Backhold Wrestling Technique

Backhold / Highland Wrestling Techniques


I’ve noticed that my write-up on Backhold Wrestling at the Cowal Highland Games has received quite a few hits; so I thought I’d have a go at doing another post about the techniques involved.

Backhold Wrestling

The Flying Welshman


Basic Principle
As far as I can tell, the basic principle is to aim to break down your opponent’s posture, by pulling in their hips.
That’s why you’ll often see people starting in a very bent-over position, with their bums stuck out:








Once you have control of the hips, there are a variety of takedowns that can be pulled off.
Check this video out at 1:30 for example:

Or this one from 30 seconds:

I don’t think I’ve ever tried if from a backhold position, but I think this style of takedown would work if you could get your head low enough without breaking your grip:


Countering a strong bodylock
From MMA the only way I know how to counter a strong bodylock would be to re-pummel in, or try an overhook or headlock throw.
In Backhold wrestling the headlock throw is the only legal move.
Move your overhook/high arm up, and around the opponent’s head, then rotate to face the same way as your opponent. You can try and finish it Tai otoshi style by extending your leg and tripping your opponent, or try it uchi mata style by dropping your head down, and bringing your leg up (like in a single leg straight leg deadlift).

Uchi mata (obviously the grips would be different):

Single leg deadlift (perhaps a good exercise to incorporate in the gym):

Tai otoshi

To get height for a suplex, or any similar throw, you can use your knee in between their groin to get initial elevation

Countering the hip throw or trip
Suplex! argh, this one can hurt.
This could also be used to counter the initial body lock. Check out 1:45 in this video for example:

This video shows the basic principle of a belly to back suplex – basically get your level and centre of gravity lower than his/hers, then you should be able to counter the hip throw

and this show a belly to belly suplex:

Be VERY CAREFUL with this technique.  Especially in training. You could easily break your own, or your opponent’s neck.  I wouldn’t attempt it unless your just drilling the technique

Check out 5mins 50, for a technique to counter a suplex (hook inside their leg)


Foot trips
Just to complicate things, there are also a whole host of different trips to look out for. Inside and outside trips, as well as reaping trips and everything else that I can’t pull off myself
Check out 1:40 for a classic outside trip

3 Responses to Backhold Wrestling Technique

  1. SJ says:

    Ha! That’s me with the rude boy tattoo!!

  2. Roddy Hayter says:

    There’s more throws, than the “headlock” one – a buttock throw to us. Unfortunately, they aren’t seen or used as much. There’s also a belly to back throw, different versions of hypes – a lift throw leading with you knees as guidance. Mostly though, trips and sweeps are used, such as front heel, back heel, buckle the knee, etc.

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