Who is the best grappler in MMA? Given the many different grappling martial arts that are involved in MMA, you’ll most likely get a few contenders. However, the one name that’s always going to be there, is that of Ben Askren. He is the ultimate wrestling machine in both MMA and grappling. And he’s not just another life long wrestler. he has wrestling down to a science and has even created his very own style. Now, the UFC fighter’s complete wrestling gameplan is available as a Ben Askren DVD dubbed “Ultimate Wrestling”. And it is mind-blowing!
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Ben Askren – Ultimate Askren Wrestling Set (DVD/DIGITAL)
The Ultimate Wrestling Ben Askren DVD set is the only wrestling resource you’ll ever need. Outside of regularly training wrestling, this DVD is your best chance of high-level wrestling coaching. It is a complete guide, that starts from the very basics of wrestling and keeps going all the way to Ben’s own brand of grappling. Moreover, this is not just a wrestling DVD that’s intended for wrestlers. It is a grappling DVD that is based on wrestling for MMA. In that sense, its use for BJJ is beyond question. The Ultimate Wrestling set is going to make a better overall grappler out of you in the little time you need to go over all 8 parts of it!
The Best Grappler In MMA
Ben “Funky” Askren is a 34-year-old American grappler and mixed martial artist. Currently, he is fighting under the UFC banner, after reigning as the ONE Fighting Championship for a long time. Before that, he was the Bellator welterweight world champion. It won’t be long before he gets a UFC belt around his waist as well.
Askren was born in Wisconsin and was an athletic kid all his life. he never really liked to compete in team sports, though and ended up training wrestling at Arrowhead High School when he was 14. His exploits led to him getting awarded a scholarship to the University of Missouri. After a shaky start, he managed to win the NCAA Division 1 title two years in a row. In his final year, he went through the entire division undefeated. He also holds the record for most NCAA pins in a single season to this day. Ben was recognizable for his unorthodox “funky” style of wrestling, that earned him the nickname “Funk”. The Ultimate Wrestling Ben Askren DVD actually has a whole volume dedicated to the Funk wrestling concept.
In 2008 Askren qualified for the Olympics but lost sooner than he expected and never got a shot at a medal. After his Olympic endeavor, Askren switched to MMA. he dominated Bellator and One and shortly retired from MMA last year before signing for the UFC. He is set to debut against Robbie Lawler on March 2 at UFC 325. Askren also took part in the 2008 ADCC, losing to Pablo Popovitch in the second round.
Funk Wrestling For BJJ
Wrestling is an integral and important part of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, whether you like it or not. In most cases, people tend to use it to aid their takedown efforts. Double and Single leg takedowns are BJJ mainstays at this point. However, takedowns are just a small part of what wrestling brings to BJJ.
One great advantage a guy with a wrestling background has over a BJJ guy with the same experience Jiu-Jitsu is top position. Wrestlers are taught never to expose their back or let it touch the mats. That teaches them how to have an incredible base and unbelievable top pressure. Also, anytime wrestlers get a pin, it means they have to keep the person on the ground, both shoulders touching the mats. Just like in BJJ, if you want points from side control or mount. Well, there’s hardly a better grappling martial art to teach you pinning and lightning quick transitions than wrestling.
Another aspect of wrestling, catch wrestling, brings a different thing to the table – submissions. Although the Ultimate Wrestling Ben Askren DVD does not go into catch wrestling, it does cover some slick submissions. What you get from wrestling for BJJ is takedowns, pins, a great base, submissions, and incredible transitions. What you get from funk wrestling is a whole new way of incorporating wrestling based grappling into your Jiu-Jitsu.
Ben Askren DVD Review: Ultimate Wrestling
This DVD is about as odd as a grappling instructional can get. First of all, you get a complete system spread across 8 DVD volumes. That means there’s a ton of material in there that is going to cover every aspect of grappling. Well, every wrestling based aspect anyway. This Ben Askren DVD is one of the titles I come back to all the time, and I’ve probably popped it in the DVD player more than any other one in my collection. The reason for this is that you don’t just learn about the moves, you also learn how and when to use them.
Most importantly, Ben has a unique take on how to learn everything that he provides in his instructional. As you might know, Askren is very big on drills as the best possible tool for rapid grappling improvement. As such he teaches you not only how to incorporate them in your training, but also how to actually drill. Moreover, every volume contains ways of drilling specific to the subject matter it covers. And, the best part of it, even the drills have their progressions. The usual method here is drilling the move positionally, then throwing in movement as well, and finally, going for very specific positional sparring matches.
The DVD is a masterpiece in every possible sense of the word. Hours upon hours of material take care of any technical aspects. From a production standpoint, you get crystal clear video and great audio. Askren himself is a recognized teacher, as is his brother who is assisting him throughout this DVD series.
Part 1 – Hand Fighting & Single Leg
Disc one begins right at the beginning of any grappling exchange – hand fighting. There’s no grappling without engagement, and that means getting your hands on your opponent. Ben goes over the very basics of gripping and hand fighting here. From Underhooks to two-on-one grips, Askren goes over all kinds of upper body ties. He shows you how to get to them, maintain them and ultimately use them to dominate.
Highly specific hand fighting drills wrap this first volume of the Ben Askren DVD up. They include so really cool mini-matches, in which you go full out but only with hand fighting. Whoever wins the exchange, wins the mini-match.
A single leg takedown masterclass wraps this disc up. The first portion of the DVD goes over using hand fighting and grips to set the single leg up. From there on, Askren offers some amazing advice on keeping the position for as long as you like. Of course, finishing is a big part of this volume, including both orthodox and funk options.
Part 2 – High Crotch And Double Leg Takedowns
Part two addresses a couple of wrestling staples. The double leg is a major move in BJJ anyhow, while the high crotch is a bit more specific to MMA grappling. Both are integral though, and both can work in any setting.
Just like with the single leg, Ben starts from common upper body grips or ties. From there on, he follows a similar pattern of covering entries, the position itself, and multiple finishing options. He also explains the if you want to avoid opponent’s escaping with scrambles than double leg takedowns should be your first choice! Oh, and he has a unique way of penetrating for the double leg that you’ll love!
The high crotch takedown is something you can do off a single or a double, or as a takedown of its own. With the high crotch, the key is to make it simple and easy and know which direction to move on. Askren also covers common counters and how to avoid them when shooting. Some awesome funk ways of making sure the opponent stays down bring volume 2 to a close.
Part 3 – Basic Headlock & Defense Concepts
The headlock is a great position to attack from and is one of the main positions of modern BJJ. Here. Askren doesn’t just go over the intricacies of holding it but also entering from defensive positions.
In this part of the Ben Askren DVD, the defense is all about stopping takedown attempts. Of course, wrestling takedowns take the lead, with doubles, singles and high crotches the majority of moves. Defenses are varied and stretch far beyond just sprawling.
As a natural continuation to most wrestling defenses, Askren uses the headlock to immediately counter. His take on it is from a grappling perspective, so you get a lot of submissions and positional transitions here. There are some great tips on dealing with the turtle by employing the use of the front headlock.
Part 4 – Position Sealing Quad Pod
This part covers some basic bottom positions, particularly getting out of bad spots. The philosophy here is using a great base to shut down your opponent’s attacking options and finally escaping into attacks of your own. The Quad Pod is basically an “all fours” position which is a variation on wrestling’s referee’s position. The DVD also switches things up here, getting Ben Askren’s brother in a coaching role.
The best part about this DVD from a BJJ perspective is that it’s going to make your turtle positon unbreakable. You won’t only learn how to establish ha crazy base, but also how to keep your opponent’s arms away from your neck. Escape options include getting back to your feet or turning the tables on your opponent. The best part is that the opponents won’t be able to do anything as they watch you slip out. All in all, you get 40 minutes of ultra high-quality instructions on becoming Houdini.
Part 5 – Elevator Leg Crab Defense
Ben Askren is back in the coaching seat for this one, showing you how to extend your turtle defense. In cases where your basic Quad Pod defenses won’t work or you’re late, you get options on dealing with pretty much everything opponents throw at you. This includes all kinds of way s of breaking the turtle down to get the back. In wrestling, these are usually crab ride variations. As such, you’ll learn how to prevent them and counter them when they happen. in terms of BJJ, this translates to the ability to never allow a seatbelt grip or hooks when you end up in turtle.
The second portion of this volume of the “Ultimate Wrestling” Ben Askren DVD is about first move stoppers. Ben’s brother is back as a coach with Ben the assistant. This part of the DVD is all about attacking the turtle. You know how explosive wrestlers can be with their defense. This allows you to stop them before they even get their first move in. Conversely, you get some slick back taking options that’ll turn you into a real wizard!
Part 6 – Cradles, Hammerlocks, Tilts, And Crossface
This is where things get really interesting. As a huge fan of cradles, this is my favorite part of the Ben Askren DVD. What cradles, hammerlocks and the crossface are in wrestling, are pinning combinations to keep everyone on the ground.
With cradles, you get an intro to attacking from everywhere. It includes standing setups, turtle setups, scramble setups and much more. Askren is a master of the cradle, known as a real menace with them in collegiate wrestling. Instructions include far and near side cradles. The hammerlock is a natural continuation of the cradle when opponent’s do everything they can to stop you from opening them up. It is not a move often used in BJJ, but it does offer a different way of getting arm control from the back.
The volume ends with a Ben Askren special in the form of the “Assasin”. This move is something of a hybrid between a guillotine and an arm triangle. For Askren, ti was a way to pin people when they’re stubbornly defending. Fo BJJ purposes, you can use it as a pin, a sweep or even as a submission. Ben calls it “the perfect staller killer”.
Part 7 – Leg Crab Ride
This DVD offers an offensive option on crab and leg rides. They cover ways of using the control you have over a leg and the waist to ride into pins or even submissions. The DVD starts standing, with options from a rear body lock.
Crab rides are basically wrestling ways of controlling the back. They are an unusual way of controlling the opponent and preventing all their escape attempts. You’ll never lose both hooks or the seatbelt ever again if you follow the advice in this Ben Askren DVD! A great benefit of crab rides is that they can take you to the back, to the Turck or the Twister position, depending on your goals.
Part 8 – Funky Fresh
The finale of the Ultimate Wrestling Ben Askren DVD is all about Ben’s Funk way of wrestling. Basically, it is the ultimate guide to scrambles that you never had! And yes, Ben found a way to bring order to scrambles, and with the order, he also devised a great system.
Askren starts with the methodology of Funk scrambling and how to learn it. The funk scrambles start from bad positions and teach you how to scramble with the purpose of denying your opponent the win. This DVD is the holy grail of grappling escapes. There are standing escapes, turtle escapes, and even bottom positional escapes. Moreover, they’re all based on Ben’s own philosophy and are completely unorthodox and unexpected!
This DVD is the ultimate resource on wrestling for any kind of grappling martial art. If you want to do wrestling you need it, if you want to do BJJ you need it even more. And, if you’re into MMA, you simply can’t go forward without it. quality instructionals like this are really hard to come by and this one is available at an amazing price too!