The Forgotten Key To Bottom Wrestling

In a highly technical post, Coach Gable discusses the trends in bottom wrestling and the tactical importance of “foot control.” Ride outs, ankle grabbers, leg riders…these are just some of the factors that make modern wrestlers’ failure to control their feet an egregious mistake.



Dan Gable: Another thing that’s really interesting that you said earlier, that I really liked, is where’s the set out?  Yeah, there is a tendency right now in collegiate wrestling, or maybe even go down into high school, where people are picking up ankles and going to the knees and getting that riding time.  It might be something to do with the riding time in overtime, just to know how to win and get through that thirty second period.  I think it’s also just a tendency for getting take downs, too.  Ankles and knees.  And because of that, you gotta learn moves where you’re in better control of your feet. 

When you’re moving forward on the bottom, you don’t have any control of your feet.  Or very little.  There’s some moves that actually a lot of Eastern people do, and it actually comes from one of your former head coach out at Virginia Tech, for example. 

Dresser, Kevin Dresser, you pick up his ankle he’s going to roll you from there.  He’s going to use that ankle as a roll.  And a lot of people can do that well.  If you don’t get it, you’re going to end up probably in a guy with a leg tackle on you, and now he’s going to work up, he’s going to waste a lot of time.  And I think I went earlier and talked about zero weight. 

So when you’re on the bottom, if you get back pressure off the whistle, get the weight going off of you, there’s a fraction of a second there where you can do a move without no weight on you.  And that’s what I think you’re talking about, like a set out.  I don’t think you’re talking about a set out where you’re setting out, putting your feet out in front of you.  You’re actually coming back into him, keeping the weight off, now you’re feet are actually pushing back over top of him.  Now you can do some moves.  Get good hand control, cause we’re not getting any hand control on the bottom by going forward when the guy’s riding your ankles and knees.  That’s all a part of getting better.  Now you can say well that’s just folk style.  Not necessarily, because a lot of it has to do with take downs and counters too, as well.


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