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How to Run the Pipe in Wrestling

The run-the-pipe technique is one of the most effective finishes to the single-leg takedown. If you’re a wrestler who utilizes single-leg attacks, you should absolutely know how to perform this move. There are a couple of different ways that you can run the pipe, but this guide will teach you the most basic version.

1. Control the Leg

Shoot whatever type of single that you wish on your opponent: High crotch, sweep, etc. Then get to your feet and place the leg you are controlling in between your legs. Once you do this, pinch your knees together to control your opponent’s lower leg. This will keep him from being able to free his leg.

Control your opponent’s upper leg by locking your hands behind the bend of his knee. Then pull your lock up until his knee or upper-leg is touching your chest.

Hot Tip: Head Position

You can run the pipe with your head to the outside of your opponent’s hip (like when shooting a high crotch) or to the inside of his leg (like when shooting a sweep single). Either way is effective, but for the purpose of this guide, we will discuss how to perform the move with your head to the outside of your opponent’s hip.

2. Step & Switch Grips

Step your near foot towards the foot your opponent has on the mat. As you step, move your hands below his knee. Keep your arms crossed just above your wrists, making the shape of an “X,” and place the palms of your hands against the back of your opponent’s lower leg.

For example, if you are controlling your opponent’s left leg, take a step towards his right foot with your left foot. Keep both of your arms crossed with your palms against the back of his leg.

3. Step & “Hike”

Next, take a step back with your other leg (the leg you did not step with). As you do this, press the palms of your hands upward against the back of your opponent’s lower leg while you keep his leg in between yours (similar to hiking a football in between your legs). Next, use your chest to push against your opponent’s upper leg.

For example, if you are controlling your opponent’s left leg, and took a step towards his right foot with your left foot, step back with your right foot. Then use your hands to press up against his lower-leg, and use your chest to press down on his upper leg.

Because he can’t use the leg you are controlling to regain his balance, he will fall to his buttocks. Note: It may take more than one step backwards to get your opponent down to the mat. As long as you keep pressing your opponent’s lower leg upward, while using your chest to push his upper leg down as you move backwards, you will cause him to fall.

4. Convert to a Double

As you force your opponent to the mat, follow him down by using your near shoulder to place all of your weight on his lower abdomen. Keep all of your weight on him, but try to stay up on your feet. If you go down to your knees, you will alleviate the pressure you are putting on him.

For example, if you performed the move on your opponent’s left leg, keep your left shoulder pressed against his abdomen as you follow him down.

From here, all you will need to do is convert to a double: With the same-side arm as the shoulder you are using to press against your opponent, release the grip you have on the single and wrap it around his other leg for the double.

For example, if you performed the move on your opponent’s left leg, keep your left shoulder pressed against his midsection. Then transfer your arm from behind his left leg to behind his right leg.

Your other arm should remain in the same place as when you forced him down to the mat. Also, make sure to “snake” your arms behind the bends of your opponent’s knees and pull them towards you to maintain full control. From this position, you will score the takedown. If you keep pressure on your opponent and control his legs, you may earn back points, as well!

Reaction Time

The run-the-pipe finish is most effective when it’s performed immediately after getting to your feet (having control of his leg) after you’ve shot your single. So practice the move in this sequence when you drill it. If you run the pipe immediately after getting to your feet, it will allow you to finish the takedown with ease in competition. Now get on the mat and start drilling this move!

If you're a wrestler who likes to shoot single-leg takedowns, this finish is for you! Check out this guide to learn the powerful “run-the-pipe” finish.
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