Ankle Pick

Ankle Pick: How to Take Down Any Opponent Easily

Get ready to take your takedown game to the next level! Today, we’re diving into the exciting world of the ankle pick takedown. This technique is an absolute powerhouse in combat sports, known for its ability to quickly and precisely take down opponents.

This article will cover everything you need to know about the ankle pick takedown, from the basics to the advanced stuff. We’ll be breaking down the key elements of the technique, such as grip strength, footwork, and body positioning, so you can execute it with confidence and finesse. 

Plus, we’ll share some insider tips and variations, including high-crotch and single-leg variations and knee-tap variations, to help you level up your game.

Ankle Pick Footwork and Body Positioning

The ankle pick takedown starts with proper footwork and body positioning. To set up the takedown, step your lead leg slightly ahead of your opponent’s lead leg. 

Your rear foot should align with your back foot, and your lead foot should be turned outward and ready to pivot and drive forward. Your stance should be balanced and low, with your knees slightly bent.

It’s important to note that your stance should be adapted to the situation. For example, if facing a taller opponent, you may need to adjust your stance and lower your level to avoid getting hit in the face or chest.

Man performs ankle pick

Ankle Pick Hand Placement and Grip

Once you’ve positioned yourself correctly, you must secure a grip on your opponent’s arm and ankle. Reach down and grab their ankle with one hand while using your other to ensure a grip on their wrist or elbow. 

This grip will help you control your opponent’s movement and set up the takedown.

It’s crucial to make sure that your grips are tight and secure. If your grips are loose, your opponent may be able to escape or counter the takedown.

Ankle Pick Execution

With a secure grip on your opponent’s arm and ankle, it’s time to execute the takedown. Pivot on your lead foot and drive forward with your rear foot, using your body weight to take your opponent down to the mat. 

As you do this, pull your opponent’s arm towards you to maintain control and prevent them from escaping.

It’s essential to maintain your balance throughout the takedown. If you lose your balance or lean too far forward, your opponent may be able to counter the takedown and take control of the match.

Ankle Pick Variations

While the basic ankle pick takedown is effective on its own, several variations can be used to surprise and confuse your opponent. Here are some of the most common takedown variations.


Similar to the basic ankle pick takedown, but with the addition of grabbing your opponent’s thigh to help lift and drive them off balance. This variation can be particularly effective against taller opponents.

To execute the high-crotch variation:

  1. Start with the same footwork and grip as the basic takedown.
  2. Instead of simply driving forward, reach up with your free hand and grab your opponent’s thigh.
  3. Lift your opponent’s leg and push them off balance, then finish the takedown as you would with the primary takedown.

Single-Leg Variation

This variation involves transitioning from the ankle pick to a single-leg takedown. It can be helpful if your opponent manages to defend against the takedown.


To execute the single-leg variation:

  1. Start with the same footwork and grip as the basic takedown.
  2. As you drive forward, release your grip on your opponent’s ankle and reach up to grab their knee or thigh.
  3. Lift their leg and transition to a single-leg takedown to finish the move.

Tips for Improving Ankle Pick

Tips for Ankle Pick Takedown
Practice footwork and body positioning to improve success rate
Experiment with different angles and positions to find what works best
Develop grip strength and control for a firm hold
Practice grip exercises to maintain a secure grip during takedown
Train with partners of different sizes, shapes, and skill levels
Adapt technique to different opponents and circumstances
Be aware of your opponent’s movements and anticipate their reactions
Keep your hips low to the ground for better stability and control
Use your free hand to block your opponent’s attempts to counter the takedown

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Avoid telegraphing your intentions when attempting the takedown by practicing subtle movements and feints to disguise your intent. This will make it harder for opponents to defend against the move.
  • Overcommitting to the takedown is a common mistake that can leave you vulnerable to counters and other attacks. Maintain good body positioning and balance throughout the movement to avoid this.
  • Successful execution of the takedown requires adjusting to your opponent’s movements and reactions. Be prepared to transition to another technique or variation if your opponent manages to defend against the move. This adaptability is critical to successfully executing the takedown in a match.


The ankle pick takedown is a valuable wrestling move that can take down opponents of any size and skill level. By mastering the basic technique, exploring advanced variations, and following these tips for improvement, you can add the takedown to your wrestling skills and dominate your opponents on the mat. 

Remember to practice consistently, focus on footwork and grip strength, and adjust to your opponent’s reactions to make the most of this decisive move.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the ankle pick takedown?

A: The ankle pick takedown is a wrestling move that involves grabbing your opponent’s ankle and using it to take them down to the mat.

Q: What makes the ankle pick takedown effective?

A: The ankle pick takedown is effective because it allows you to take down opponents of any size and skill level with precision and power. It also provides opportunities to transition to other moves and techniques.

Q: How do I execute the ankle pick takedown?

A: To execute the ankle takedown, start with a low stance and step toward your opponent with your lead foot. Grab your opponent’s ankle with one hand and their arm with the other, then drive forward and take them down to the mat.

Q: What are some variations of the ankle pick takedown?

A: The ankle pick takedown Variations include the high-crotch variation, the single-leg variation, and the knee-tap variation.

Q: How can I improve my ankle pick takedown skills?

A: To improve your takedown skills, focus on footwork and body positioning, grip strength and control, and training with different partners. It’s also helpful to watch and learn from experts and practice consistently.

Q: What are some common mistakes to avoid when attempting the ankle pick takedown?

A: Common mistakes to avoid include telegraphing the move, overcommitting to the movement, and failing to adjust to your opponent’s reactions. Maintaining good body positioning and balance throughout the move is essential as being prepared to transition to other techniques if necessary

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