Thursday, June 23, 2005

BJJ Move #21: Double Leg Takedown - BJJ Style (with various setups, and notes on shooting generally)

"Okay," you say, "so I'm standing up against my opponent and I want to try all these fancy pins and submissions on the ground. How do I get him down there?"

Well, until you've learned to throw blue fireballs, you'll need to use things like takedowns.

One straightforward way is "shooting," or lunging in at your opponent, grabbing his legs, and lifting or knocking him off his feet. Here's the BJJ version of a double leg takedown, called a "baiana," along with a bunch of setups and tips.

WARNING! These techniques could result in serious injury or death if practiced incorrectly or even if performed correctly. They should only be practiced with the supervision of an experienced instructor.

Double Leg Takedown - BJJ Style (with various setups, and notes on shooting generally):

NOTE: If you've done wrestling, BJJ shooting takedowns are different (but not necessarily incorrect or sloppy). With a freestyle wrestling double leg, you touch your lead knee to the ground and come much lower than in a BJJ-style double leg.
The BJJ version is different, ostensibly because:
(1) when fighting on a hard surface instead of mats, you don't want to bang your knee on the ground; and
(2) when wrestling, both opponents start in a lower, crouching position to protect against takedowns, while in a fight opponents stand upright-- and the BJJ style double leg is designed for shooting in underneath a jab.
I suspect another reason is that Japanese takedowns didn't really include shooting for legs, emphasizing throws and sweeps instead. In judo, for example, you can't touch your knee to the ground when going for the judo equivalent of a double leg (morote gari).
Anyway-- this move does work well.

Double Leg Takedown (a/k/a Morote Gari, Baiana) – BJJ Modified Version:
You and your opponent are in right-handed stances, left foot forward.
Change level (bend at the knees and hips--not back--so your body is lower).
Step into him (with your left foot—do not go down onto the knee like in a freestyle wrestling takedown; this is modified for fighting when not on a mat), and drive your left shoulder into him at waist level.
Keep your torso at a 45-degree angle and use your shoulder to ram into his stomach to double him over. You don't want to bend over too much at the waist, or you'll get pancaked, and you don't want to be totally upright, or you'll have no forward momentum.
Also, keep your elbows in close to your own body as you drive in-- you don't want to reach out toward his legs until you have good penetration.
Wrap your left hand around the back of his right knee, and your right hand around the back and side of his left knee. The left hand grip is harder to get because it’s farther back. Press your left cheek high and tight against his left side (just above the hip in his lower ribs, keeps you from being guillotined).
When wearing a gi (or pants), instead of looping the legs, which is pretty precarious, grab onto the pant legs.
Drive your head up behind his left armpit to unbalance him and protect against a guillotine choke.
(1) Lift his left knee, putting his weight on his other leg;
(2) Push your head up and into his side and push him back towards his rear (right) leg (which you should be able to block with your left hand). It’s like tipping a chair diagonally back on one leg—don’t drive straight back, go at an angle;
(3) Pull his legs together at the knees, as much as possible, by pulling your elbows into your knees;
(4) Continue to look behind him and drive off your right leg as if you want to go behind him.
Or, instead of tipping him over, if you have good penetration, drive up with your legs and pick him up onto your left shoulder. Dump him to your left.
When he comes down, make sure to move your body to the left, clearing his right leg, and come down in cross side. Use your left arm to block his right leg to help you keep side control (instead of being put back into guard).

Three basic takedown setups from before a clinch:
1) “Clubbing:” Using your rear hand, grab your opponent at the back of his neck and pull strongly forward so he bends over at the waist. Time your shot so you come in as he is straightening back up. If he stays bent over, spin around to his side / back, pancake him, or get a headlock / guillotine. The reason you use your rear hand is that using your lead hand opens you up to a shot / take the back on your lead side.
2) Push the head: Push your opponent’s forehead with your rear hand to straighten his back up and make him bring his hands up, then shoot low. You can also just put a hand in front of his eyes to distract him, then shoot.
3) Feint: Change your level a bit so your opponent reacts by doing the same. As he comes back up from defending your feint, shoot again before he can lower his level.

Snapdown Setup for Double Leg Takedown:
Circle your opponent.
Get "inside arm control" by placing your hands on the tops of his shoulders with his hands / arms outside yours.
Kick your left leg back as you pull your elbows into your hips to snap your opponent down in a surprise motion.
If his knees hit the floor, then jump to his back.
Otherwise, wait for him to react by straightening up, then shoot in low and grab him behind the knees as described above.
As you spin towards his back hug his knees together and drive him to the floor.

General Shooting Tips:
· Never force a clinch: this means if you are going to shoot and your opponent is pushing away over and over, back up readjust and try again. This would also be the time to strike.
· When you are starting in a standing position and are about to take your opponent down, you have to either move in fast or not at all. Once you make contact with your head, keep driving and don’t stop until he’s knocked over.
· When you are taking down your opponent by shooting for his knee or waist, always protect your neck with your arms in close to your body. Keeping your arms up protects your head from knee strikes and your neck from guillotine chokes, and keeping your arms in tight avoids the situation where your opponent simply blocks your shot by putting his hands on your upper arms.
· When shooting, keep your forehead parallel (not level, parallel) with your opponent’s shoulder: This way when you shoot in, your opponent will have to punch downwards to hit you. This is difficult to generate the proper leverage for a strike and will lessen your chances of getting decked on the way in.
· Keep your head covered when shooting and touch your elbows to your opponent's chest before completing the clinch: When you come in keep your elbows up to cover your head. Then don't grab your opponent until you have touched your elbows onto his chest. This way you will slightly disrupt his balance on the way in, and make your clinch easier.
· Every time you shoot in with your head against your opponent's waist or go to take his opponent's back, if you are going under his arm, press your head up into his armpit and bring your body around. This will help keep you from getting guillotined.
· When shooting, keep your chin and face pinned/tucked against your shoulder, to avoid having your opponent get a full arm around your neck for a guillotine choke - if anything, he will only be able to get his arm halfway around your neck.
· If you and your opponent are both in right handed stances (left foot forward), it will be more feasible to attempt a double leg takedown because when you shoot in with your left foot his rear (right) knee will be close. Conversely, if you and your opponent are in opposite stances (your left foot is forward and his right foot is forward), it will be easier to shoot for a single-leg takedown because his lead foot is right near yours, but his rear leg is very far away. Similarly, if you push, pull, or circle your opponent off balance, the foot he has forward relative to your lead foot will determine what shot is feasible.

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