The Story

Let me tell you a little story about the double. When I’d first been starting out, my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu club had still been in its early infancy stage. I was not particularly athletic or even interested in any sport of the physical variety. However, the double made all the sense in the world. I’d look at my training partner and I’d instinctively know when to launch myself at their legs, that is until I started getting sprawled on, guillotined and countered with corner reversals. Suddenly, what had been clear as day became a mystery. Then my coach gave me a new set of tools. I’d progress from just seeing it as my ‘launch yourself at legs’ move to watching out what leg was in front me, which side of the hip. I’d start dropping down to a knee traditional wrestling style; circling to the outside with what I think was fairly good knee-rotation. When I’d get hit with a sprawl I’d sit out. But as you might be guessing, I hit a dead end yet again.

With my posture great and technique sound I could no longer finish. I just didn’t have the drive and mental determination that I had had in the first place. I’d drop down with great posture. They’d just frame and push me off. I wasn’t stuck in a sprawl or a guillotine, but still I’d wasted energy and my confidence tends to wane with each defense my opponents pull off. I hated the double for a while. I’d work around it by looking for my opponent’s sprawl so I could do stuff like butterfly sweeps or guard pulls. I took this route for a year, maybe longer. Then, hallelujah, I got the setup I’d been looking for: the elbow pull.

The elbow pull is a collar tie setup. You pull on your opponent’s or partner’s elbow cross-side till they start posturing up. As they posture up, the elbow grip pulls you up and in for a spectacular finish. But guess what. Dead end, yet again. I still couldn’t and probably can’t pull it off at distance.

When everything start to make sense with double leg takedown

Honestly, I hadn’t thought about the double in a while. Upper body takedowns make much more sense. I hadn’t, that is, until I’d seen this video.


Clinch takedowns and setups are great. Wrestling technique is great. But that double from distance will keep anyone on their toes. Perhaps you’ve had a similar or maybe completely different experience. Maybe you don’t even care why something works or doesn’t. In the end, it’s all a game of chance. Whatever move you’ve got, it’s always going to be at 50%. It’s either going to work, or it’s not. Some people might see this as defeatist, but there are some of us who are obsessed with identifying that moment when to go for something. That opportunity is always there. It’s our job to find and recognize its silhouette.


Just as a last addition to this rant, you might frown upon the technique in the video. Combat sport practitioners are almost always incredibly critical when it comes to technique, but if we’re being completely honest, anything that works makes for sound technique. I’d personally gone through hundreds of videos on the same move and not just the move itself, but its counters as well. That’s when things start making sense. Now that we’ve got instagram, you can easily cross-reference thousands of videos into something that’ll make sense. Cheers.