Double Leg Takedown & Defense – Complete Tutorial | Effective Martial Arts

The Double Leg Takedown is the most frequently used, and high percentage way to bring an opponent to the ground. It should be one of the first techniques you learn when beginning to study the wrestling range, and knowing how to defend against it is an essential part of your training as an effective martial artist. Instruction by Patrick Fulop. Enjoy!

Hi, I’m Patrick Fulop. This is Effective Martial Arts. In this lesson, the Double Leg Takedown, and everything you need to know for offence, as well as defense.

Alright, so the double leg take down is the most commonly used and high percentage way to bring an opponent to the ground. So, it should be one of the first techniques you learn when beginning to study the wrestling range; it’s very simple and effective. Also, knowing how to defend against this technique is an essential part of your training, so you can stay on your feet if you wish to do so and remain in control of the situation.

Now, we got a great video planned for you with lots of valuable information. We’re going to start by looking at offence, how you can properly position yourself for the shot, your basic steps, posture, hand placement, and then we’re going to show you 3 ways to finish the double leg take down.

Depending on the situation, if you’re dealing with somebody your own size, somebody small eror somebody bigger, and how to properly position yourself once you hit the ground, so you maintain control. Once you’ve got a good idea of these basic techniques, we’re also going to show you howto properly set up your shots to increase their efficiency, either from striking offence,striking defense or from the clinch position. Then we’re going to look at defense, your three lines of defense, what to do if you catch your opponent’s shot early to counter it, what to do if you react just in time to remain on top position and what to do when it’s too late.

You know you’re going down, you can still use these techniques to recover, get back to safety and sometimes even win the fight. And lastly, we’re going to look at what you can do when your take down attempt fails, how you can insure that it succeeds and how you can seamlessly transition to another technique to remain on the offensive. So, get your pen and paper ready, and let’s get right into it!Alright, now first things first, let’s look at your proper positioning for entry on the double leg take down.

Now to go in for a double leg, you need to be in the same stance with your opponent,which means you both have the left leg in front, or you both have the right leg in front. The opposite of this would be to be in mirror stance like so, in which case it’s preferable to go in for a single leg take down like this. So, you’re in same stance with your opponent.

Next thing you need to do is you need to setup your shot before you go in, otherwise it’s going to be too easy to counter. But, we’re going to see setups in just a moment, because first, you need to master the actual taked own technique. So it’s always going to start the same way. You’re in the same stance, you also need to be at punching distance, within striking distance, meaning you can touch your opponent’s face without moving your feet. So this will be the appropriate distance to start your take down.

As you get better and get more explosive, you will be able to shoot from further away, but it’s going to make your shot easier to spot and easier to counter as well, so it’s going to take some bit of practice. So general rule, within striking distance to start. Next up, let’s look at your penetration step, it always starts the same way. I’m going to take an open step with my lead leg, so that my foot lands right in between his feet. At the same time, I’m going to drop my level, until my shoulder is in line with his waist.

At this point, I’m in a nice low stance with my back straight. Very important not to round your back, because otherwise you’re going to have trouble lifting and you can hurt your back as well. So my back is straight and I’m leaning at a 45 degree angle forward. I don’t want to be too upright, because it is going to be easy to push me back, and Idon’t want to be too low either, because he’s going to push me down. So it’s a nice 45 degree angle like so, looking forward, always looking where you want to go, and bring the shoulders up to brace for impact and also to prevent against the guillotine choke.

So, from here, I’m going to drive my weight forward and slightly upward to bump him with my shoulder on his waist like so. This will ensure that I go underneath his center of gravity so his weight goes on top of me, and I can effectively pick him up. Now notice, as I’m going in, I’m keeping my hands up to protect my face against any possible counter strikes. As soon as you make contact with the shoulder, you’re going to bring your hands down andgrape vine his legs over here, to grab behind each knee.

The other option as well to grab the legs is to go for a gable grip on the high thighs or an S-grip like so. And that’s your basic entry. Now, before we get into the actual take down techniques, couple safety tips. First off, when you’re starting practicing this with a partner, don’t go ahead and slam him full force on the ground. Control his descent to make sure you don’t injure yourself. Also, when you’re practicing getting taken down with a partner, you wanna execute your correct falling technique to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, so chin down so you don’t hit your head, breathing out as you hit the ground and slapping the ground to disperse the impact if necessary.

Now, we’re going to show you three ways to finish the take down, first of which being the most common, classic cutting the corner to bring him on the ground. So, from here, I just did my entry, I’m going to step with my back leg to the side over here and step with my other leg to the other side of his legs like so. Once again, I’ll do it alone, so you can see better.

So, I do my setup, step in the middle of his legs, grab the legs, step on the outside,step on the other side, and here I’m on a nice, low squatting position with my back straight, ready to lift and bring him down. So I’m here, I’m going to do three things simultaneously. I’m going to push with this leg, push with my head going this way and looking that direction at the same time, and I’m going to lift his legs up this way, like so, so he’s going to trip over this leg. So I go here.

Now, I don’t want to just let him fall down like this, I want to follow him down to the ground to maintain control. I got two options for this: I can go to the side control position to keep my chest locked on him or I can follow him down to the knee on belly position. So he falls, I step, I follow him, and I’m ready to strike. Now, there’s an interesting variant you can do from here to create even more damage on your opponent.

Quick safety tip: this is a little bit more advanced, you can really hurt yourself, so make sure you’re comfortable with the basic technique first and make sure the person is comfortable hitting the ground. This will be to go for more elevation to slam your opponent down on the ground: this can create a lot of damage.

So instead of going straight to the side like this, I’m going to lift straight up but also lifting his legs on the side like so. So I’m going to lift straight up his legs and ease his descent to the ground to side control like this. As you get more comfortable, you can really lift him up and slam him down full speed,making sure to maintain contact with your shoulder on his waist to knock his wind out as he hits the ground. Make sure your partner is comfortable with this before you do it though and the technique on the receiving side of his technique so that you don’t hurt yourself too much is that you’re going to want to breathe out as you’re in the air, breathe out even more as you hit the ground, tuck your chin, and slap the ground real hard so you disperse the impact when you hit the ground. Check it out.

Now, an interesting variant on the cutting the corner technique would be to use a drop step, so putting your knee to the ground instead of just using your launch step. So it starts off the same way, I go in, do my entry, but here instead of just stepping with my back leg right away, I’m going to start by getting my knee to the ground. This will allow me to go a bit lower and get in a little bit deeper on the shot. Then, I’m just going to post this leg on this side, and sometimes I can finish the shot right here just by straightening my back, lifting his legs up and going to side control. Sometimes, I might need to lift my back leg up into the squat position so I can finish the shot.

Now here’s an interesting variance you can use when you’re dealing with an opponent who’s shorter than you. So if you’re a little bit on the tall side, it might be hard for you to launch down and get all the way below his center of gravity. So what you can do in this case is to get in, instead of getting your shoulder to his waist, you’re going to get your head underneath his armpit instead. So same entry step over here, controlling the legs, then I’m going to do my same two step after, out, out, and from here, I’m going to grab his upper thigh inside, like this here, and my other hand is going to be on the side of his leg or waist and I’m going to finish the same way by going to side control like so.

Now here’s another technique you can use when you’re dealing with an opponent who’s bigger and heavier than you. So, it might be hard to actually pick him up and lift in this case. So it starts the same way, coming in between, contact with the shoulder on his waist, grabbing the legs, but here, instead of putting my leg to the side to go this way, I’m going to drive straight forward and I’m going to hook his lead leg with my back leg, establishing a deep hook inside, like so, maintaining contact with my shoulder as we fall forward like this,then I’m going to put all my weight on my shoulder, and I need to get out of his guard,to prevent against the guillotine choke. So, I’m keeping my weight down, I’m going to block his leg with my opposite hand, keeping one hand on the mat like this and just kick my legs up to go past his guard to establish the side control position. Once again, a little bit faster, smoother: entry, hook, fall and pass right away to side control.

Alright, so now that you’re comfortable with these basic double leg take down techniques,it’s time to learn how to properly setup your shots. As I mentioned before, you can’t go straight in for a double leg take down, the person is going to see it coming and counter very easily. So you need to distract him with a setup. There are three options for this. You can go from striking offence to setup your shot, you can go from striking defense and we can go from a clinching position. So first off, striking offence, the most common setup for a double leg take down, is to punch. So as I said before, we’re already in a punching range, so you can use any punch of combination of punches to setup your shot.

The most common one is just to do a jab and shoot right in. You can also do a double jab and shoot. Another one is the jab, hook and then shoot. Or, jab, upper and shoot. And, you can use a combination with both hands, so jab, cross, shoot. Jab, cross, lead hook, cross and shoot. Virtually any combination can work. Another one that I particularly like is to go for jab, body hook and then uppercut and then right in for a double leg take down. The key to setting up your shot with punches is variety. You don’t want to always setup your shots the same way, otherwise the person is going to see it coming.

The other option for striking offence, which is a little bit less common and requires more flexibility, is to setup your shot with a head kick, roundhouse to the face. So here, I’m going to use this leg to kick, so either when the mirror stance and I kick and go in, or I can already be in same stance, do a switch kick to the face and right away shoot in. The other option to go in for a double leg take down would be on striking defense. The most common version of this would be to use head movements to go in for your shot. So, very simple, he jabs, I slip in and I use this momentum to pursue right into the shot.

Another option would be to duck under a hook, so he gives me a hook on either side, I duck in and go in for my shot at this point. And I can also go in on striking defense off of a kick deviation. So he kicks me with the back leg, front kick, I deviate, I step in, I use this to position myself for my take down.

The other option would be to go in for a double leg take down off of a kick catch. So there are many techniques that you can do off of a kick catch, which we’re going to cover in a future video, but here’s how to do a double leg when you catch a roundhouse kick to the body. So he kicks me with this leg, I’m going to step towards him and at the direction of the kick so I absorb part of the impact, put my head out on the same side that I’m holding his leg, grab control of his other leg, position myself and take him down. Once again, a little bit faster. Third option to setup your double leg take downs would be to go from a clinching position. So we’re going to cover the clinch in a future video, but here are the basics. I’m on the clinch controlling his head, he’s controlling my head, controlling his elbow,he’s controlling my elbow.

From here, there’s two main options. He might try to lower my head, so I’m going to resist and then, all of a sudden, I’m going to go with it, to take advantage of his momentum and go in for my shot. The other option would be if I try to bring his head down and he resists, all of a sudden I’m going to let go and go in for the shot. And that’s how you execute the double leg take down. Now, let’s look at defense. Before we get into the actual techniques, basic principle: you can always prevent the take down by using what we call the level match technique. So that means, every time the person is going to lower their level, you’re going to follow him down here. This puts you in an ideal position to execute any defensive techniques to prevent from being taken down. The person can’t come under you and underneath our center of gravity at this point. So as soon as he drops, I drop.

Now, from here, you have basically three lines of defense against a double leg take down. The first, is the early defense. If you catch a shot early, you see it coming, here’s how you can defend. Firstly, with strikes. So as he’s coming in, I see him coming, I can meet him with a straight knee to the face with my lead leg or with my back leg like so. Now obviously, it’s going to be hard to see it coming if he sets up his shot properly,but you have that technique that you can use if the occasion presents itself. The other option I can use is to do a lead uppercut to the face like so or with the backhand like so. And, thirdly, as a strike to defend I can also strike while I’m stepping back. So I’m going to do downward straight punches as I’m stepping back. So he comes in, I’m going to punch with the same arm than my leg that’s stepping back,and if he keeps on driving forward, I’m going to repeat the maneuver until I knock him out.

The other option for early defense would be to go for a deviation. So, as he’s coming in, I do the level match technique here, and then I make contact, either with my forearm on his neck over here, or with my hand on the side of his face and my other arm on the side of his triceps over here. Then, he comes in, I’m going to step back, all the way behind to redirect his energy and push him away this way. From here, I can just push him away and get out of the interaction or, to stay more on the offensive, I want to stay close to him as I deviate. So he comes in, I lower, I deviate, and then I stay stuck to him so then I can strike or take his back to take him down.

Okay, second line of defense, if you catch a shot just in time, the sprawl. So, here’s how it goes: he comes in, I lower my level, I’m going to lower my hands at the same time to do what we call the cross-face technique right here, and, before he gains good control of my legs, I’m going to kick my lead leg back like so and kick my other leg towards the outside like this, twisting my hips on the inside, so I can crush him down with my hips. From here, I’m going on top of the turtle position, I’m going to get his head down like this and establish my control. From here I can strike or I can take his back for a choke. We’re going to see what to do on top of a turtle position as well as how to escape in a turtle position video.

Once again, I’ll do it in the air so you can see better. So, imagine the person shooting in towards me, I lower my level, lower my hands, cross-face over here, his head is here, I kick my front leg back like this and this leg goes this way, turning my hips into him to kind of bump him with my hips. Here, I’m going to go on my laces with this foot and I’m here, I’m on the top of turtle position, pushing the head down, maintaining control on top. Once again, a little bit faster: he comes in, twist, top of turtle position.

Alright, now, last line of defense, when you know you’re going down. You’re going to apply these techniques to get back to safety and to prevent the guy from getting on top of you as he’s taking you down. So, this we call the head switch to sit-up escape. So as he’s coming in, I get my hands down, but it’s too late for me to sprawl, he has good control on my legs. At this point, as he’s driving my down, I’m going to get his head to the other side. As I’m falling, I’m going to post with my hand over here. Very important, before you do this, make sure your shoulders are nice and strong, because you can injure yourself if you post like this, but assuming you’re strong enough, you’re going to post like this to prevent him from taking you down on your back. Post like this, keep on pushing the head down and try to get my legs out, until I can do my technical get up and we’re back to standing.

Once again, a little bit faster: he shoots in, cross-face, get his head to the other side, post and technical get up. Now, here’s a very cool defense you can do when the opponent is about to slam you. He’s got you on his shoulder. Here, you don’t want to just stay there and wait until you get slammed on the ground. So there’s two things you can do. So, he already picked me up, and I didn’t have time to get my cross-face, I didn’t sprawl,I didn’t do anything: I’m in a bad spot over here. What I’m going to do: I’m going to reach across here, get my hand in between my body, in his face, and yank his head back. In the best case scenario, I’m going to fall on my feet and back to standing or, as he’staking me down, I’m at least going to do my sit-up escape and I can get back with a technical get up.

The other option would be to do the shoulder slip off technique, so I’m going to hit his shoulder with my hand over here and get my hips off this side so I can fall down like this, and then down guard standing, where I can do an up kick to the face or kick, push,escape to do a technical get up. Alright, and as a last resort in terms of your late defense of a double leg take down would be to go for the guillotine choke. Now, this is not something you look for in a fight because it can put you in a pretty bad position if you wind up on your back and the person escapes the choke. But still, here’s how to do it. So, he comes in, and as he comes in, I wrap my arm against his neck over here and grab it with my other arm here, either with the arm in or with the arm out. Now very rarely will you be able to finish the guillotine choke standing, although it could happen, if you have exceptionally good balance. Most often, what’s going to happen is you’re going to go down to your back.

So, if I know i’m going down, I’m at least going to try to prevent him from passing my guard so I can finish the choke. So he brings me down, I’m going to kick my back leg up to prevent him and bite down on his back so he can’t jump past my guard. From here, I just crunch towards his head, pull my hands up so I can finish the choke. Now another, very cool technique, which is a little bit more advanced, little bit fancy,but that you can land if you do it properly, is to roll back in your guillotine choke all the way to the full mount position. The advantage of this is that even if the person escapes the choke, you wind up in a good position to keep on striking.

Now here’s how you do it: he comes in, too late to sprawl but at least I got my guillotine,important to lock it up before you hit the ground, but here, instead of just falling down, I’m going to step into him with my lead leg like this and put my other leg with my chin across his belly and roll back so we wind up here, and I can finish the choke here. Or, if he escapes, at least I’m in a full mount and I can keep on striking.

Once again, I’ll do it alone so you can see better. So, he comes in, too late to sprawl, I at least can wrap my hand around his neck to get the guillotine, grab it with my other hand. Now, to finish the guillotine, I’ll need to get my hands up like this to constrict his neck and squeeze and, if I want to roll back, I’m still going to step into him with my lead leg, get my other leg on his belly like this with my chin and roll back, getting my head to this side, on the same side that I’m holding his head, to roll on my opposite shoulder.

So it looks like this. Once again, a little bit faster: he comes in, too late to sprawl, I grab, I roll and guillotine choke or full mount to strike. So now that we’ve seen offence and defense, here’s what to do when your take down attempt fails. So first off, for your take down attempt to succeed, you really need to commit to it,you need to go all in. If you hesitate, just a little bit, for sure your take down attempt will not work.

Even if you really go for it, you have an awesome take down and you go all in, sometimes if the person has really good defense, it still won’t work. So in that case, you have three options. One, you can keep on running through. So, you can just go for it, run through in a straight line, chances are you can run forward faster than her could run backwards, so eventually you’re going to take him down.

The other option, is to run around in circles, so keep on cutting the corner, until you take the guy down. The second option would be to switch to another take down technique. So, your double leg doesn’t work, you can switch to a single leg take down, you can switch-to a hip toss, ankle pick, body lock or a trip and chain these techniques together until you take him down. Now we’re going to have a detail tutorial video for each one of those techniques coming up, so once again, be sure to subscribe to our channel to stay tuned.

The last option off of a double leg take down is to go back to striking. Just because you decided to take the guy down, if he has really good defense, it doesn’t mean you need to stick with that strategy. You can go back to striking. Also, the advantage is that we go in for a take down, he’s going to sprawl and put his hands down here, so as he gets back, you know you’re not going to finish the shot, you can revert back and go up with a strike here to finish him with strikes. Alright, so those are the basics of the double leg take down. Quick recap, we showed you how to properly position yourself for the take down, so your stance, your distancing, your penetration step, proper posture, hand placement protecting you face as you go in, clasping each knee as you get into position, or clasping high thighs to take him down. We saw three ways to finish the take down, so your classic cutting the corner technique,with either a launch step or a drop step and with more or less elevation so you can really slam your opponent down or simply have him tip over. We also saw how to properly position yourself once you hit the ground, either in side control position to immobilize or knee on belly position for more striking opportunities.

We also saw the high double leg take down variant for when you’re dealing with a shorter opponent as well as the forward trip variant when you’re dealing with a bigger, heavier opponent. And we saw how to properly setup your shots using a punching combination, head kick, head movement, kick deviation, kick catch or from the clinching position. On defense, we showed you what to do if you reacted to the shot early, so how to strike defensively with a knee, uppercut or straight punch to the face, or how to deviate your opponent to stay out of harm’s way. We showed you what to do if you react to the shot just in time with a proper sprawling technique so you can remain on top and we showed you what to do if you react only late,either with these head switch to sit-up escape, the shoulder slip off or the guillotine choke as a last resort, at the very least securing a guard position and ideally rolling back to full mount.

The last part of the lesson was how to ensure that your shot succeeds, by fully committing to the take down, running through your opponent, how to intelligently switch to another take down technique when the situation calls for it, or how to revert back to striking to remain on the offensive. Now, hope you caught everything and hope you took detailed notes. If you haven’t or even if you did, you know you need to come back and watch this video again, to make sure you get all the subtleties. Also, you will have the tendency to forget, so make sure you come back to this video regularly to keep all the details fresh in your mind.

Now a cool tool to do that is to click the like button below; our video will appear in your liked videos. Add it to a playlist, bookmark the link, save the link on your phone, do what you got to do to be able to come back to this channel regularly. Once you got a basic understanding of this material, make sure to review your notes regularly,visualize these techniques, shadow practice when you’re alone, practice with a partner when you have the opportunity, always with safety in mind of course, and gradually apply these techniques in your free sparring sessions as well. Going very slowly at first, so you have time to think about all the details and progressively at a faster and more realistic pace.

So as always, please like, comment and subscribe, we got some more awesome video tutorials coming up in the clinch/wrestling range, as well as in all other ranges of fighting. Also, be sure to check out and review regularly all our other videos as well to keep those techniques fresh in your mind. Looking forward to helping you become an effective martial artist. Till next time, I’m Patrick Fulop, this is Effective Martial Arts, and remember, practice well, safety first and use these techniques only for self-defense.

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