How To Do the Double Leg Takedown

Whether you are interested in self defense, sport Bjj or MMA, a big part of having a complete jiu-jitsu game is to have competence in the standup grappling and the ability to take your opponent to the mat. Perhaps the King of the Takedowns is the double leg. The double leg is statistically the most successful takedown in the UFC.

Every Gracie Barra class includes training takedowns. Advanced students tend to find a few takedowns that work for them and drill them to the point that they have confidence that they can score with them in matches.

Let’s take a closer look at the double leg takedown and pick up some tips on how to make your double leg takedown better.

1) Start with a staggered stance with your “power leg” in the rear – as this is where most of your drive to finish the takedown will come from. Most people who are right handed will naturally prefer a stance with their right leg forward.

2) The distance. In a sport jiu-jitsu or no-gi grappling match, the distance will be different than if your opponent is a threat to strike you. Prof. Mike says a good gauge is if you can reach out and touch your opponent, you are close enough to attempt the shot. If you are too far from your opponent, they will have time to recognize your double leg and be able to sprawl and counter your takedown.

3) Lower your level. Experienced wrestlers don’t just bend over at the waist with head down and rush in trying to grab the opponent’s legs. The technique of getting underneath your opponents defense involves a deep penetration to get close to their hips and legs, an upright posture with your neck strong and a strong drive from your rear leg to finish the drive.

The double leg takedown is also very commonplace when a jiu-jitsu fighter finds themselves in turtle position bottom with a grip on the top guy’s legs. Most likely they have escaped side control by going to their knees and find themselves in a position to execute a double leg.

4) Create the angle. There are different variations of the basic double leg – some which involve blasting straight through and putting the opponent down like a football tackle. However, if your opponent starts to sprawl, you may not have enough drive to complete the takedown.

Note how Prof. Flavio “turns the corner” on his double leg and unbalances the opponent to the side. This variation depends less on physical strength and can help you finish a double leg that you otherwise would have given up on.

5) Use your head..literally! Have you ever noticed wrestlers and jiu-jitsu competitors have big, thick necks? The reason is not aesthetic! Grapplers use their head as an extra limb to apply force and move their opponent. When Prof. Flavio cuts the angle to finish the double, notice the big role his head and neck play in applying the force to knock over the opponent.


Master Carlos Gracie Jr.’s Philosophy on Jiu-jitsu Self Defense

Master Carlos Gracie Jr.'s Philosophy on Jiu-jitsu Self Defense

Credits: Mark Mullen 

Gracie Barra Black belt based in Asia