5 Basic Steps To Mastering The Gut Wrench

Every spring I am introducing young wrestlers to Freestyle and Greco Roman.  I have found that there has to be some back and forth between Gut Wrench offense and defense to teach a proper Gut Wrench.

gutTypically, young wrestlers beginning to wrestle FS & GR are scared or nervous about losing due to not knowing what they are doing.  If they can get the Gut Wrench offense and defense down and combine it with their Folkstyle skills they will be well prepared to get started.

The five step teaching process below is effective and efficient at teaching beginning FS & GR wrestlers Gut Wrench offense and defense.  When they start scoring with the Gut and stopping it their confidence in competing in FS & GR will increase significantly.

  1. Start out teaching Gut Wrench offense.  Cover all the parts and make sure they have a basic understanding.
  2. Teach a basic Look In Defense.  This gives them a general idea of how to defend a Gut Wrench.   It will also allow the top wrestler to drill the hold properly.  It is hard to practice a Gut Wrench when the bottom wrestler feels like a wet dish rag.
  3. Go back to the Gut Wrench offense and start to tighten up the finer points.  Focus on the lock, the shoulder position, the drive, turn and follow through.  It will be much easier to accomplish this when the bottom wrestler understands how to give resistance.
  4. Go back to the Gut defense and work on the finer points (sliding & rolling the lock, moving, transferring weight, fighting hands etc…).  Emphasize that the best defense to a Gut Wrench is not letting your opponent get a lock.  It is important to be active in the bottom and attempt to stay one step ahead of the top wrestler.
  5. Next teach how to change directions on the Gut.  Understanding how to properly execute a Mis-direction Gut Wrench is a must.

I have found that this teaching progressing will allow your wrestlers to nail down the Gut Wrench offense and  defense in roughly two practices.  After this be sure to continue to review, use in drills and work into situational wrestling.

I would love to hear your thoughts or input on teaching the Gut Wrench to younger wrestlers.  Please leave and comments below.


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