Basic wrestling is a phenomenal addition to any BJJ stand up game
It can sometimes be a bit difficult to figure out where to begin with takedowns if you’re just getting started with grappling. If you have no prior take down experience, wrestling can efficiently fill that void. On the flipside, if you’re coming to BJJ from a wrestling background, you may have noticed a significant advantage at the onset of your training.
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I’ve always felt that adding basic wrestling to your BJJ arsenal can significantly increase your comfort and your ability to score from the feet. And you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete. The basics of wrestling are simple in theory and easy to grasp. With a little practice you can acquire some incredibly helpful skills.
Wrestling in one of the oldest and most tried and true methods of combat on the planet. Learning the fundamentals of wrestling can add tremendous value to your BJJ, and assist you in getting comfortable on your feet.
However, there are some adjustments that need to be made when crossing over from wrestling to BJJ. Not all positions are favorable in every BJJ scenario. The goals of the two sports are quite different, and there are modifications that sometimes must be made in order to crossover safely.
Take the double leg takedown for example. Traditionally the double leg involves the head of the grappler to be on the outside of their opponent. For wrestling this poses no serious threat because of the ruleset. With BJJ however, having our head on the outside of the body could lead to the acquisition of a guillotine. Even if you’re aware of this danger and keep good posture through the take down the possibility is still present.
Avoiding the guard at the conclusion of a take down is also preferable. Landing squarely in a good guard after a takedown isn’t the worst thing that could happen, but depending on who’s guard it is, it may not be your first choice.
These are just a couple of examples of unfavorable scenarios that we may create for ourselves using the basic double leg takedown. How can we avoid these common pitfalls? We can enlist the help of a world class wrestler to give us some amazing answers.
Enter J’Den Cox. Check out this fantastic version of the double leg. Cox modifies it for BJJ and gives us some great tips on the technique. Have a look!
I couldn’t help but be nervous for J’Den’s uke as he was describing the sequence of events, but I was glad to see he survived the exchange.
Cox explains some of the dangers of the traditional double leg where BJJ is concerned, and explains that he will be eliminating those dangers with some modifications.
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For the setup, Cox will employ a snap down. This is also a classic wrestling skill, but I can see that the way I’ve been performing the technique probably needs some work. Be sure to dominate the inside track and secure a good collar tie before you begin your snapdown. Cox first warns of about backing up too much during the snapdown, as this can create too much space between ourselves and our opponent. Cox simply level changes instead of backing up. This keeps him within the proper distance to take a successful shot. This is an important detail. I’ve been taught many times to take a step back with the snapdown, but I can see where that may create some difficulty.
Another immensely important detail here is that when Cox snaps his partner down, he stays down. So often we snap our opponents down and then mirror them as they travel back up. As Cox explains, this will lead to having to perform a second level change to take the shot, which really just isn’t necessary.
So, after a proper snapdown, Cox begins his shot. For this particular variation Cox begins his penetration step and places his forehead directly on his partner’s sternum, while cupping the back side of the knees. HE steps up with his outside leg and begins to run through his partner. Because Cox is considering the dangers of landing in the guard, he offers some good advice. Whichever side he intends to travel to at the completion of the take down, he juxtaposes with moving his arms in the opposite direction. With this detail Cox can land squarely in side control on the side he has chosen.
If we do get stuck on the outside and find ourselves with our neck exposed Cox offers some guidance there as well. With his neck wrapped he places great importance on the use of his head to drive up and in to his partner. In this case he rises up from the mat and lifts his partner from the training surface. This will defend the choke and set us up to finish the take down and land in a safer space.
Great details here for adapting the double leg takedown for BJJ!
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