7 Basic Skills #3: Changing Levels

Seven Basic Skills #3: Changing levelsWelcome again to the unauthorized version of USA Wrestling's Seven Basic Skills. What's the shortest distance between two points? A straight line. Is this always the best route to take? Not when taking shots. If I try to take a shot in a straight line, the side view of the path my body takes looks like this (the periods are just space fillers to augment my lame HTML skills - just follow the slashes and ignore the periods):\
Not good. I've just shot basically straight down on my face, with him sprawling out and beating on me while I'm "turtled" under him. The type of shot I want to take would trace this line:|
----------->Changing levels is really a very simple concept; there's not much too it. Imagine yourself as an accordian, whether it's fully extended or fully compressed, it's still the same basic shape. Starting in a good stance (Skill #1!), I'm going to squat down further (or straighten up, depending on the situation) while maintaining the principles of a GOOD STANCE the ENTIRE TIME. My basic stance does not change - my head is up, my hips are under my center of gravity, etc. The only thing that changes is just how high or low my hips are (how extended or compressed the accordian is). Why is proper level changing important? Because I will not be able to launch a successful offense (from my feet, anyway) without it. I need to get down to the level I want to go to before I attack my opponent. If I want to hit a double leg, I will go down to mid-level before shooting in. If I want to hit a low single, I will get down to a very low level before I shoot in. Not while I'm shooting in. The basic point is, get down to the level that you are going to attack, then fire straight in! Many types of attacks require a level change in two directions; a duck under is a good example. While moving my opponent (Skill #2!), I'm going to do an initial level change pretty low to clear past (underneath) his arms, getting close in to his hips, then changing levels up high again to go for the finish. Like this:|............/
|_ _ _/Proper level change is closely tied to the fourth basic skill: Penetration (coming soon!). With the introduction of that skill, I will list a few drills to practice both skills at once.

From: marshall thankyou chip for another basic skill I come here almost every day to see if you have posted another one. I learn something every time I read one. for example I did not realize that the shot was suppost to be down and then in as opposed to down and in. again thankyou for taking the time From: Chip CochranDefinitely marshall! You don't want to shoot down and in at the same time. Get low, THEN attack! If you shoot down in a straight line, you are just asking him to sprawl and punish you for taking a bad shot. If you get low, then attack in good position (head up, hips under your center of gravity), he'll still sprawl, of course, but it won't do him as much good. Here is a link to an animated .gif of good level change when going for a double:Level change to a doubleHere is a link to an animated .gif of good level changes for a duck under: Duck under level changes (down, then back up)Here is a link to an animated .gif of John Smith changing levels (extremely low): John Smith level change.Notice how John Smith maintains good positioning the entire time (he appears to be going for his "patented" low single here). He never lets himself get too extended, his head is always up, and his hips are supporting his center of gravity. Notice that he did not succeed in his shot (didn't really even take one). But since he changed levels properly, he was never in any danger and he could evaluate the situation, deciding it wasn't a good opportunity - which would not have been possible if he had just wildly shot in a straight line down on his face. **All of the above are courtesy of TheMat.com, a great resource! Check out TheMat.com "Coaches Corner" for some great techniques.

From: noshame damn, that's gotta be one of the best uses of punctuation i've ever seen! no shame From: Chip CochranLMAO! puffing out chest Yeah, I don't like to brag, but I wield punctuation marks like an artist uses a paint brush! :P