It’s upon us, competitions. You can always tell when it’s that time. There is a certain air about the mat, everyone seems a little sweatier, the warm-ups feel a little more intense, there’s a bit more groaning, and ofcourse, take-downs is amongst us. It’s time to embrace the suck folks.

There is something beautiful, yet awful, about take-downs. When applied correctly, the execution can be the most beautiful thing you see as a spectator, awful feeling you experience as the one being taken down and the euphoria you feel as the one executing is overwhelming. It is however, and exhausting process.

The art of applying a good double or single is still lost on me today, and that is why I work on it consistently. If nothing else, even if I fail to execute it, I can be mentally prepared to respond and recognize when it’s being executed against me. Remember that the success of a take-down can come in two forms, for he who executes it and for he who is able to effectively defend against it.

The Basics of the Double Leg Take Down

First let’s start with the basics of the take-down as Coach Tom Explained it. Below is a brief demonstrating the technique so that you can visualize the process as well. Assuming a normal stand where you each have the same front foot forward – so your opponent has his / her right foot forward and you have your right foot forward (obviously various variations from there exist).

A Quick Summary of the Technique

1. Focus on the entry

. The entry is by far, perhaps, the most important aspect of the technique. With a good stance, you are driving forward on the front leg, driving that forward knee into the ground. The back leg is staying back to help you with your base.

Many folks like to hook the leg with the back leg etc… not saying anything is wrong with that, but for this case we’ll stick to the basics.

2. You’re not driving forward.

Unless you’re much larger than your opponent driving forward will do little for you when your opponent sprawls, instead focus on an angle. There are various ways to achieve this.

3. Leverage your head as a rudder.

It’s almost like riding a motorcycle, where you look the bike goes. The same applies here. Instead of looking to the ground, look upward. Leverage the back leg to help you look upward.

4. Your hips exist for a reason.

Use them, bring your right leg and shoot your hips under your left leg while looking upward. Now walk as if you’re walking parallel to the mat, but using the mat to push on.

5. Welcome to the world of angles.

By looking up, and walking parallel to the mat you’ve introduced an angle that has now taken your opponent off balance. Drive, drive, drive and you’ll end up in your opponents side control.

Remember though, unlike wrestling, this is JiuJitsu and the biggest threat to us for our take-downs are the chokes, especially the guillotine choke. So remember your head positioning and don’t forget your kneck.

Here is a quick video from this evenings class to refresh your memory: