Introduction: How to Escape From the Bottom Position in Wrestling

Folk-style wrestling is a very popular sport during the winter months. During the course of a wrestling match, you will almost always find yourself in the referee's position or down position at one point or another. Being able to escape from this position is a must for any wrestler regardless of skill level.

As illustrated in the picture, while in the referee's position, you are on all fours. From here, we are going to go over two fundamental ways to escape from this position. The first move is a straight stand-up, and will let you get back to a "Heads Up" position or face to face position with your opponent. The second move is a switch. This will allow you to reverse your body position on your opponent, and gain control.

Of the two moves, the switch is the harder to hit, but it also gives you two points versus the one point that a simple stand up and escape will give you.

Step 1: The Stand-Up

The stand up starts simply. You start by stepping up with your inside foot into the position that you see above. Note: Your opponent can wrestle on either side of you, so which foot is your inside foot is dictated by the person you are wrestling.

It is important to keep your back straight, and take this step with authority. Any half-hearted attempts will only lead to you getting slammed back to the mat. This needs to be a solid, strong movement. Keep your arms in during this move as well. You will need them to take control of his hands as he attempts a mat return.

Step 2: The Stand-Up

The next part of your stand-up is actually doing it. You have already taken your strong first step with your inside foot, and are now ready to get all the way up.

As you are coming to a standing position, you have to be careful to not put too much pressure back towards your opponent. Too much pressure makes for an easy mat return for him, and painful return for you.

Keep your hips in front, and make sure your hands are on his hands. The faster you can break his tie, the faster you can face up and get your escape point.

Step 3: The Stand-Up

The final part of your stand up is to face up your opponent, and get your one escape point. What you want to do is break his hand tie on your waste and pivot through to a face to face position. The pivot is achieved by drop stepping towards the side with the hand tie.

For Example: If your opponents hand tie is on your right hip, you will drop step with your left foot and pivot toward his hands.

The above video is a great example of this drop step technique. Once you are face up with your opponent again, you can go to work running your offense, and getting the win.

Step 4: The Switch

Another way to escape from the bottom position is with a Switch. The switch allows you to reverse your position, and take control of your opponent. This also gives you two points for a reversal as opposed to the one point that the stand up escape provides.

Your individual strengths and weaknesses, coupled with the situation in the match will dictate which move you choose to use.

Step 5: The Switch

The way you start a switch is by sitting out. Just like with the stand up, you will start with your inside foot, but instead of standing up, you will will be shifting it out in front of you. This will put you into a sitting position in front of your opponent. This is why it is called a sit out. You sitting out from your opponent.

Step 6: The Switch

The second part of the switch is where the rubber meets the road. You will lean back into your opponent, applying pressure on them as well as their hand tie. While they are managing their hand tie, you will reach back with the hand opposite their body position. Example: if they are on your left side, you will reach with your right hand.

You are reaching for the inside part of their thigh. If you are reaching with your right hand, you are reaching for the inside part of their right thigh. Once you have it, physics takes over from there.

This hand placement gives you the leverage you need to basically swing your body around behind your opponent, and take control of the match.

The above video shows you a great example of a switch.

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