4 Steps to Develop Your “John Smith” Low Single Leg Takedown

The “John Smith” low single leg takedown has slightly different fundamentals than most takedowns, but once you master them you will be on your way to easy scores, and have the keys to controlling important scrambles. The key to the “John Smith” low single leg is to set it up with proper footwork. Once the footwork is in place, wrestlers must understand how to penetrate, and most importantly, how to position their bodies once they are in on the shot.

Step 1: Start in the ideal
John Smith low single position


The ideal low single position is having your inside hand posted between your opponent’s feet and your temple right above their knee joint. Your shot hand when performing the low single, cups their heal as your forearm lays flat on the mat. Your rear end will sit back on your feet, the laces of your shoes will be down which will put your weight back on your hips.

Step 2: The most basic low single finish – the lasso


When finishing the low single with a lasso finish, your head will drive your opponent’s knee outward, as your post hand reaches up and knocks them over the attack leg. Circle away from the side you’re attacking to put the opponent to the mat. When finishing this low single takedown, shelf your opponent’s legs on your leg to deter your opponent from scrambling.

Step 3: The shot


Out of a low stance, change levels by bringing your chest to your thigh to execute the low single leg shot. Push off your back foot and penetrate to the low single position. Finish with the lasso finish.

Step 4: Two-step drill for development


Both wrestlers will start with a stance and motion drill facing each other, they can use different hand actions to simulate neutral position wrestling actions. On the first command, the offensive wrestler will execute the low ankle shot to the low single position. On the second command, the wrestler will execute the lasso finish. This two step drill allows for correction opportunities of both the low single position and the lasso finish.

The “John Smith” low single takedown takes away the opponent’s hips by isolating an ankle, making it extremely hard to defend. Additionally, learning the low single takedown and how to defend it is the key too many scrambles that develop from the bottom position. Use this iconic takedown to change your wrestling forever!

Yours In Wrestling,
Coach Weber



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