Takedowns against Bigger Opponents

I'm about 5'8"-5'10" (not quite sure because there's always a discrepancy from one place to the next when i get my height checked) and weigh about 200lbs (at about 20% bodyfat these days because of too much school and work). I was wrestling around with my high school coach the other day who is about 6'0" tall and weighs in the neighborhood of 250lbs. He was a former Div. III national qualifier.

When we were wrestling, for the life of me I couldn't take him down. He just seemed to big to move and if I even got in on a single (be it low of high) I just co uldn't finish and I would wager if I decided not to even fully sprawl I wouldn't be able to finish the takedown due to his sheer size and weight (when I say size i'm talking about the mechanical advantages of being that tall and weighing that much affords a person).

Now my question is, how would you guys suggest I go about trying to take a person of that size down? I dont think skill level is what is keeping me back because although I didn't wrestle in college, whenever I wrestle people who have been Division III or Division II (not Division I though) national qualifiers, if we are wrestling on the feet, 30% of the time I'll be the one taking the other guy down, even if they outweigh me, so long as they do not outweigh me by more than 20lbs AND are not much taller than me. What would you guys suggest I do? Which takedowns to go for? What strategies to implement?

And the reason for me asking is not just so I can beat up on my old high school coach but because I believe a good little man can beat a good big man in practically any sport, although the little man has to be more determined and more ingenious in devising strategies and using techniques to defeat the big man....and because in streetfights I have always relied on my wrestling and boxing experience to pull me through, but I've never had to fight a bigger opponent who wasn't also a skilled wrestler that I couldn't take down but I have no control over who I may come up against on the street and as such if I do come up against some former college wrestler or who wrestled the heavyweights, I want to come out on top!

for takedowns being aggressive I like bodylocks,half nelsons into highcrotch lifts or single legs.and for defence takedowns I like sprawl off to an angle with a front headlock,rolling double wristlock or armthrows using the double wristlock grip into a trip.These are the only ones I find work on large opponnents because its hard to control there large hips so I focus more on taking control of there head to weird angles or controlling an arm I get the arm by trying to do a basic head throw.

ever hear of a sweep single..kinda hard for me to explain but it's an outside single/ankle pick and you could just stand up with it and throw the big dude off balance(thats a lot of weight to be movin around on one leg)..wish i could explain more, but just do a google search and you'll find plenty of info

Thanks guys, keep 'em coming please....Chip, any input?

John Smith single works for me, though I usually have to spin behind

bustyourleg, you hit high crotch lifts and bodylocks and armthrows on bigger opponents?!

Completefighter, first of all, about not faring well against your old high school coach... it sounds like it's not just the fact that he's a big dude (which he is) but also the fact that he's a big dude with some solid wrestling experience under his belt. I'm willing to bet that the reason you're having trouble is not just "due to his sheer size and weight" but the fact that he seems to know what he's doing. So don't take it so hard. Hell, it seems like he's a great workout partner.

OK, against bigger guys, usually the following things seem to work well...

Start off by being PHYSICAL. Handfighting hard - snapping, shucking, clubbing his head, getting wrist control, etc - just pummel the shit out of him. Second, work angles. Attacking straight on against a big man can be tough. Work on snapping him to one side then shooting to the other, for example. Angles and mis-direction are your friends.

Also, beware of getting stuck underneath him. When you shoot, be ready to scramble! If he sprawls on your shot, then immediately change off to the other side, hit a peek-out, or retreat out of the shot. Do not stay under him!

Like Mike said above, a sweep single is a nice option to learn against bigger guys - I would add a snatch single too. (I think the Les Gutches site has an example of a sweep single)

Low singles are good if you get them. Snaps downs and front headlocks are good too.

Just a few ideas...

Chip, I have a very good low single (it was always my bread and butter move) but against my old coach and opponents who are at least as big as him or bigger I am not able to finish period.....if he wants to just stand there and put his weight on his foot without full sprawl I still can't finish. Any insight into as to what I may be doing wrong and as to what I could to correct that problem (finishing my low single against people of his size, while not having any problem doing the same against guys my size or slightly bigger)?

Hmmm, you must not be getting good pressure if he's able to stand there when you've got a low single. There's a kid I coach who's about 20 lbs. less than me and he's got a good low single. If I don't sprawl or buckle my knee inward or outward, he'll put me in the hospital!

He gets good pressure by putting his head and shoulder tight to my shin and calf, pressuring back on my shin, while lifting/pulling at my heel. If I don't want my knee to get hyper-extended, I've got to react.

Are you only snatching at his ankle, but not actually committing and getting good pressure there? That's what I'm guessing could be the problem.

Another possibility is that you need to finish more quickly. If you just shoot, snatch the ankle... and hang out... he's going to completely nuetralize your attack.

If a low single is your thing, here's a little drill that might help finish quickly. I actually had the kid I was talking about work on this, since he's a big low single guy...

Get a workout partner to do this drill. Tell him you are going to shoot low singles, and he's got three options: 1. you get the low single (i.e. - he doesn't react/sprawl in time), 2. he retracts that leg ONLY (does not go into full sprawl), and 3. he goes into full sprawl. Once he does his initial reaction, he then continues at about 50/60% resistance, and you are basically going live. He does not tell you what his reaction is going to be - so you have to react live.

If he does option #1, then finish however you normally would - there are probably what...? 10 different ways to finish there? Finish QUICKLY. Remember that he's going to start resisting so you've got to finish QUICKLY. (By the way, if you don't get good pressure and he just stands there, fine, spin behind him while holding on to his leg)

If he does option #2, you QUICKLY change-off to the other leg - since he just sprawled the one leg, the other one should be in easy reach. Snatch it and go!

If he does option #3, quickly come back up a bit, bang his head down and spin - you're basically both squared off, on hands and knees, so you snap and spin.

Anytime you shoot a low single, you know the guy is going to react in one of those three ways. Practice reacting (real-time!) to all of them.

as usual i'm w/ chip. it's your coach's experience that's beating you, not 100% his size and strength.


WHat has worked for me is and inside trip when he has a bodylock on me. Johns Smiths low single has worked. High crotch and twisting and driving my shoulder into him forcing him down. I am 5'10 175lbs. I wrestle a guy 5'11 205lbs. I get down on myself sometimes but strength is my limiting factor.