One of the most common and effective ways for Greco Roman wrestlers to create scoring opportunities on the feet comes from an arm drag. This is especially true for American competitors, who typically crossover to Greco Roman after having spent their formative years in the traditional folkstyle system. In both Greco and folkstyle, the goal of an arm drag is the same — to turn your opponent’s feet in order to find an advantageous angle. Of course, the glaring difference is that in Greco Roman, only attacks to the body are allowed, and few setups lead to those attacks like arm drags.
In this video, 2006 World Champion and current US Greco Roman assistant coach Mohamed Abdelfatah demonstrates variations of the arm drag. The first example shows Abdelfatah using his foot position and tie-up to bait the right arm of his opponent’s to present itself. From there, he snatches the arm, brings it across his body, and pivots his hips to get behind. “My goal is to make his arm reach,” Abdelfatah notes.
The next variation comes from an inside two-on-one. Abdelfatah holds his opponent’s right arm against his chest, his left hand above the elbow and his right hand at the wrist. While keeping the arm tight, he then circles out to his right before taking the arm drag across. Abdelfatah also explains that if his opponent is attempting to hold his far arm, in this case his right, he will use both hands to pull down on the arm as he circles. This elicits the downward pressure necessary to control the position and finish the drag.
Arm Drag for Greco-Roman from Mohamed Abdelfatah
There are two other arm drag options and Abdelfatah makes a point of showing where his head position must be in relation to each one. The drag that is likely to get a lot of attention for its nifty setup takes place at around the 2:00 mark. Abdelfatah holds a two-on-one on his opponent’s left arm with his head on his opponent’s right shoulder. He then comes across with both hands to take the opponent’s right arm and finish the maneuver.
Given Abdelfatah’s reliance on precise technique both as a coach and a competitor, these arm drags are suitable for Greco Roman wrestlers at any weight or level. It is recommended to pay attention to the details Abdelfatah shares, including head and feet position along with how to hold the arm.
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