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Escapes (Wrestling)

Escapes are exactly getting out of the bottom position and away from your opponent.One of the most important things you can do to increase your chance of escaping is to move right off the whistle (if you are starting from a dead stop). The other is to keep moving! If you sit still on the bottom, it allows your opponent the chance to work different angles from the top. You want to be constantly moving around and making an effort to get out.

E1 – 1 point: Awarded after the defensive wrestler gets out from underneath the opponent’s control and gets into the neutral position and is facing the opponent. Defense to Neutral is a one point escape.

Two of the most basic escapes here: the “stand-up” and the “switch.”


The bottom position, bring one of your legs up to put you in a lunge position. Which leg you bring up depends on your opponent’s weight distribution and positioning. As you bring your foot up, you want to be getting wrist control by grabbing hold of one of your opponent’s wrists. If you don’t do this, he will have full use of both hands to try to break you back down again. Once you get your foot up and have wrist control, lean back into your opponent. Don’t go too nuts here, as you don’t want to get sucked back onto your butt or, worse, your back. You should be leaning back into your opponent while trying to force the wrist you have down to your “back pocket.” This means holding onto that wrist with one or both of your hands and pulling the opponent’s arm down and behind you while leaning back a bit. As you start to lean back and pull the wrist down, bring your other leg up to take you to a standing position. Many times this is where the battle really begins.

From here your opponent wants to get you back to the mat by lifting, tripping, or otherwise taking you down.This is why it’s so important to have wrist control and a good base. Once you get yourself on a solid base and have good wrist control, continue to push the opponent’s hand into your “back pocket” and cut back into your opponent with the opposite hand. If you just try to turn away, you end up turning your back on your opponent and are very vulnerable for a takedown—and put you right back into the position you just worked so hard to get out of. As you cut back into your opponent, you want to end up back in your stance. If you are out of your stance, you leave yourself open for a takedown again.



Another move that can be used to get you out of the bottom position, the switch, can be done from a standing or seated position. You can perform a switch to either the left or the right, depending on where your opponent lines up. Let’s suppose he lines up on the left side, as in the stand-up example above. From the “referee’s position,” the first thing you do is lift your right knee and move your left arm across your right one. This opens your hips up to sit and clears your opponent’s hand from your elbow.After you lift your knee, sit fast and hard onto your right butt cheek. If you land on the left side of your butt, you didn’t make it far enough around and are in danger of exposing your back, so sit hard and fast to that right side. As you hit your butt to the ground, your right hand reaches underneath the opponent’s right leg (which is usually still up, with knee bent, from being in the referee’s position). Pull on the knee and bring your left hand up and around the opponent’s body to grab his hip or waist and help pull yourself up and on top of him. This counts as a reversal and rewards you with two points, unlike the stand-up, which is an escape and earns you just one point. Both of these moves are safe and can be very effective when done correctly.

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