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How to Do the Basic Duck Under in Wrestling

The duck under, also commonly known as simply “the duck,” is one of the most versatile types of takedowns used in all styles of wrestling. This move involves the attacking wrestler to duck underneath one of his opponent’s arms in order to gain control of his body. The duck under can be done in a variety of ways and with many different types of finishes. Simply put, all wrestlers should know how to perform the duck under. Keep reading to learn how to execute the basic form of this technique.

1. Set up with an Inside Tie

While there are a variety of different ways you can set up the duck under, the most basic and effective setup is the inside tie. In short, this technique involves you using one of your hands to control your opponent’s head, while placing your other arm to the inside one of his arms and using your hand to grip his triceps.

For full details on how to perform the inside tie, check out iSport’s guide, How to Do an Inside Tie in Wrestling.

2. Snap & Pull

You will only be able to execute the duck under if you are able to get your opponent out of position. Your goal is to force him to move towards you as you make him pull his upper body up. This will allow you to get your head underneath one of his arms; if his upper body remains low it will be much more difficult to execute the move.

To take your opponent out of position, you will need to snap his head down and pull him towards you. This will cause him to react by forcing his head and shoulders upward. Make sure you stay in a low stance with your knees bent as you do this. This is your opportunity to execute your duck.

Note: You may not get your opponent to react the way you want him to right away. Keep snapping, pulling, and moving him — eventually you will take him out of position.

3. Create the “Window”

As your opponent starts to raise his body upward, use the grip you have on his arm to move his arm up and away from his body. Use your elbow to help push his arm up. This will create space between his arm and his body, giving you a “window” in which to get your head and body into.

4. Step, Pull, & Duck

Take a step on the same side of your opponent’s body that you created the “window” on. For example, if you used your right arm to push away his left arm to create space on the left side of his body, take a step with your right foot. This should be somewhat of a short step to the outside of your opponent’s body toward his foot. As you take your step, bend your knees to lower your elevation slightly.

As you step, lower (“duck”) your head and use the grip you have on your opponent’s neck and arm to pull his upper body towards you. This will allow you to get your head under his arm. Release the grip you have on his arm as it passes over your head, but keep the grip you have on the back of his neck.

You should now have a “claw grip” on your opponent’s upper body with the arm you used to control his neck in the inside tie. In other words, the arm you initially used to control your opponent’s neck should now be underneath the armpit you ducked under. Use this grip to pull his body in towards you.

Hot Tip: Head Up! Once your opponent’s arm passes over your head, quickly lift your head up and use it to push against your opponent’s body near his armpit. This will prevent him from being able to remove his arm from over your head.

5. Circle Down

With your claw grip, turn your body in towards your opponent’s body. Be sure to keep your hips tight to his body so there is no space for him to escape. Next, reach your free arm across your opponent’s back and grip his far hip. For example, if you are using your left arm for the claw grip, reach your right arm across your opponent’s back and grip his right hip. Again, make sure to stay tight to your opponent here!

Finally, use your claw grip to pull your opponent’s body downward in a circular motion. Pull him down towards the arm you are using for the claw. If you are using your left arm for the claw, pull him in a circular motion to your left. From here, stay on top of him to score the takedown!

Technical Foundation

You should now have a better understanding of how to perform the basic duck under. Practice the steps described above to master this fundamental technique. With enough practice, you will be able to hit your duck with a variety of different setups and finishes just like the pros. Good luck!

All wrestlers should know how to perform the duck under. Check out this guide to learn the fundamentals of this versatile takedown.
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