- Understand different types of leg rides and develop the confidence to turn the tables on the top man in any situation
- Learn how to recognize and anticipate your opponent's attacks from the top in order to effectively defend and improve your bottom position before the opponent attempts their attack
with Nick Mitchell,
Grand View University Head Coach,
2019 NAIA National Champions - Eighth straight NAIA National Titles (2012-19) - first team to win eight straight NAIA National titles;
2012, 2013, 2014 & 2016 NAIA National Coach of the Year - 4x NAIA National Coach of the Year (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016).
As an athlete, Coach Mitchell was a three-time NCAA Division III All-American for Wartburg College (also a member of the Wartburg College Athletic Hall of Fame)
Defending against leg riders can often be an intimidating experience if you don't first understand the mechanics behind leg riding and what makes the most common leg rides successful.
Nick Mitchell has produced over 80 All-Americans and over 25 National Champions in his11 years as head coach at Grand View University. One of the reasons he has had great success is his wrestlers' ability to stop their opponents' leg and crab rides. Coach Mitchell has a unique perspective in coaching his wrestlers in this position. While most coaches emphasize defending against their opponent's legs; Coach Mitchell emphasizes scoring out of their opponents legs.
The key to defending and scoring from an opponent's leg and crab rides is good positioning and the ability to react to your opponent. Coach Mitchell demonstrates fundamental techniques to defend and score against an opponent's crab ride, cross body ride, and saddle ride. He also covers realistic reactions that a wrestler may experience from their opponent while defending against the legs, such as a claw or power half.
Attacking a Leg Riding Position from the Bottom
Coach Mitchell demonstrates a variety of strategies that will prepare you for defending different rides from the top man. He demonstrates how to effectively stop saddle leg riders who sit on your hips up top, as well as cross-body riders that sit more to the side. Moves you'll learn include:
- Mule Kick: First line of defense to prevent an opponent from getting a leg in
- Turn and Shake: Ideal move to get a saddle rider out of position and create offensive opportunities
- Push Back: A more effective alternative to the traditional hip smash; the push back allows a wrestler to get in an offensive position without putting their self at risk
- Foot Throw: A great way to get a cross body rider out of position if they grab your ankle for leverage
- Hip Switch: Used to create hip separation against a cross body ride in order to open up scoring opportunities
Beating Tough Leg Riding Situations
At some point, every wrestler gets caught in a situation where there is seemingly little to do to defend against a turn or a breakdown from the top man. Coach Mitchell covers some of these common situations and provides you with a plan of action to not only defend against these attacks, but turn them into scoring opportunities, including:
- Beating the leg ride once you are broken down on your belly
- Defending the attack when the top man has a power half with legs in
- Defending when the top man grabs their own ankle with legs in
Coach Mitchell also shares a "Hip Battle" practice drill he employs with his team that will help you recover from a bad position when the top man has a leg in.
Defending the Crab Ride
Coach Mitchell demonstrates what to do if the opponent transitions into a crab ride after you defend against their leg ride. He continues the theme of being offensive-minded and shows you how to score from this position with four simple and effective methods.
- Scoot Away: An effective method of creating space and clearing out of a crab ride
- Scoot and Hook Shot: A great way to put your opponent on their back from their crab ride
- Pushback-Hip Heist-Turk: A great alternative to put your opponent on their back if you are