Technique of the Week: Sprawling in Wrestling
Once the 2012 London Games ended, all wrestlers were eager to learn how to perform a blast double like the Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs. Burroughs though has more than a great double leg takedown. He has excellent defense against the same shot that he is known so well for.
In wrestling, knowing how to defend a shot is just as important as being able to successfully complete one. There are a couple of lines of defense that will help avoid an opponent getting deep inside on their shot. When in the neutral stance, be sure not to reach with the same arm as your lead leg. Reach with the non-lead leg arm.
Hands, Head, and hips are your first three lines of defense against a shot. Hands to push away or snap down on an opponent shooting, can prevent them from penetrating a solid stance. Using your head, keeping it in front of the offensive wrestler makes it difficult for an opponent to get deep when your head is in their way while trying to get inside. Hips are your last line on a shot. If a foe gets inside and on a leg, turn your hip into them pressing down with force, which will create separation. Separation is a key to preventing a successful takedown.
Sprawling comes next when defending a tough shot from an opposing wrestler. If an opponent snags a leg, drop the same hip as the leg the shot was on. When dropping the hip down heavy, simultaneously throw your legs back staying on your toes. If you drop onto your knees, expect to be taken down. By staying your toes it creates pressure on the wrestler shooting.
Take your hand on the side of the opponents head; press down as your hand cups the neck and your palm pushing pressure down on the back of their head. Use the other hand by placing it on the triceps, just above the elbow.
One in a successful sprawling position, there are multiple techniques that can be used to earn points from the defensive position. A wrestler in a sprawling position can move to a front headlock, they can block the head and arm to spin behind, in addition to just standing back up to the neutral stance.
Sprawling is a technique that is taught on the first or second day of a season. Advanced and experienced wrestlers work on this technique on a consistent basis.
Below is a video showing sprawling technique and be sure to follow us on Twitter @MyMMANews and @jiblitz77 for more wrestling technique.
Kyle Carroll is a Long Island, N.Y. native and avid MMA and amateur wrestling fan. He has been a part of the wrestling community for nearly 20 years. Carroll has six years of experience coaching high school wrestling. His father coached high school wrestling over 35 years, passing on his strong knowledge. Carroll has been reporting MMA news since January 2011. The former wrestler’s coverage includes the 2012 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials, 2013 & 2016 NCAA D1 Wrestling Championship, and numerous MMA events (Bellator MMA, King of the Cage, North American Fighting Championship, and Glory).