How to Do a Suplex in Mixed Martial Arts


The suplex is an advanced mixed martial arts move that requires a combination of strength, flexibility and fighting intelligence. The skill involves grabbing your opponent from behind, lifting him in the air as you bend backward and then twisting your body as the opponent is thrown to the mat. The resulting submissive position of your opponent gives you an advantageous edge in the fight.

Things You'll Need

  • Mats
  • Wrap your arms around your opponent’s stomach, approximately at navel height, in a strong hold from behind. Clasp your hands together to secure your hold and pull your opponent’s body toward you.

  • Bend your knees and lower your hips to be just below those of your opponent. Engage your abdominal muscles, straighten your back and press your shoulders down and away from your ears.

  • Straighten your legs and push your hips forward in one swift and forceful move. Simultaneously, pull up with both arms while maintaining a strong hold around your opponent’s stomach. This should lift your opponent off the floor.

  • Arch your back as you lean backward; the top of your head should be pointing toward the floor behind you. Ground your feet into the mat and keep your front-of-thighs quadriceps and back-of-thighs hamstrings and your glutes engaged for stability. Your opponent will be in midair and likely starting to descend toward the floor behind you.

  • Twist your torso, arms and head to your non-dominant side to throw the opponent to the mat. For example, twist to the left if you are right-handed and to the right if you are left-handed; your dominant side remains on top and in control for leverage.

Tips & Warnings

  • Move fast while executing the suplex. Your opponent will be attempting to wiggle his way out of your grasp throughout the move; you will have a greater chance of success if you are able to quickly flip him back.
  • Follow all mixed martial arts rules and guidelines when performing any fighting skills or moves.
  • Failing to twist your torso midway through the lift may result in you landing on your back with your opponent on top of you, which may cause your back to be seriously injured.
  • Avoid dropping your opponent on his head or neck, which may cause an extreme injury.
  • A suplex is a professional fighting move and should only be done under the supervision of a certified martial arts coach or sensei.

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  • Photo Credit Nicholas Piccillo/iStock/Getty Images
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