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Take-down moves for youth wrestlers

This is an excerpt from Coaching Youth Wrestling - 3rd Edition by American Sport Education Program.

Single Leg

There are many ways to execute a takedown by grasping one leg-called the single leg. Regardless of the setup used for the single leg, teach your young wrestlers to first move themselves or their opponent or both so that they have an angle to attack from (see figure 8.10a). As discussed in chapter 7, gaining an angle provides several advantages. Attacking from an angle takes your wrestler's attack across the powerful center of the defender's body, rather than directly into it. Also, the defender's sprawl-dropping the hips and thrusting the legs back-is much less effective if your wrestler attacks at an angle.

Next, your wrestler should change levels and make an inside penetration step that ends up with the head positioned against the opponent's chest (see figure 8.10b). The step should be deep enough that when your wrestler drives forward onto the inside knee, his or her weight moves all the way through the space the defender was in. While penetrating, your wrestler should grasp the single leg with both arms straight, locked behind the knee, and step up with the outside leg first and then the inside (see figure 8.10c).

From this position, there a several ways to finish. The one your wrestlers should use depends on what the defender does

• When your wrestler has a leg up and the head on the opponent's chest and the opponent defends with a whizzer, your wrestler should execute a technique called running the pipe. While pushing down on the defender's thigh with the chest and into the opponent with the head, the attacker should pull up with the arms as hard as possible, making a powerful lever (see figure 8.11). When teaching this, have your wrestlers watch the defender's foot. When the pressure is correct, they will be able to see the foot being pushed into the mat.

• If the defender is trying to use a whizzer by driving an arm between your wrestler's outside arm and body and levering as hard as possible, the defender's pressure plus your wrestler's pressure make the defender vulnerable. Your wrestler can step across with the inside foot over to the defender's foot on the mat (see figure 8.12a). Next, your wrestler can step back and change levels by forcefully dropping, pulling the leg through between the attacker's own, and continuing the downward pressure with the upper body (see figure 8.12b).

• If there is no whizzer, your wrestler can quickly drive into the defender (see figure 8.13a), creating enough space to step the inside leg over and outside of the single leg to clear it (see figure 8.13b) and then lift the single leg straight up into the armpit (see figure 8.13c). Teach your wrestlers to keep moving in these situations in order to keep the defender thinking about having to avoid tripping instead of trying to counterattack. They should try to get the defender hopping around and time their move so that just as the defender hops up, they can sweep his or her foot with their outside leg (see figure 8.13d), bringing the opponent to the mat (see figure 8.13e).

Double Leg

Using a double leg simply means that a wrestler attacks both legs. The double leg is effective against an opponent who is in a square stance because both legs are equally close to the attacker. It may be initiated straight on or from an angle. If a wrestler is not able to get an effective angle for a single leg, he or she might want to initiate a double-leg attack from straight on. A double leg could also be more effective against wrestlers who are highly skilled in defending single-leg attacks. To return to the baseball analogy from chapter 7, a good pitcher doesn't have just a fastball. Even if he can throw it 100 miles per hour, he still needs a curveball and slider, depending on the batter he is facing.

Your wrestler can use a tie-up, as discussed in "Tie-Ups" on pages 82 through 86, to get through the defender's arms and must use good movement so that he or she can initiate the attack from an angle. Then, when your wrestler is close and has the opponent's arms neutralized, he or she should automatically change levels and start the penetration step (see figure 8.14a). The step should go right at the defender, with the foot landing between the feet (see figure 8.14b). As your wrestler drives forward onto the knee, the head must stay up and outside the body. With good penetration and follow-through, the outside leg steps up, and the arms should wrap at the knees (see figure 8.14c).

There are several ways to finish a double-leg takedown:

• If your wrestler has deep penetration and the opponent is caught on his or her heels, your wrestler can drive straight through and send the opponent to his or her back (see figure 8.15).

• Your wrestler can use a penetration step, step up with the outside leg after the penetration step, lift with the near arm, and pull in with the far arm to collapse the knee (see figure 8.16a). Your wrestler drives to that side to finish the takedown. The opponent will either land on a hip or turn facedown as he or she goes down (see figure 8.16b).

• If your wrestler's hips are in close enough, he or she can lift the defender off his or her feet and finish to the mat easily from that point. If this is the case, straightening the legs will bring the opponent right off the mat. However, if the defender is able to sprawl at all, it may be tough to finish this way. Ideally, if the defender is leaning over the top of the attacker (the defender's center of gravity resting above the attacker's hips and shoulders) and the attacker's legs are loaded (bent), as shown in figure 8.17a, the attacker can stand up with the opponent over his or her shoulder (see figure 8.17b). But, if the opponent has sprawled back, the opponent's center of gravity will be spread in front of the attacker. This creates leverage and makes it more difficult for your wrestler to lift the opponent. Remind wrestlers to think of picking up a box or other heavy object. If they hold it tight to the torso, it is much easier to lift than if they try to pick it up while it is two feet in front of their body.

This is an excerpt from Coaching Youth Wrestling, 3rd Edition.

More Excerpts From Coaching Youth Wrestling 3rd Edition