Half Nelson Technique with Oklahoma State

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The half nelson-one of the most common moves to put an opponent on his back-has been around since the dawn of wrestling. According to John Smith, head coach for the national champion Oklahoma State wresling team: "It's more about how you use leverage and your arms than how strong you are." Here, he hooks you up with a few dos and don'ts for performing and defending the half nelson.


Do get a deep half by elevating your elbow and reaching for your opponent's opposite ear or chin

Do reach under his opposite armpit to gain control of that hand to prevent him from posting

Do keep your chest back enough so you end up chest to chest after rolling him to his back

Do end up with your bodies in a T-position after rolling him over

Do spend 3-4 minutes working on your half nelson technique every day

Don't run a half when your opponent is on his hands and knees. He'll reverse you


Do peel his hand off the back of your head using the hand of the arm in the half

Do keep control of this hand after you peel it off so he can't put the half back on you

Do use your inside leg to start building your base

Don't get broken down to your belly

Don't look into the half

Don't let him gain control of your post hand

Don't grab fewer than four fingers to peel his hand off your head-that's illegal

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