5 Wrestling Moves You Need to Know

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Watch any MMA fight, BJJ or No-Gi tournament and you will notice that more and more competitors are adding wrestling into their game. Knowing at least a few basic wrestling moves can be the difference between winning and losing as wrestling gives grapplers the ability to control where the fight ends up going as knowing wrestling for BJJ always helps dominate the opponent.

Single Leg Takedown
Single Leg Takedown

Many champions currently come from a wrestling background or have added a heavy wrestling emphasis into their training, such MMA champions include Khabib Nurmagomedov, Kumaru Usman, Jon Jones, Mark Coleman, Daniel Cormier and Henry Cejudo while in BJJ and No Gi, top level champions and competitors such as Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, Robert “Cyborg” Abreau, Gary Tonon, Gordon Ryan and others have been training wrestling in order to know the right wrestling moves and techniques to dominate the competition on the mats.

The Wrestling Moves You Must Know

Here are the 5 best wrestling moves you must know if you want any chance at being able to compete in any type of grappling or MMA match. We have provided 2 techniques that are offensive and low line (below the waist), 1 wrestling technique that is upper body and offensive, we added 1 technique for setting up moves and 1 for defense against low line wrestling attacks, here they are:

Single Leg Takedown

The single leg takedown is easy to get and a very versatile wrestling attack. You can attack from multiple angles and you can finish from multiple angles and finishes. The single leg is much easier to get than the double leg but the double leg is much easier to finish when attained properly. The former UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier can be seen dominating his opponents and taking them down ever so easily with the single leg time and time again. The single leg simply works.

Double Leg Takedown

The double leg is a very dominant takedown when done correctly as it places your opponent in front of you on their back. It is harder to get position than a single but when you achieve good positioning and timing on the shot, it is very easy to finish. Mark Coleman used double legs to dominate both in the UFC and PRIDE and ever since then the double leg has become an intricate part of MMA.

The Head and Arm Throw

A very high percentage wrestling throw when the arm position for the throw is secured, it is easy to get and easy to finish, also leaves you in a headlock position when on the ground. It can be done off of the clinch and is excellent for use at the heavyweight level.

Arm Drag

An excellent setup for many offensive wrestling moves, the arm drag can be done off the clinch and off of many wrestling positions such as the Russian tie. A high percentage way to get your opponent opened up for an attack. A must know technique for any grappler. Marcelo Garcia used arm drags both standing and on the ground to decimate his opponents on his way to victory in the ADCC submission wrestling championship, it simply works.


Knowing how to defend the shot in wrestling is one of the most important things to know as a wrestler as without it you will find yourself the victim of a takedown over and over again. The sprawl can lead to many different counter-wrestling techniques and is a bread and butter wrestling move for MMA fighters, especially MMA fighters who focus on a Sprawl and Brawl type of fighting strategy. A great example of a fighter using the sprawl effectively in MMA is the famous Mirko “Crocop” Filipovic who used his sprawl to effectively stop the worlds best heavyweight MMA wrestlers from dominating the fight, Mirko would sprawl, then punish his opponents into defeat. 

In Conclusion

You do not need to be an Olympic level wrestler, ADCC medalist or UFC champ to be able to effectively use these techniques in competition but you do need these techniques to be able to become a champion.

The wrestling moves work for any weight class and for any skill level, they are easy to learn and they simply work. Try adding these wrestling techniques and develop your wrestling skill and you will soon see you will be dominating both in the cage and on the mats.


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