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5 Wrestling Moves For BJJ From Ben Askren

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Wrestling Gives You A Huge Advantage In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! If You Have Ever Faced A Wrestler In The Gym They Can Be Very Good At Take Downs

“Funky” Ben Askren is the hottest up and coming fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As a former Olympic wrestler, and assistant coach of the Askren Wrestling Academy (AWA) in Hartland, Wisconsin, it is safe to say that Askren knows a thing or two about grappling. Askren is known for his unorthodox style of grappling. He borrows techniques from many different types of wrestling. Askren’s list of accolades is long in his professional grappling career. Ben teaches the unique Pillars of A.W.A. that includes a focus of long-term success through “total wrestling”, fundamentals, and experimentation. Ben Askren was an NCAA D-1 Wrestler and is notorious for being one of the greatest and most technical wrestlers on the planet. If you admire his style, then you probably check The Askren Cradle Arsenal by Max & Ben Askren.

Wrestling take downs are some of the best techniques for your standing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game. Some of toughest wrestlers and take downs artists in the world at the Russians. Rustam Chsiev is one of those toughest ADCC Vets in the world with a take down game that is a force to be wreckoned with.

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Wrestling moves are great to incorporate into your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It can be very helpful when working your take downs and guard passes to know wrestling techniques. It is actually quite amazing how many similarities there are between wrestling and jiu jitsu when you really stop and think about it. Many positions in wrestling are effectively used in Brazilian jiu jitsu as well. Wrestling is also very widespread in the world of jiu jitsu, so even if you prefer “pure” BJJ you would benefit by knowing some wrestling techniques so you know how to counter them. So with all that in mind let us now take a look at 5 wrestling moves for BJJ from Funky Ben Askren! Here we go!

#1. Ankle Pick from Collar Tie

Wrestling take downs are some of the best techniques for your standing game. In the video below Ben is going to demonstrate an ankle pick from the collar tie that he learned from watching multiple time world champ Elbrus Tedeev from Ukraine. Ben Askren starts out with the collar tie, holding the back of his training partner’s elbow. Ben snaps his training partner’s head down. The key here is to pivot in order to secure an ankle pick. Typically you will see BJJ guys circle and stay square against their opponent which is not ideal for getting an ankle pick from the collar tie. When Askren pivots he can now pick the ankle. Pay attention to that head snap used to break down his opponent’s posture and get him off balance and his momentum going.

#2. Double Leg Take Down

Ben is a well seasoned combat veteran with an excellent system for bringing someone down to the ground. The double take down is certainly part of this system. The double leg take down is a great and often very under utilized technique in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The double leg is great because it is a hard position to scramble out of when you get taken down, as the attacker generally ends with control over your lower body. To his the take down, Ben looks to get his shoulders into his opponent’s abdomen, hands just below the butt, grabbing low. He gets in position, changes his level and shoots, his head ending up on the outside of his opponent’s waist, his arms wrapped tightly around the calves. One of the most important things about the double leg that Ben Askren shows is how he shoots. Askren has a pretty unique way of entering. He explodes and let his hips travel under him, making the double leg a split second faster, and very effective.

#3. Sprawl

Sprawling is taught widely in both martial arts and wrestling. In MMA, sprawling is an important aspect of the sprawl and brawl strategy. It is a defensive technique that is done in response to certain take down attempts, typically a double or a single leg take down. The sprawl is one of the most important techniques in wrestling and Ben Askren has one of the best sprawls around. The key to sprawling is to get your hips back when your opponent shoots. You want your hips to be pressing down on your training partner’s shoulder and your chest on his upper back. An important part of this technique is to be on your toes and pushing into your opponent. Remember, you want to use your whole body to generate pressure and keep your opponent bent downwards. A common mistake grapplers make when sprawling is not to cover this opponent’s head. Covering the head of your opponent prevents him from being able to easily escape to either side. So always try to be thinking about controlling your opponent’s head when sprawling. You want their face pointing down towards the mats.

#4: Hand Fighting Honey Badger

The honey badger has many different names but the basic concept behind the honey badger is that you are coming to your opponent’s side with an under hook under their arm pit and your other arm goes around the neck and forces your opponent’s head down. This gives you a great control point for taking down your opponent. To get into this position Askren usually fakes a single leg and then steps to the side to lock up the honey badger. Pay attention to how deep Askren’s arm is under his opponent’s shoulder. From here, it is basically over for your opponent. All you have to do is “steer” your opponent’s head down to the mat, ending with a strong side control advantage.

#5: Drive Across To The Double by Ben Askren

This is a great way to attack a double leg take down. The number one finish for the high crotch is a drive across to the double.  As Askren gets in tight to the leg he likes to drive through, rotate, and step up, sending his opponent over from the double leg. It is a very simple yet effective take down that will work every time.

Needless to say, there is a lot we can learn from Ben Askren, and wrestling in general, when it comes to improving our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game. In a sport as dynamic as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you will face competitors with a whole range of back ground. Grappling arts such as wrestling and sambo have infiltrated even the highest levels of competitive BJJ. So you definitely want to know and understand wrestling techniques, even if you prefer not to use them. We can learn a lot from guys like Ben Askren. If you liked these 5 techniques then be sure to check out Ben Askren’s instruction series, “Ultimate Askren Wrestling,” available exclusively on BJJFanatics.com! In this series, Ben makes it easy to implement wrestling no matter what your body type is or level or experience. His instruction will make it easier for you to attack and defend take downs like you never thought was possible. So be sure to check it out if you want to gain a huge advantage over all the guys at your gym! Also check The Leg Riding Counter Manual by Ben Askren and Winning The High Crotch by Max & Ben Askren.

Wrestling is a skill that all Brazilian Jiu Jitsu martial artists should explore. Not only will your take down game greatly increase for jiu jitsu, but you'll also see how wrestling concepts can integrate into your jiu jitsu skills to make you an even better grappler. Check out Rustem's DVD / On Demand series called Russian Hacks to quickly integrate some Russian Wrestling Hacks into your game.

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Russian Grappling Hacks By Rustam Chsiev

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