Grapplers Graveyard

Wrestling Moves – Grapplers Graveyard

wrestling moves, modern wrestling, single leg attacks

Wrestling moves are going to be a pivotal part of your entire grappling journey. Whether you have goals to be a Brazilian jiu-jitsu athlete, an MMA fighter, or just want to stick with keeping these sports a hobby, wrestling is going to be needed. Everyday you train you will run into opportunities to use the ones listed below. Let’s examine the most common wrestling moves (both offensive and defensive) that you will encounter while grappling.

Wrestling Moves

There are many folk-style or free-style wrestling moves that soon-to-be wrestlers or even seasoned vets should be familiar with to gain advantages and score over opponents while in a match. In this article, we will review some of the most common wrestling moves you may see while training on the mats.

wrestling moves, modern wrestling, single leg attacks

Most Common and Effective Wrestling Moves


A takedown involves bringing your opponent to the mat from a standing position. There are many ways to take someone down to the mats for BJJ and wrestling. The most common takedowns that you will see are the single-leg takedown and the double-leg takedown.

Double Leg Takedown

Again, this is one (if not) the most common takedown that you will see when you start out grappling. The double-leg takedown consists of the attacker grabbing both legs and driving the opponent to the ground. When performing the double-leg takedown be sure to keep your head on the inside (particularly when doing BJJ) because you may leave your neck open for a choke.

Duck Under

The “duck under” is a fundamental wrestling move that is commonly used to avoid an opponents attack and gain a strategic advantage. It is often employed in both folkstyle and freestyle wrestling.

The duck under involves a quick movement requiring you to lower your body (bending at the waist) to slip under the opponent’s extended arm, effectively avoiding their attempt to grab or control you.


An escape is a way to get out from underneath your opponent when they have you in a controlling position. This can be done in a number of ways and is pretty self-explanatory.


A reversal is a way to go from being in defense to being in a position where you become the attacking wrestler. Typically, you will use your opponent’s body and momentum against them and reverse the bad position you may have found yourself in.

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In wrestling, a pin occurs when you are able to hold your opponent’s head and shoulders to the mat for a certain period of time. When this happens in folkstyle wrestling matches, the attacking wrestler is awarded 3 points. This is your goal in any wrestling match.

Half Nelson

A half nelson is a move that involves controlling your opponent’s head and one of your legs or arms simultaneously. This position can be used to apply pressure and get your opponent’s shoulders to the mat.

Ankle Pick

An ankle pick is a move that involves grabbing your opponent’s ankle while having a collar tie. When done right, your opponent will end up falling backward because you are using leverage nd body weight against them.

Firemans Carry

A fireman’s carry is a move that involves grabbing your opponent’s arm and lifting them onto your shoulders. You then rotate and bring them to the mat.

Knee Pick

A knee pick is a wrestling technique used to take down an opponent by targeting their lead leg. It’s a move commonly employed in both folkstyle and freestyle wrestling. The objective of the knee pick is to disrupt the opponent’s balance and bring them to the mat.

Other Common Moves

Defensive Wrestling Moves


The sprawl is something that is easily one of the first things you will learn in almost all grappling-related sports. Wrestling and BJJ athletes will find themselves using the sprawl to prevent single-leg takedowns and double-leg takedowns from happening. The motion is simple, you want to move your hips to the floor while your feet and legs move backwards. Apply hip pressure on the head to make it more difficult for the opponent to successfully take you down to the mat.

Granby Roll

The Granby roll is a common way for you to escape from the bottom position. To execute the granby roll, wrestlers roll on their shoulders, away from the opponent while simultaneously turning towards them.


The Stand-Up is a move used to escape from the bottom position. The wrestler stands up while maintaining control of their opponent’s hands and then either turns to face them or moves away to earn an escape point


The Whizzer is a defensive move used to prevent an opponent from taking you down. The wrestler drops their weight and applies a tight over hook on their opponent’s arm, preventing them from getting to the legs for a takedown. The whizzer involves using the arm to apply downward pressure on the back of the opponent’s arm or shoulder, creating a lever to thwart the takedown attempt.

Front Headlock

A front headlock is a wrestling position and technique commonly used to control an opponent and set up scoring opportunities. It involves grabbing the opponent’s head and arm, typically from the front, and using leverage to dictate the direction of the match.

Wrestlers often use the front headlock to defend against takedown attempts, control their opponent’s movements, and initiate their own offensive attacks.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should my kid do wrestling?

If you have a kid that is considering wrestling, we suggest they get the experience especially if they plan on doing another grappling sport like Brazilin jiu-jitsu. Wrestling teaches you so many things about hard work and will get anyone comfortable with combat.

Our experience with wrestling is only through a couple of years spent on the mats while in High School but we use it daily in BJJ to help us progress.