Don't Stress The Technique: A In-Depth Look at Pro Wrestling Submissions

Tyler WilliamsAnalyst IIISeptember 23, 2009


When non-fans of the wrestling world critique the program and the skills displayed in the ring they are blind and cannot see the true elements of excellence.

Let me play repeater here:  But wrestling is a hard task with traveling, pain from on-going shows, and simply the hectic life style.

But we are not going to look at that today as by now everyone knows being a wrestler is hard and it has been debated and written about already.

But what we do need to look at is the diligent efforts and maneuvers that equal up to an excellent match.

There are so many wrestling maneuvers out there, from holds, chokes, stretches, power moves (slams), and high acrobatic acts if you were to go through the list it would probably take up a whole day if not more to get through the list of moves to utilize in the ring.

When we watch a great match we really don’t think about this as we are just dazed out of the greatness that has been presented to us and simply enjoy & love the moment…But if we break all the moves down and think of the time and effort it took to prefect that move we would appreciate the match even more.

Think of the effort Michaels & Undertaker made to leave us with a unforgettable WrestleMania 25 match…Honestly its incredible that they put all of that together to equal up to an  A + match.

So let’s go over the basics and maneuvers that we see in a regular match on a daily basis but don’t sit down and think of the time to prefect the move to bring us (fans) a well put match.



Now holds are an essential part for the baby-faces side of the match… They can bring attention and tons of energy to a match.

For example: Once it looks like the face is down and out and the heel has drawn all the energy out of the fan favorite he supplies a certain hold (normally a regular choke hold)… This seems to have the fan favorite down and out but with the help of the fans energy and cheers the baby-face picks up enough momentum to get him back in the match.

This element is used in a lot of matches to bring the crowds energy in affect of the match or at least liven up the crowd.

Other than that reason submission holds are utilized in the wrestling ring to slow down an opponent or submit their opponent to lead to victory.

There is a long list of wrestling holds so let’s take a look at some of the more popular ones and some that might look unfamiliar.

·         ANACODA VICE (VISE): The Anacoda Vice comes from the realm of Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. The Anacoda Vice is supplied with the wrestler (the aggressor) facing his opponent in a seated position towards his/her opponent.


 While leaning on the side of the opponent the aggressor places his opponent in a head-lock fashion while grabbing his/her opponent’s wrist. Once this is supplied the aggressor moves their free arm through the hole that is made from the head-lock and locks their hand on the opponents bent wrist and leans their opponent towards them to supply pressure.


·         CAMEL CLUTCH:  The Camel clutch was made most famous and supplied by the Iron Sheik. The way this maneuver is supplied is by the aggressor sits on his/her opponent’s back who is laid face down on the mat.

The aggressor then places his/her opponents arms on his/her thighs then reaches around the opponents neck and supplies what is called a chin lock. The aggressor then leans back to apply pressure to the wrestler’s torso and head/neck.


·         CROSSFACE: The Crossface and Chris Benoit became synonymous with one another as Benoit utilized and made the Crossface famous.


The Crossface is supplied by placing the opponents left or right arm (mostly right) in a scissors lock fashion in between the aggressor’s legs while both are laid out on the mat. The Crossface continues by the aggressor placing his/her hands around their opponents face (mostly the forehead) and pulling back to apply pressure.


·         FUJIWARA ARM BAR: This arm bar maneuver was innovated by NJPW (New Japan Pro Wrestling) star Yoshiaki Fujiwara (hints the name Fujiwara arm bar).


This unique maneuver is supplied while standing or on the mat with the opponent already on their stomach but the highest impact way is while standing.


Now if the opponent supplies this maneuver while standing it is quick and fast paced it starts while standing most likely with the aggressor having his/her opponent in a head lock. While having their opponent in a head lock the spin towards a free arm of the opponent and basically spin to the back of the opponent and basically drop down to the mat to supply pressure.


Now while on the mat the aggressor is on the side of their opponents back, initially at a 90 degree angle the aggressor places all their weight on the opponent to keep them in place with less movement. While the aggressor is in the correct position he/she hooks the opponents arm in an upward position into the opponents back cranking the arm muscles of their opponent into ultimate pain.


·         THE KOJI CLUTCH: The Koji Clutch is not that familiar or utilized here much in the states but in Japan it can be utilized a lot.

This fascinating move is supplied by the opponent laying face down on the mat while the aggressor lies down on the side of the opponent. The aggressor then hooks the left or right leg around the opponents neck with their arms locked around the neck as well; to supply pressure to make his/her opponent tap out by pulling their head back.


·         SPIDER TWIST: The Spider twist is another submission move that is rarely seen in the ring but once you do you will know what it is now.


For this submission the aggressor is behind the already sitting opponent while holding one of their opponent’s wrists. The aggressor will now supply an arm-scissors with one leg and then transitions into a head-scissors. Now with this intact the aggressor now claps his/her hand, with the other passing through the opponent’s leg, this completes the head-scissor and now the other arm goes under as well. The aggressor now pulls upwards while his/her leg goes downward supplying pressure to the opponent.


·         CLOVERLEAF WITH ARM LOCK: This is another version of the cloverleaf but supplied with an arm lock as well while standing.

This starts with the opponent laying face down on the mat. The aggressor kneels down on the opponents back; the aggressor then grabs the opponents arm and locks it behind the opponent’s knee. The aggressor continues the submission by reaching over and bends one leg so the shin of the opponent is behind the knee of the opponent’s straight leg and then places the straight leg in their armpit. Now the aggressor then takes their arm and reaches around the ankle, through the opening formed by legs, and then locks his/her hands together as in a cloverleaf. Then the aggressor pulls back to stretch the legs, back and neck of the opponent and the arm is still locked.


Now there are so many more maneuvers to go over but time has ran out for this article so it looks like you will be hit with another one so in till then I hope you enjoy this piece and read, rate, and please leave feedback.


Thank you


Side note:  Don’t stress the technique PERFECT IT!