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How to Hit a Fireman’s Carry in Wrestling

High school wrestler performs fireman's carryThe fireman’s carry is one of the oldest and most popular techniques in wrestling. Its popularity combines an upper body set-up with a leg attack, which makes for a unique and effective takedown. This guide will help you expand your arsenal of takedowns by teaching you how to hit the basic fireman’s carry.

Inside Tie & Pull

You always want to start the fireman’s carry with some sort of tie. There are many different ties you can use; however, the most effective tie for the fireman’s carry is an inside tie:

  • At least one of your arms should be on the inside of your opponent’s arm that’s on the same side of his body that you want to do the fireman’s carry on. Grip high on his triceps (almost inside of his armpit) and use your forearm to block out your opponent’s arm.
  • Your free arm may be used to secure an inside tie on his opposite arm, or to tie up his head or wrist. Once you have secured your inside tie, pull your opponent towards you. This will help set up the takedown, and it will also bring his legs closer to you.

Lower & Step

Lower your body and take a step towards your opponent so that your foot lands between his feet. Your step should be taken with the leg that is opposite of where you’ve secured the inside tie — if you have an inside tie on your opponent’s left arm, you’ll step with your right leg.



As you shoot, drop your knee in between your opponent’s legs. Turn your body so that it’s facing outwards as you pull him behind your head and across your shoulders. Your body should naturally move underneath his torso. Still securing the tie, the shoulder opposite of the hand you’re using to control the tie should now be in between your opponent’s legs. Try and get this shoulder as far in between the legs as possible. This will help you secure and control your opponent’s leg much easier.

Trap the Arm, Secure the Leg, & Pull

Keep the inside tie secured tightly, close to your body as you shoot. Pull your opponent’s triceps close to your body. To keep the arm completely trapped, pinch your elbow to your ribcage. His upper arm will be immobile if you do this. Wrap your other arm around the back of his knee that’s closest to the front of your body (it will be the knee that’s on the same side of his body as the arm you’ve trapped).

Now, start pulling your opponent over your shoulders using the grips you have on his arm and leg. Make sure to take him completely off his feet so you have full control of his body. Your bodies should end up looking perpendicular to each other, like the shape of a “T” with your opponent’s torso across the top of your shoulders.

Hot Tip: Keep the Arm!

The most critical aspect of the fireman’s carry is trapping your opponent’s arm. Keeping the arm as close to your body as possible when you shoot will take away part of your opponent’s defense. This will also give you more options on how to finish the takedown as compared to the more limited options you’d have without trapping it. So, don’t forget to keep the arm tight!

Shift Your Weight

Next, place your trail leg’s knee on the mat, towards the outside of the leg you’re controlling. Shift all of your weight from your near knee to your far knee.

Throw Towards the Arm

As you pull your opponent’s arm down towards the mat, throw his legs over your head. You aren’t throwing his legs backwards. Rather, you are continuing the momentum of his motion when you pull his arm down: His legs will go up and over your head, following the direction of his arm that you have secured in the tie.

As your opponent’s body hits the mat, do not lose control of the tie! With the hip that is closest to the arm you still have tied, sit on the mat. Keep your head tight to your opponent’s shoulder. This will help you keep weight on the arm so he can’t escape. Sit your other hip on the mat for a better base, or cover your opponent for the pin!

Securing the Win

Every wrestler should learn the basic fireman’s carry at some point, and the earlier, the better! One of the reasons this move is so valuable is because the control of your opponent’s arm gives you the opportunity to score precious back points. Being able to score back points immediately following a takedown is crucial against tougher opponents. Practice the basic fireman’s carry and perfect your technique so you can learn more advanced variations of the move — they’ll definitely come in handy. Good luck!

The fireman's carry is a unique takedown that all wrestlers should know. Check out this step-by-step guide to learn the basics of this technique.
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