to learn new things. It helps in that you get the chance to see different examples of certain techniques. Sometimes, taking a step back to watch someone execute a technique beautifully gives you an insight to the technique you wouldn’t have figured out yourself if you were practicing it on your own.
 
Visualization is essentially a mental exercise used for many purposes in performance psychology, but for the sake of skill acquisition, more and more research seems to be reported every year of just how effective visualization is for learning skills. Most people will benefit from visualizing from a first-person perspective, but you can use different perspectives while focusing on different senses (in this case, sight and touch) in order to give your mind a better feel for the technique. You’ll often find that this benefits your technique once you get back on the mats to train. Of course, visualization alone won’t give you everything you need to know about learning a certain technique, and you need the physical aspect of training to really improve and play around with stuff that you’ve visualized.
 
Another easy way to think about visualization in regards to technique is that you’re basically performing mental repetitions. These are not physically exhausting so you theoretically could visualize as much as you want without breaking your body down with intense training sessions. As a supplement to training, it’s a fantastic tool.
 
Some coaches and wrestlers will use film study for game planning against certain opponents, but that’s a different discussion altogether.
 

Studying Film / Visualization

Studying film is the least physically demanding method of training, but also gives you the most potential to learn new things. It helps in that you get the chance to see different examples of certain techniques. Sometimes, taking a step back to watch someone execute a technique beautifully gives you an insight to the technique you wouldn’t have figured out yourself if you were practicing it on your own.
 
Visualization is essentially a mental exercise used for many purposes in performance psychology, but for the sake of skill acquisition, more and more research seems to be reported every year of just how effective visualization is for learning skills. Most people will benefit from visualizing from a first-person perspective, but you can use different perspectives while focusing on different senses (in this case, sight and touch) in order to give your mind a better feel for the technique. You’ll often find that this benefits your technique once you get back on the mats to train. Of course, visualization alone won’t give you everything you need to know about learning a certain technique, and you need the physical aspect of training to really improve and play around with stuff that you’ve visualized.
 
Another easy way to think about visualization in regards to technique is that you’re basically performing mental repetitions. These are not physically exhausting so you theoretically could visualize as much as you want without breaking your body down with intense training sessions. As a supplement to training, it’s a fantastic tool.
 
Some coaches and wrestlers will use film study for game planning against certain opponents, but that’s a different discussion altogether.
 

Studying Film / Visualization

Studying film is the least physically demanding method of training, but also gives you the most potential to learn new things. It helps in that you get the chance to see different examples of certain techniques. Sometimes, taking a step back to watch someone execute a technique beautifully gives you an insight to the technique you wouldn’t have figured out yourself if you were practicing it on your own.
 
Visualization is essentially a mental exercise used for many purposes in performance psychology, but for the sake of skill acquisition, more and more research seems to be reported every year of just how effective visualization is for learning skills. Most people will benefit from visualizing from a first-person perspective, but you can use different perspectives while focusing on different senses (in this case, sight and touch) in order to give your mind a better feel for the technique. You’ll often find that this benefits your technique once you get back on the mats to train. Of course, visualization alone won’t give you everything you need to know about learning a certain technique, and you need the physical aspect of training to really improve and play around with stuff that you’ve visualized.
 
Another easy way to think about visualization in regards to technique is that you’re basically performing mental repetitions. These are not physically exhausting so you theoretically could visualize as much as you want without breaking your body down with intense training sessions. As a supplement to training, it’s a fantastic tool.
 
Some coaches and wrestlers will use film study for game planning against certain opponents, but that’s a different discussion altogether.
 

Don’t have the time to read everything right now?

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When you sign up, I’ll also keep you updated with a few emails per week.

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Don’t have the time to read everything right now?

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Now, here comes the fun part! Seeing those principles applied in all sorts of different ways helps your understanding of what’s possible with takedowns. Knowing what a takedown is supposed to look like and feel like goes a very long way in learning it yourself, so here are some examples from very good wrestlers. 
 
You’ll see some other takedowns in there too if I chose a highlight reel, but those are still impressive and fun to watch.
Now, here comes the fun part! Seeing those principles applied in all sorts of different ways helps your understanding of what’s possible with takedowns. Knowing what a takedown is supposed to look like and feel like goes a very long way in learning it yourself, so here are some examples from very good wrestlers. 
 
You’ll see some other takedowns in there too if I chose a highlight reel, but those are still impressive and fun to watch.
Now, here comes the fun part! Seeing those principles applied in all sorts of different ways helps your understanding of what’s possible with takedowns. Knowing what a takedown is supposed to look like and feel like goes a very long way in learning it yourself, so here are some examples from very good wrestlers. 
 
You’ll see some other takedowns in there too if I chose a highlight reel, but those are still impressive and fun to watch.

John Smith

John Smith is the man who invented the low single. He dominated the world for six whole years with his quick style, winning gold medals from the 1987 World Championships all the way through the 1992 Olympics.  

David Taylor

Very few people show the level of dominance in aggressive style wrestling that David Taylor has displayed over the course of his career. Not many wrestlers can match his combination of pressure and pace. David Taylor is an awesome example of chaining setups together, which is why his offense is incredibly effective.  

Reza Yazdani

Reza Yazdani is a three-time Olympian and multiple-time world champion in freestyle wrestling. Notorious for his underhook series and high single, he’s a great example of one way to wrestle if you’ve got a stocky (short limbs, compact core) build. He definitely has one of the best high singles in the world.  

John Smith

John Smith is the man who invented the low single. He dominated the world for six whole years with his quick style, winning gold medals from the 1987 World Championships all the way through the 1992 Olympics.  

David Taylor

Very few people show the level of dominance in aggressive style wrestling that David Taylor has displayed over the course of his career. Not many wrestlers can match his combination of pressure and pace. David Taylor is an awesome example of chaining setups together, which is why his offense is incredibly effective.  

Reza Yazdani

Reza Yazdani is a three-time Olympian and multiple-time world champion in freestyle wrestling. Notorious for his underhook series and high single, he’s a great example of one way to wrestle if you’ve got a stocky (short limbs, compact core) build. He definitely has one of the best high singles in the world.  

John Smith

John Smith is the man who invented the low single. He dominated the world for six whole years with his quick style, winning gold medals from the 1987 World Championships all the way through the 1992 Olympics.  

David Taylor

Very few people show the level of dominance in aggressive style wrestling that David Taylor has displayed over the course of his career. Not many wrestlers can match his combination of pressure and pace. David Taylor is an awesome example of chaining setups together, which is why his offense is incredibly effective.  

Reza Yazdani

Reza Yazdani is a three-time Olympian and multiple-time world champion in freestyle wrestling. Notorious for his underhook series and high single, he’s a great example of one way to wrestle if you’ve got a stocky (short limbs, compact core) build. He definitely has one of the best high singles in the world.  

Haji Aliyev

Haji Aliyev has some of the best overall leg attacks in the world. He’s a multiple time world champion with an attacking style as well.  

Viktor Lebedev

I’m convinced that Lebedev figured out how to teleport. This Olympian and multiple-time world champion is lightning quick. The video doesn’t have as many single leg takedowns, but there are a few gems in there.  

Abdulrashid Sadulaev

Nicknamed the Russian Tank, Abdulrashid Sadulaev is pound for pound one of the best wrestlers in the world. His defense is incredible, so keep an eye out for his sprawls and leg defense in general. He has had several World Championship title runs where he did not surrender a single takedown on the way to winning it all. His offense is also no joke either. In both offense and defense, he virtually never breaks strong positioning principles.  

Haji Aliyev

Haji Aliyev has some of the best overall leg attacks in the world. He’s a multiple time world champion with an attacking style as well.  

Viktor Lebedev

I’m convinced that Lebedev figured out how to teleport. This Olympian and multiple-time world champion is lightning quick. The video doesn’t have as many single leg takedowns, but there are a few gems in there.  

Abdulrashid Sadulaev

Nicknamed the Russian Tank, Abdulrashid Sadulaev is pound for pound one of the best wrestlers in the world. His defense is incredible, so keep an eye out for his sprawls and leg defense in general. He has had several World Championship title runs where he did not surrender a single takedown on the way to winning it all. His offense is also no joke either. In both offense and defense, he virtually never breaks strong positioning principles.  

Haji Aliyev

Haji Aliyev has some of the best overall leg attacks in the world. He’s a multiple time world champion with an attacking style as well.  

Viktor Lebedev

I’m convinced that Lebedev figured out how to teleport. This Olympian and multiple-time world champion is lightning quick. The video doesn’t have as many single leg takedowns, but there are a few gems in there.  

Abdulrashid Sadulaev

Nicknamed the Russian Tank, Abdulrashid Sadulaev is pound for pound one of the best wrestlers in the world. His defense is incredible, so keep an eye out for his sprawls and leg defense in general. He has had several World Championship title runs where he did not surrender a single takedown on the way to winning it all. His offense is also no joke either. In both offense and defense, he virtually never breaks strong positioning principles.  

Mavlet Batirov

Two-time Olympic champion Mavlet Batirov is also a defensive genius. He attacks very conservatively, but when he does, he almost always scores. Keep an eye out for his inside-reach single leg to the opponent’s left leg (also known as the knee pull single)  

Team USA, 2018 World Cup (Part 1)

An absolutely dominant first day of performance at the World Cup for team USA. Watch how the majority of scores from the neutral position were from leg attacks and go-behinds.

Team USA World Cup (Part 2)

Team USA was definitely pushed on the second day, but finished the day by ending the  World Cup Championship drought that had lasted for over a decade. Notice more leg attacks.

Mavlet Batirov

Two-time Olympic champion Mavlet Batirov is also a defensive genius. He attacks very conservatively, but when he does, he almost always scores. Keep an eye out for his inside-reach single leg to the opponent’s left leg (also known as the knee pull single)  

Team USA, 2018 World Cup (Part 1)

An absolutely dominant first day of performance at the World Cup for team USA. Watch how the majority of scores from the neutral position were from leg attacks and go-behinds.

Team USA World Cup (Part 2)

Team USA was definitely pushed on the second day, but finished the day by ending the  World Cup Championship drought that had lasted for over a decade. Notice more leg attacks.

Mavlet Batirov

Two-time Olympic champion Mavlet Batirov is also a defensive genius. He attacks very conservatively, but when he does, he almost always scores. Keep an eye out for his inside-reach single leg to the opponent’s left leg (also known as the knee pull single)  

Team USA, 2018 World Cup (Part 1)

An absolutely dominant first day of performance at the World Cup for team USA. Watch how the majority of scores from the neutral position were from leg attacks and go-behinds.

Team USA World Cup (Part 2)

Team USA was definitely pushed on the second day, but finished the day by ending the  World Cup Championship drought that had lasted for over a decade. Notice more leg attacks.

Study Tactic: Shifting Speeds

Can’t make sense of what’s going on? Don’t worry! It takes time. Here’s a useful strategy for when I’m trying to get a solid grasp of a technique (I don’t do this with every technique- just the ones I want to learn).
 
Stage 1– Watch it at regular speed to appreciate and get an idea of what it’s supposed to look like
Stage 2– Watch it in slow motion (0.25X or 0.5X speed) to understand how all the limbs are moving.  This helps you understand and break apart the movement into smaller chunks. You’ll get better at this over time, but you may still need to replay the video several times.
Stage 3– Watch it in high speed (1.25x or 1.5x). If you can “make sense” of what’s happening, you’ve successfully built comprehension speed.
Stage 4– Go back to regular speed. You’ll notice that the video now looks different and your brain seems able to process everything at regular speed.
 
Just when you think your brain has hit its processing limit, it somehow adapts and now you’ve got even better comprehension speed (at least when it comes to studying takedown techniques). Crazy!
Fortunately, Youtube has made it very easy to adjust video speed. Just go to settings -> speed. You can find the settings button as seen in the image.
 
Remember, your mind can be an incredible tool but also a terrible master. The more you learn how to make your mind work for you, the better off you will be.

Study Tactic: Shifting Speeds

Can’t make sense of what’s going on? Don’t worry! It takes time. Here’s a useful strategy for when I’m trying to get a solid grasp of a technique (I don’t do this with every technique- just the ones I want to learn).
 
Stage 1– Watch it at regular speed to appreciate and get an idea of what it’s supposed to look like
Stage 2– Watch it in slow motion (0.25X or 0.5X speed) to understand how all the limbs are moving.  This helps you understand and break apart the movement into smaller chunks. You’ll get better at this over time, but you may still need to replay the video several times.
Stage 3– Watch it in high speed (1.25x or 1.5x). If you can “make sense” of what’s happening, you’ve successfully built comprehension speed.
Stage 4– Go back to regular speed. You’ll notice that the video now looks different and your brain seems able to process everything at regular speed.
 
Just when you think your brain has hit its processing limit, it somehow adapts and now you’ve got even better comprehension speed (at least when it comes to studying takedown techniques). Crazy!
Fortunately, Youtube has made it very easy to adjust video speed. Just go to settings -> speed. You can find the settings button as seen in the image.
 
Remember, your mind can be an incredible tool but also a terrible master. The more you learn how to make your mind work for you, the better off you will be.

Study Tactic: Shifting Speeds

Can’t make sense of what’s going on? Don’t worry! It takes time. Here’s a useful strategy for when I’m trying to get a solid grasp of a technique (I don’t do this with every technique- just the ones I want to learn).
 
Stage 1– Watch it at regular speed to appreciate and get an idea of what it’s supposed to look like
Stage 2– Watch it in slow motion (0.25X or 0.5X speed) to understand how all the limbs are moving.  This helps you understand and break apart the movement into smaller chunks. You’ll get better at this over time, but you may still need to replay the video several times.
Stage 3– Watch it in high speed (1.25x or 1.5x). If you can “make sense” of what’s happening, you’ve successfully built comprehension speed.
Stage 4– Go back to regular speed. You’ll notice that the video now looks different and your brain seems able to process everything at regular speed.
 
Just when you think your brain has hit its processing limit, it somehow adapts and now you’ve got even better comprehension speed (at least when it comes to studying takedown techniques). Crazy!
Fortunately, Youtube has made it very easy to adjust video speed. Just go to settings -> speed. You can find the settings button as seen in the image.
Remember, your mind can be an incredible tool but also a terrible master. The more you learn how to make your mind work for you, the better off you will be.

Want a few more examples of film study?

You got it. Just let me know where to send the resources by filling out the form below.

When you sign up, I’ll also keep you updated with a few emails per week.

Let me show you how to get to that next level even if you're on a budget and a busy schedule!

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At this point, you’ve learned some of the main principles behind how the single leg takedown works. 
 
You’ve also seen the key positions behind the single leg along with multiple examples of great wrestlers and their own personalized version of single leg takedowns. Now, it’s time to apply what you’ve learned to make the single leg work for you.
 
In part 1, you learned that there is significantly more to any given technique beyond the surface level understanding.
 
In part 2, you learned how to maintain strong positioning in order to improve your ability to attack and defend at the same time, including proper attacking position for the single leg.
 
In part 3, you learned how to make any single leg takedown effective by understanding the key principles behind the takedown. This helps with macro level understanding and gives you a great foundational understanding to work from.
 
In part 4, you learned how to apply these principles to the three main variations of the single leg takedown. 
 
In part 5, you learned how to increase your takedown confidence and scoring percentage by solidifying your finishes.
 
In part 6, you learned how to make your takedowns unstoppable despite your opponent being aware of your attacks. 
 
In part 7, you learned how to use the different methods of learning and improving your takedowns- drilling, sparring, live wrestling, and studying.
 
In part 8, you learned how some of the wrestling greats used their own variation of the single leg takedown and made it work for them.
 
Next, you need to find or create specific techniques that work for you. This includes shots, finishes, and set ups. 
 
At this point, mindful repetition is key. Just because you know how to do it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it when stakes are high and the pressure is on. Every takedown artist has integrated his or her skills into the subconscious mind. Once you begin to achieve this, you’ll be ahead of many wrestlers and grapplers.
At this point, you’ve learned some of the main principles behind how the single leg takedown works. 
 
You’ve also seen the key positions behind the single leg along with multiple examples of great wrestlers and their own personalized version of single leg takedowns. Now, it’s time to apply what you’ve learned to make the single leg work for you.
 
In part 1, you learned that there is significantly more to any given technique beyond the surface level understanding.
 
In part 2, you learned how to maintain strong positioning in order to improve your ability to attack and defend at the same time, including proper attacking position for the single leg.
 
In part 3, you learned how to make any single leg takedown effective by understanding the key principles behind the takedown. This helps with macro level understanding and gives you a great foundational understanding to work from.
 
In part 4, you learned how to apply these principles to the three main variations of the single leg takedown. 
 
In part 5, you learned how to increase your takedown confidence and scoring percentage by solidifying your finishes.
 
In part 6, you learned how to make your takedowns unstoppable despite your opponent being aware of your attacks. 
 
In part 7, you learned how to use the different methods of learning and improving your takedowns- drilling, sparring, live wrestling, and studying.
 
In part 8, you learned how some of the wrestling greats used their own variation of the single leg takedown and made it work for them.
 
Next, you need to find or create specific techniques that work for you. This includes shots, finishes, and set ups. 
 
At this point, mindful repetition is key. Just because you know how to do it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it when stakes are high and the pressure is on. Every takedown artist has integrated his or her skills into the subconscious mind. Once you begin to achieve this, you’ll be ahead of many wrestlers and grapplers.
At this point, you’ve learned some of the main principles behind how the single leg takedown works. 
 
You’ve also seen the key positions behind the single leg along with multiple examples of great wrestlers and their own personalized version of single leg takedowns. Now, it’s time to apply what you’ve learned to make the single leg work for you.
 
In part 1, you learned that there is significantly more to any given technique beyond the surface level understanding.
 
In part 2, you learned how to maintain strong positioning in order to improve your ability to attack and defend at the same time, including proper attacking position for the single leg.
 
In part 3, you learned how to make any single leg takedown effective by understanding the key principles behind the takedown. This helps with macro level understanding and gives you a great foundational understanding to work from.
 
In part 4, you learned how to apply these principles to the three main variations of the single leg takedown. 
 
In part 5, you learned how to increase your takedown confidence and scoring percentage by solidifying your finishes.
 
In part 6, you learned how to make your takedowns unstoppable despite your opponent being aware of your attacks. 
 
In part 7, you learned how to use the different methods of learning and improving your takedowns- drilling, sparring, live wrestling, and studying.
 
In part 8, you learned how some of the wrestling greats used their own variation of the single leg takedown and made it work for them.
 
Next, you need to find or create specific techniques that work for you. This includes shots, finishes, and set ups. 
 
At this point, mindful repetition is key. Just because you know how to do it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it when stakes are high and the pressure is on. Every takedown artist has integrated his or her skills into the subconscious mind. Once you begin to achieve this, you’ll be ahead of many wrestlers and grapplers.

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