Other than singlets, the double leg takedown is probably one of the most distinctive elements of wrestling. But, this powerful technique is also a staple of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, although it requires some modifications for best results.

We’re going to look at why the double leg takedown is such a high percentage move and give you the tools to add it to your arsenal! Keep reading for 5 tips for finishing your double legs plus advice for BJJ-specific setups!

Is My Technique Amazing or Are My Opponents Clueless?

When I first started out, my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu club was still in its early infancy stage. I was not particularly athletic or even terribly interested in sports in general. But, somehow the double leg takedown made sense to me right from the beginning.

All it took was one look at my training partner and I instinctively knew 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.

This is a common problem in BJJ – its not that my technique was initially amazing, but that my opponents’ defense was  lacking. What is important is to not throw out good techniques just because they stop working! Simply take the time to learn the details and keep working at it!

Making Sense of the Double Leg Takedown

There are endless variations of the double leg takedown as it has a long history of use in wrestling. But, these 5 tips will help you increase the your takedown percentage!

Shoulder Placement

If you can place your shoulder in the opponent’s hip you’ll most likely be able to finish a double leg takedown, even if some of your other details are lacking. If the shoulder touches first, and one of your legs end up between the opponent’s leg, you’ve got everything you need for double.

Finishing Direction

One simple rule is to always try and force your opponent to fall over the block you’ve created with your arm. That means pushing laterally, forcing them over your arm, rather than straight back over your hands.

Incorporate a Lift

As your shoulder touches their hips and you establish leg grips, move your center of gravity directly underneath them before you look to block and push them over. This will literally send them flying and ultimately crashing down to the ground. 

Pinch Their Knees Together

Almost everyone knows that a great double leg needs grips behind the knees. But don’t stop there. Instead, squeeze your opponent’s knees together. This narrows their base and makes them easier to topple.

Don’t Settle For Closed Guard

As your opponent is falling switch it is vital that you keep control of your opponent’s legs. Ideally you’ll want to land completely past their guard, but if you must end up in a guard – make sure its one you’re already on your way to passing!

 

Setting Up Takedowns For Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

One thing that can help you get a higher finishing rate on your double leg takedown in BJJ is using a non-traditional setup. The nature of exchanges and the rules of Jiu Jitsu are different from wrestling. This means that shooting across the mats from several feet apart is not always the best option when it comes to Jiu Jitsu. 

The wrestler’s shooting setup can work in BJJ, but it has a limited success rate. The combination of the gi, the fact that pins don’t end the match, and counters like front headlock chokes and Kimura traps all factor in here.

A much better option is to go for a double leg takedown off of a clinch. Many BJJ competitors start matches crouching as low as possible, meaning setting up a clinch is easier in BJJ than in wrestling. Since they’re low and looking for grips , clinch takedowns, like from double under or a collar and elbow tie, make a lot more sense than hitting a power double from a distance. 

Conclusion

While some BJJ purists may scoff at wrestling and some wrestlers may cringe at our bastardization of their techniques, ultimately BJJ is built around what works. As grapplers we are not limited to a small range of traditional techniques passed down from Jigoro Kano, but instead we’re told to find the most efficient way to win.

The wrestler’s double leg takedown is one of the best ways to get someone to the ground. All it takes is modifying the entry and finish so that it better suits rules of sport BJJ!