Take-downs: the Double-Leg

The CMD system strongly emphasizes remaining in the stand-up game for several reasons. In a self defense situation, you don't want to be on the ground as unlike training mats, the ground in the real world is often hard and unforgiving but perhaps more importantly, it leaves you vulnerable to multiple attackers. Take-downs are generally quite committal moves where if it isn't successful, it tends to leave you in a vulnerable position.

That being said, take-downs do remain an essential part of any martial artist's repertoire as executed properly, it can easily put you in a position to get away or gives you options when you are being overwhelmed by a superior stand-up fighter. Learning to execute a proper take-down also ensures that your partner gets proper training in learning take-down defenses.

Yesterday we focused on the double leg take-down. These are my notes from yesterday's session:
  1. As a general rule, don't just directly go for a take-down, set it up with strikes to the head to distract before going in for the take-down.
  2. Make sure you're close enough to do it, and you should be at rim-shot range.
  3. After striking, level change first by dropping your body to a lower level and bending the knees, then shoot in by driving your lead foot between the gap in his legs.
  4. Using cupped hands, aim for the back of the thighs above the knees and lift and pull.
  5. Lift with your legs (not your back). Back must be kept straight and not stooped forward to make sure that you are not lifting with your back which is more difficult and can result in injury.
  6. Head is placed on the side of his body, below the armpit area and is in the opposite side of the leg that stepped through.
  7. As you lift, start turning over his legs in the direction that your lead leg is in while using your head to also push into his body to help the take-down along. You want to imagine lifting and then rotating him in one smooth movement as if you're picking up a oil drum full of water and dumping the water to the side.
  8. The rotation is important to sweep him completely off-balance and ensure that when he lands, he cannot get you into guard.
  9. Remain balanced while doing this and aim to remain standing after the take-down (though if you can get into side-control to move into mount is also good)
  10. When in a mirrored stance, it may be easier to take a step in with the back leg as it allows you to scoop up and lift your partner's already bent front leg.
  11. If your opponent is significantly shorter than you, it might be difficult to go for this take-down due to the extreme level change you would have to do which sacrifices your balance.
Albert's favored method unlike the traditional double leg, doesn't require you to drop your knee down to the ground which in his opinion is impractical as hitting your knee on concrete when you're shooting in quickly isn't so fun. Having your knee drop down does give the takedown a bit more oomph as the take-down is aimed at the legs. However, Albert's slightly squatted position still generates the necessary power lift with the power coming from the legs which also has the advantage that you still remain on your feet even in a failed attempt.

While doing some background reading, I realized that recently the International Judo Federation had banned this technique (morote-gari), most likely due to traditionalists viewing the technique as 'bad judo'. I don't understand why such an effective technique should be banned though Bill Lewis had suggested that it was because it was easy enough for amateurs to do and is not exciting enough for spectators.

Conversely, I think this is the very one reason why this technique has to be studied. Out there, someone may just try to take you down with a similar tackle or a sloppy double leg. Knowing a take-down's mechanics and knowing that you can defend against a proper take-down gives us the necessary tools and mental readiness to deal with it.

Rodney's recent move towards implementing take-down defenses in the Evolutionary Core of his system probably reflects this thinking.

Credits: Picture taken from EHow.


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