Training Tips - Keeping your Wrist

A problem that occurs with almost everyone is that of losing your wrist. Sometimes you lose it because your opponent is a very good top roller and rolls over your hand. Predominantly the reason the majority of people lose their wrist is the give it away themselves. Most don’t recognize the fact that they gave it away; they think that their opponent overpowered them. This usually happens when a person changes moves, such as going from top rolling to throwing your shoulder behind in an attempt to pin.

How do I stop this from happening? First you need to figure out what is causing you to lose your wrist. Are you changing moves when this happens, or are you just short of the pin pad and making a hit to finish off your opponent?

If it is the first then there are a couple things to try. Firstly slow down the transition from one move to the next. If you are top rolling and you want to wheel your shoulder behind your hand don’t try to do it in one blazing move. Slowly move your shoulder up behind your hand. If you feel your wrist starting to cave, go back to your top roll position again. Now try again. This time concentrate on your hand. Your wrist should already be bent in your favour so keep that bend as you move your shoulder into place.

Before you start to move, make sure your hand is in a good position. You should have a firm grip on your opponent and your fingers should be high on their hand. If you are gripping too low it will make it easy for your opponent to roll you out unless you have a strong hand and can prevent this.

Make your move in stages. The first stage will depend on where you start. If your shoulder is down by the table, move it half way up. Do this as if you were doing a chin up. Use your opponent as the chin up bar and pull yourself to the hands. The second stage would be to move your shoulder even with the hands.

A problem I notice with many people when they are top rolling is they leave their fingers behind. By this I mean that your hand is in a position where the wrist is up and facing toward you and your fingers are down on your opponent’s hand. This allows your opponent to finger-walk over your hand to get the advantage on you.

There are several things you can do to avoid this. The first and main reason this happens is lack of concentration. You concentrate so hard on pulling your wrist back that you totally forget about your fingers. When you start your back pressure pull with your index finger as well as your wrist. Most of your trouble begins with too much pulling with your wrist and not enough pulling with your hand. To do this keep watching your index finger to make sure that it is facing you at all times. This may take considerable practice. Bad habits are hard to break. You may not be able to get this move down off the start. It may take some practice. If you can’t get this move down make sure you can recover with your next move.

The main thing is to know is that you are going into this position, and either stop getting deeper into trouble or being able to get out of it. If you see that your index finger is starting to point toward your opponent then you need to bring it back to facing you. This can be done by finger-walking. Remember when you move your fingers not to open your hand, let up finger pressure slightly and slide them over your opponent’s hand. Adding plenty of side pressure is a useful tool in stopping your opponent from getting over your hand.

Another way to get your hand back is by using your elbow. Slide your elbow from the back of the pad to the front. Use lots of side pressure when making this move. As your elbow slides ahead your fingers slide over your opponent’s hand. This move should be made with one quick movement without letting up much pressure. Don’t be afraid to give up some ground as long as you regain hand control. If you let off on your pressure you may end up losing complete control and losing the match. However with practice this is a very good move to get back hand control. One note: when you slide your elbow ahead make sure it doesn’t slide out the front of the pad.

The last stage is where people typically lose their wrist - moving the shoulder behind the hands. When you do this try to elevate yourself. Get up on your toes if you need be. You are less likely to lose your wrist if your shoulder is higher than your hand. When the shoulder is lower than the hands you have a tendency to push with your wrist whish collapses the wrist. When the shoulder is high than the hands you are more likely to push with your hand.

To pin your opponent from this position you need to “lock” everything together. Keep a space between the hands and your shoulder, brace your hip into the table, tighten your triceps and drive everything to your corner. Everything works as one. The distance between the hands and your shoulder stay the same all the way through. As you go down try to push your hand through your opponent’s hand so your opponent ends up almost holding onto your wrist.

Practice this one step at a time. Have your training partner hold on as you go through the movements very slowly. As you become more comfortable doing this move they will take up more pressure. They also need to let you know if you are letting up pressure as you go through the motions. You can’t have any lapses in pressure or your opponent will blow through easily.

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