Ben Askren Shows The Churella Series

Ben Askren Shows The Churella Series

We were fortunate enough to catch up with the Master Of Funk so that he could reveal his favorite and most dynamic pinning series: The Churella Series.

Jun 20, 2018 by Nickolas Velliquette
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In college, 91 of Ben Askren's 153 wins were by pinfall. Insane. To this day, he remains 3rd all-time on the NCAA d1 pins list. 

We were fortunate enough to catch up with the Master Of Funk so that he could reveal his favorite and most dynamic pinning series: The Churella Series -- one of the most effective cradle sequences to hit the scene in recent years. 

"In my opinion, it is the best scramble going right now."


Churella Series (part 1): The Standard Cradle


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Ben Askren counters the head-inside single by attacking his opponent's outside trail leg. When doing so, he captures the opponent's head with his left leg and goes elbow deep to the knee to crunch up his opponent. He then reaches back with his left arm to lock up the cradle before rolling the opponent over for the fall. 


Churella Series (part 2): The Hurdler Stretch Cradle


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After locking up the cradle, the opponent pushes his butt away hard, which creates space -- troublesome. To counter this, Askren "slides up" to his base and rolls the opponent over his straightened leg, which is posed in a hurdler's stretch position.


Churella Series (part 3): The Sanderson Steal


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The origins of this move are still somewhat unknown, but mid to late-2000's Mizzou Wrestling alumni will tell you that this pinning combination can be traced back to Ben Askren, circa 2007. Vintage competition footage of wrestlers like Mike Chandler and Marcus Hoehn (along with Ben Askren) virtually proves this. That said, there are rumors that Cael Sanderson himself bragged of inventing the move sometime around 2010. 


Churella Series (part 4): The Slide-off Reattack Cradle


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This is one of the most unique little sequences within the Churella Series because it leaves you many options. The genius of this move though is that it is essentially a counter to a re-counter attack -- vs. the common attack to reattack. This move is especially effective at countering opponents who try to lift your leg up into the air.


Churella Series (part 5): How To Lock Up The Cradle When The Head Pops Out


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Ben Askren shows how to lock up the Churella Series cradle when the opponent's leg pops out from a head-inside single to a head-outside single. The key here is to go elbow deep and to rotate your hips until you find yourself in the hurdler stretch cradle. See part 2 for reference. 


Churella Series (part 6): Using The Series To Turn His Single Into One Of Your Own


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Ben Askren hit this move on 184 NCAA Finalist Roger Kish at 2007 National Duals. This move is a great go-to when facing an opponent who is very strong and is unlikely to get crunched into a cradle while in deep on a single. Notice what Ben does to break his opponent's lock.


Churella Series (part 7): Hipping Into Your Opponent When The Head Slides Out


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The final pinning combination in the pinning series. Here, Ben Askren shows an impactful adjustment to make in the event that you run into a very strong opponent who cannot be crunched and who pops his head out to finish his shot. 


FOR MORE TECHNIQUE FROM THE FUNK MASTER HIMSELF, CHECK BEN ASKREN'S TRAINING PAGE