In the first video, US Greco-Roman National Team head coach Matt Lindland and Northern Michigan assistant coach Andy Bisek demonstrated numerous way to properly use a two-on-one tie-up. For the next video in this three-part series, the coaches focus on what is widely recognized as the most important position in Greco-Roman wrestling — underhooks.
Below is a collection of techniques found in the video with timestamps in parentheses.
Underhooks for Greco-Roman Setups & Attacks
Bisek opens with a slide-by, a common technique wrestlers use to get behind an opponent to secure takedowns, and sometimes, higher-yielding scores. But the difference with Bisek’s slide-by is that it is not of the traditional windmill variety performed from standing. Instead, he bends his knees. While doing so, his free arm wraps around his partner’s waist to the far hip with the underhook arm, in this case his left, holstering onto his partner’s back. The underhook arm applies downward pressure as the wrap-around arm stays tight. Bisek is then in a suitable position to score with a variety of attacks.
Driving position off of your opponent’s reactions — Lindland (1:56) “I focus on the two things we talked about, heel line and toe line,” Lindland says.
The drilling partner in this video series, NMU’s Benji Peak, is called upon to resist Lindland’s underhook position by attempting to pummel over the top. As Lindland holds his underhook, Peak tries to pop his arm over. Lindland notes that the key to maintaining an offensive posture is focusing on the opponent’s hip and driving him over his heel lines. “He wants to correct that,” explains Lindland. “My shoulder is behind him, so he wants to transfer his weight to his toes.” With that, Peak resets his weight to his toes from the same position. Lindland’s shoulder allows him to redirect Peak forward before coming out the back on top and in excellent position to roll out a gutwrench.
Far side arm-drag — Bisek (3:50)
Bisek fishes an underhook with his right arm. As he does, Peak pressures to that side so as if to clamp down. The answer is a nifty arm drag to the opposite side. Bisek releases his underhook; slides it across to Peak’s other arm (his right); and then pivots his hips sharply to drag Peak past him. The result is a quick positional change that sees Bisek with an easy takedown opportunity.
Moving your hips close prior to attempting attacks — Lindland (5:25)
“What we see with young athletes is that they want to grab, they want to connect their hands,” says Lindland. “As soon as they get this angle, they want to reach instead of bringing their body close first and then connecting their hands.”
What Lindland is referring to is developmental-level Greco wrestlers attempting to lock around an opponent even though their hips are back, and thus, out of position, particularly relative to what their opponents can do to counter. Lindland illustrates this further by holding an underhook and popping out the side with his hips out ahead of letting Peak uncork an arm throw. In order to stave off this issue of improper distance, Lindland drops the underhook arm around Peak’s waist to pull him close to his hip. “We use this pull, push, and then connect our hands underneath their arms,” Lindland adds.
There are more techniques on the video and plenty of detailed insights to accompany them, so please be sure to watch the whole thing!