Wrestling Defense: Down Block

Add this move to your arsenal to aid in defending against an opponent’s shot to your legs.

When you step onto the wrestling mat, you’ll want to have a well-rounded skill set. Having moves that can generate points and put you in a position to pin your opponent is key.

But it’s also important to have defensive techniques to help you stay on your feet and avoid giving up points.

When your opponent shoots in, you’ll need to have the right moves in your arsenal to shut down their attack. The down block can help defend against a lower-body attack.

“The down block is a basic technique that is used to defend against leg attacks from longer distances,” assistant Division I coach and former collegiate wrestler David Terao says.


You’ll down block from your wrestling stance. To aid in this, make sure to work on both your stance and your movement in your stance. Both can boost your offensive and defensive skills.

There are three key components to the down block:

  • Your lead leg must go backward to avoid your opponent’s hands.
  • Your lead arm must replace your leg to block your opponent’s forward movement.
  • Your head must be low to aid in stopping your opponent’s shot.

“The down block is a critical component of a complete defensive skill set that should be mastered in order to prevent opponents from scoring from longer distances,” Terao says.

You’ll want to master a variety of defensive techniques to improve your skill set. The sprawl is another move that can shut down an opponent’s attack of your lower body.