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High level breakdowns – Taylor vs Burroughs

A special thanks to Flo Wrestling for putting on this Marquee Event for our sport.


Now, onto the show!

High level breakdowns – Taylor vs burroughs

1st period,  both were working the head ties.

The first early attack was a snap by Taylor to the front headlock, which Burroughs countered by pulling the elbow in tight for a stalemate.

Taylor moved him successfully with alternating collar ties and quick efficient footwork.  He Definitely had the edge when it came to moving the feet this match. 

Taylor executed a very basic setup to get in deep on the single leg.  Burroughs countered with a shallow whizzer, grabbing his own shin.  Taylor tried to step over the far leg but Burroughs blocked with a leg stopover.  

Nifty move.  Had Taylor slid his knee forward,  hips underneath him, and driven his head into the side (it was on the mat), his chances of finishing would have been much higher.

The setup Taylor used:  a simple reach and go.  It works effectively when you’ve attacked the head multiple times, forcing your opponent to react with his hand (in this case, the same side hand)  The last time, instead of going to the head, he stopped short, changed levels and took his shot.  In effect, he caught Burroughs reaching.  The previous head ties set it up.

Near the end of the period, Burroughs went on the clock.  This is the penalty in freestyle for passivity.  When the clock starts, you have 30 seconds to score or your opponent gets a point.

Burroughs wasn’t able to score and Taylor took a 1-0 lead.

Here’s why Burroughs ended up on the clock….

When Burroughs attacked the head, he still couldn’t get his angle and get past Taylor’s head & hands defense to create an opening.  

When Taylor attacked the head, he did so effectively – backing up Burroughs and creating openings – and he attacked off those openings.  Even though he didn’t score off them, he was rewarded for being the aggressor. 

Two big attacks took place in the first period:  the snap to front headlock by Taylor, and the very deep single.  Neither scored but both established Taylor as the aggressor.

2nd period.  Taylor kept working the head, then executed a second reach and go (reaches hand up and instead of locking onto the head again, went right underneath it for the left handed single leg).

 This time he was able to pick up the leg and score 1 point (Burroughs scooted out of bounds under attack, hence the 1 point instead of 2 points if he’d have secured the takedown).

Now it was 2-0 Taylor.

And now for some….


Burroughs attempted a shot, then slumped down in pain, appearing to tweak his groin.  Taylor went behind him for the 2 point takedown.  

The challenge was overturned and the 2 stayed on the board.  At this point, David Taylor had a daunting 4-0 lead.

Well, if you know the history of this series, what happens next won’t surprise you…

Jordan Burroughs picked up the pace – and Taylor went on autopilot.

Taylor was still attacking the head, he just wasn’t looking to do anything with it other than slow down Burroughs.

Burroughs scored on a push-out with 50 seconds to go.  4-1.

This time, Burroughs got in on his double.  Couldn’t finish but drove Taylor off the mat again.  4-2, 23 seconds to go.

Burroughs continued the pressure, Taylor backed out of bounds with 12 seconds to go.  Now its 4-3!

JB continues the pace, Taylor backs out of bounds again – now its 4-4 (Taylor has criteria though due to the 2 point takedown)

Finally, Taylor has to battle in the center – can’t afford another point.  He holds on, and the match ends 4-4.

Taylor wins by criteria.

Can I just say how much I dislike that a match like this can end in a tie?  I know the freestyle rule – but in a showdown match like this, someone should have to outscore the other.



My 3 cents.

What you can take away from this breakdown

First point:  Taylor has a devastating snap – he consistently moved Burroughs around with it.  

Imagine if Burroughs had the ultimate answer to that head tie, and gained an advantage every time Taylor applied it – how much different would that match be?

If you’re a high school, junior high or youth wrestler – imagine you gaining an edge every time someone tried to work your head.  

That skill is an essential element of our exceptional handfighting series.

Second point:  It was a short yet crucial part of this match but it could have been enormous…

Possessing the skill to beat an opponent’s front headlock – and shut it down immediately – will win you a ton of matches.  

Many times, grabbing the elbow can create a host of openings for your opponent.  In this particular match, Burroughs had it tied up so deep that Taylor couldn’t do anything with it.  

There are very efficient front headlock counters that instantly shut your opponent down – as well as giving you scoring opportunities.  It is an essential skill, especially at tournament time.

Third Point:  The attacking wrestler for most of the match won.  When roles were reversed, that same attacking wrestler, now on defense, just about gave his match away.  

I’d loved to have seen David Taylor  stay just as aggressive and avoid giving up those back-out points.

The last time they wrestled, Taylor had an even bigger lead on Burroughs, and Burroughs came back to beat him.

Stay Aggressive!  Put them on defense immediately – and Keep Them There.

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