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How to Get to Your Base in Wrestling

Getting to your base, otherwise known as “basing up” or “building a base,” when you are in the bottom position is one of the most important skills for new wrestlers to learn. Essentially, the term “base” is synonymous with referee’s position — the strongest position a wrestler can assume when he is on bottom. The reason this skill is so important is because it is the first step to scoring an escape. Being able to base up will also help prevent you from being turned to your back.

There are many ways to get back to your base, but this guide will focus on getting to your base when you are flat on your stomach. Keep reading to learn the easiest and most effective way to return to your base when you’re caught in the bottom position.

1. Get in a Good Position

Before you can begin to base up, you need to make sure you are in a strong enough position to do so. When flat on your stomach, being in a good position means:

  • Keeping your head up
  • Having both hips facing the mat
  • Freeing your hands/arms from your opponent’s control

2. Elbows in, Start Pushing

Once you are in a good position, bring your elbows in towards your body. Place the palms of your hands on the mat and make sure to keep your forearms against the mat, as well. Then, start to push yourself up off the mat while keeping your elbows tucked in towards your body. You can also use your forearms to push yourself off of the mat if you need to, just don’t forget to keep your head up!

3. Push Your Hips Back

Keep pushing yourself off the mat and force your hips backwards into your opponent. This will help you create enough pressure against him to get to your base under his weight. Keep your chest low to the mat as you push back, and start bringing your knees under your body.

4. Raise Your Chest

Once you get your knees under your body, start walking your hands to your knees. Keep your palms flat on the mat so you don’t breakdown under your opponent’s weight. Once you are back in referee’s position, you can begin to perform a standup or any other kind of escape.

Hot Tip: Drill, Drill, Drill!

If you’re a new wrestler and just starting to train, you should practice getting to your base daily. Although you can do this by yourself, the best way to practice building your base is to have a partner actually break you down flat and put pressure on you. This is an easy drill. Simply allow your partner to break you down, build back into a base, and then continue this pattern until you have based up 15-20 times. This drill will give you good idea of how it feels to have to pressure back into an opponent during a match.

Essential Skills

Getting to your base is one of the most essential skills for wrestling. Simply put, if you can’t get to your base, you’re going to have a lot of trouble winning matches. For more guides on essential skills for new and beginning wrestlers, check out the Related Guides section at the top right-hand side of this page. Good luck!

Returning to your base in the bottom position is one of the most important skills for wrestlers to know. Check out this guide to learn the fundamentals of basing up.
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