Know Your Holds
by Scotty Richards
Hello everyone, this is a new column devoted entirely on how to do wrestling moves correctly. I may not know everything, but I do know a lot. I have been through some professional training and am very knowledgeable about wrestling. I will start off with the basics of wrestling.
Now you may think this is easy, but there is an art to it. It's more complex than one would think. For starters, your hands must go in the correct locations or any trained wrestler will know that you do not know what you are doing. When you lock up, your left hand goes on the back of your opponent's neck, while your right hand goes on their elbow. Their elbow should be between your thumb and your index finger. Now, once you practice that for a while with your friend and have gotten that down good there is more to add to it. When your left hand goes on the back of your opponent's neck, it should slap them making a popping sound, and at same time you should stomp with your left foot. Practice that for a while then once you got it good you learned a basic lockup.
Another extremely basic move in wrestling. Anyone can do it, but being able to do it right is something not everyone knows how to do. Now to start the move, you (attacker) place your right arm, under your opponent's left arm. Your hand should be on their shoulder blade. Some people prefer to grab their opponent's head for more stability, but I personally don't like too. Now the next step takes some teamwork. As the attacker begins to flip the receiver up and over, the receiver must jump up and do a front flip while the attacker's arm guides them over. The result is a beautiful hip toss. Most of this move is timing, so try a quick count to three out loud to your opponent before you begin the move. It helps get timing better. Once you become comfortable working with someone you will no longer need to count.
This is a fairly simple move with not a whole lot too it. Grab your opponent's left arm (The fact that it is the left arm is important, every wrestling move is done to your opponent's left side) and twist it counterclockwise, then step under it. Make sure you do not have a tight grip when you do this so you aren't really twisting their arm around. That's basically it, you can follow up by kicking them in the chest or going for another arm wrench (remember keep your grip loose).
The hammerlock is a basic move, but it's very complicated. Start off in a lock up and then break away with your left arm. Bend their elbow joint with the armpit of your left arm. Then twist their arm around and behind them, holding it at a 90-degree angle behind their back. Place your right hand under their wrist, and your left one on the top of their arm next to their elbow joint. Now hold it there and apply some pressure, or make it look like you are applying pressure. There's another move for all you crazy wrestlers out there.
Running the Ropes:
Another thing that sounds simple but just isn't. I know a lot of backyard feds don't even have a ring (like mine), but I am including this so people who do have rings will know how to run the ropes correctly. To run the ropes you have to learn how to hit them correctly, to hit them correctly you have to spin so your back is to them, grab onto the top rope with your right arm (spin to your right too). Keep your feet planted when you hit the ropes, lean back into the ropes so your shoulder blades rest on the top rope, then bounce off and run across the ring. Now when running across the ring you want to take very few steps. I was taught three steps at most, and that was in a 20 x 20 ring. Three steps to cross a 16 x 16 ring (not a bad size for a backyard fed) shouldn't be too hard. Now there is another way to hit the ropes. The only change is with your feet. You hit the ropes with your upper body the same, but in this way you don't plant your feet. You have one foot in front of the other and your front foot should be at an upwards angle, that way when you bounce off the ropes you got a foot to step off on. I personally think this way is easier but some wrestlers (Tazz, Nikki Syxx) prefer the other way. It's up to you!
A very simple move that is in almost every match. When you are on your back in the center of the ring, as your opponent bounces of the ropes you roll over to your stomach and he jumps over you. It is a very common move in spots and chain wrestling. Use it often and get good at it. Have one person running the ropes and the other doing drop downs so two people will get practice at the same time.