Why Wrestling Up

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The concept of wrestling up may still be relatively undervalued & underutilized.

To wrestle up is to initiate wrestling from your guard position with the aim of advancing into a better position where you can take your opponent down easily or attack your opponent’s back.

It’s not a new concept, but it’s not something taught well/systematically either.

If you learn how to get up off your butt and take your opponent down on your feet, I guarantee you will become much more dangerous as a guard player.

Why? Because people who rely on their guard skills (especially their open guard skills) heavily often stay on their back, and their opponents know that, too.

But if you are willing to come up on your feet and set up a sweep/takedown that way? You will become more threatening.

Wrestling up can bring you to a high percentage sweep/takedown finish position IF it’s executed well.

I suppose many guard players don’t bother trying to learn how to wrestle, though. So there’s your opportunity right there.

And in this learning process, you can sharpen your takedown skills, too.

Another huge benefit of wrestling up is that it simplifies your sweep/takedown process in an excellent way.

You can still play all sorts of open guard positions, but you could direct them into a small set of finishes instead of learning individual sweeps for each open guard position.

I think this is especially useful for beginners.

Consider these two scenarios.​

  1. Let’s say you drill 3 takedown finishes over and over, and you aim at executing any of these finishes from any position, whether you’re playing the guard or wrestling on your feet.
  2. Alternatively, you could drill 3 takedown finishes AND 3 different sweeps for each major guard position (I don’t know how many, but say 5 positions?)… let’s say you’d need to drill another 15 different sweeps.​

I believe the first scenario would be way more efficient.

What do you think about wrestling up?