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Learn How To Sprawl Like Funky Ben Askren!
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Learn How To Sprawl Like Funky Ben Askren!

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Wrestling Moves - Sprawl by Ben Askren

Have you ever wanted to sprawl like Ben Askren? Funky Ben Askren is the hottest up and coming fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As a former Olympic wrestler, Askren knows a thing or two about grappling. Askren is a former ONE Welterweight Champion and former Bellator Welterweight Champion. He has received high accolades from a variety of sports, be it Mixed Martial Arts, amateur wrestling, submission grappling… and disc golf! Not only is he an elite level competitor, Askren is also a great teacher. He was formerly the assistant wrestling coach at Arizona State University and now owns the Askren Wrestling Academy with his brother max.

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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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.

The concept of sprawling is taught widely in both martial arts and wrestling. In mixed martial arts, sprawling is an important aspect of the sprawl and brawl strategy, while it is also used by numerous other wrestlers and mixed martial arts stylists. 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 basics of the sprawl have to do with shooting your legs backwards while using your chest and arms to pressure down on your opponent’s upper back and neck. Not only does this prevent the take down, it also breaks down your opponent’s posture and puts him in a very difficult position to defend. A well performed sprawl can open up great avenues to neck chokes, back takes, and arm and leg locks.

With that in mind, let us take some advice from Ben Askren on how to sprawl. The sprawl is one of the most important techniques in wrestling and Ben Askren has one of the best sprawls in wrestling history. This is a clip from Ben Askren's instructional series "Ultimate Askren." Be sure to check out this amazing instructional series for more excellent tips and tricks from the funky grappler himself!

Watch the video below and then we will break down Askren’s technique. Check it out now!

The key to sprawling, as Ben Askren explains, 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. Also, keep your feet back. You should be on your toes and pushing into your opponent. Remember, you want to use your whole body to generate that downward pressure.

A common mistake grapplers make when sprawling is not to cover this opponent’s head. If you aren’t covering the head with your torso you allow your opponent an opportunity to effectively regain some posture and counter the sprawl. Other times, grapplers will get overzealous with the head control, allowing their opponent to come up with their head to the outside, allowing for an easy pass or possible back take. Always try to be thinking about controlling your opponent’s head when sprawling. You want their face pointing down towards the mats. Use either your hips or your hand to cover the head while you work your grips.

As you can probably tell, Askren has an amazing ability to convey important details when it comes to teaching grappling positions and movements. There are a lot of details in this sprawl, so be sure to drill it a few times over before you go into a live roll or competition. One of the hardest aspects of the sprawl, especially for beginners, is the timing. If you are new to defending take downs then work this sprawl slow and get a feel for the technique before you add in speed and aggression. With instructions like the one Askren shares it will not take long for you to develop your own style of funky grappling!

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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