Arm Drag Wrestling (part 2) – 4 Basic Exercises

arm drag wrestling

Some basic arm drag wrestling exercises

In my training, I have noticed the prevalence of the armdragused in setting up various techniques. Rarely, though, have I received detailed instruction on the arm drag wrestlingitself. I got curious about its details and did some research.

Then, I asked myself, “How, exactly, is it done, and what does it accomplish? Are there exercises to improve my arm drag wrestling? What do I do after the armdrag?”

Therefore, these questions guided my research. After that, I decided to share it with you, the reader, here because I figure other people may have similar questions.

See the advanced Judo & Bjj techniquehere:

Pummeling to arm drag

In wrestling, the term “pummeling” applies to the use of your arms and upper body to achieve an advantageous position on your opponent, see the definitionhere. A simple exercise is to work the arm drag from the pummeling drill.

In the midst of pummeling, slide your overhooked arm down to gain control of your training partner’s wrist, pull down to unbalance your partner and prevent them from performing their next pummel. This creates an opening in the timing and an opening in your partner’s structure where you can bring your underhooking arm across to catch the tricep on the arm you have controlled. Perform the arm drag, unbalance your partner, then reset and begin pummeling again so your training partner can work the arm drag.

Reversal to ArmDrag

You can expand the previous pummeling drill to include reversals. When your partner catches your wrist, use that connection to pull their arm down and unbalance them. Release your overhook, shoot across your body, and acquire the armdrag position on your partner. This turns the basic pummeling to armdrag drill into a controlled spar where you try to get the armdrag before your partner can reverse it.This will inevitably lead to “hand-fighting.”

Hand-Fighting to arm drag

Hand-fightingis a free-form sparring game used in wrestling to develop skills useful for getting past your opponent’s upper body defenses and get to an advantageous position.Use free-form hand-fighting as a platform to find the arm drag. This allows you to work a variety of tools while still focusing on developing your arm drag.

Pro Tip:in wrestling, hand-fighting is a way to gain an advantageous position, but in the Filipino arts, the same hand-fighting play can be used to train weapon retention. You can use hand-fighting techniques to prevent an opponent from getting control of your weapon.​

Filipino Higot Hubad Lubad to arm drag

In the Filipino martial arts, “higot hubad lubad” is a common set of drills. Commonly, it is referred to simply as “hubad lubad” or just “hubad.”

There are quite a few variations including forehand, backhand, straight punch, elbows, uppercuts, and the lower body tools like knees and kicks can also be incorporated. Since this isn’t an article about hubad, we won’t go into detail on all those variations. We’ll use the forehand hubad as shown in the linked video. It has 3basic elements:

+ Stop their incoming attack

+ Raise their arm so it passes over your head

+ Trap their arm down and fire your own attack

Assuming you’re doing hubad on the right side, as shown in the linked video, after you raise their arm, you can continue the motion with your right hand to bring their arm down and catch their wrist with your left hand, pull their arm down to unbalance them, and shoot your right hand into position for the arm drag. Perform the arm drag, pivot to follow their motion, shift your left hand to their elbow, then resume the hubad exercise.

Common Question

A common question is, “When you bring their right down to your left, what if they hit you with their left hand?” This is a valid question but here are things to consider.

  • This arm drag exercises allows you to practice the arm drag wrestling from a more dynamic platform than starting from stationary.
  • Even in a sparring or fighting situation, your opponent will be committed to the strike for a moment. You’re just redirecting the energy they’re giving. As such, their window of opportunity to strike with their left is small.
  • In spite of the small window, they might be able to fire the left. Knowing the hole is there means you can keep an eye on it. If they throw the left, you can intercept it with your right instead of shooting your right under their right arm. If you have already shot your right hand under their arm, you can move in tight and tuck your head against their right shoulder so their left strike either passes behind you, or hits something less vital than your face.

See also:

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