Double Leg Defense by Kyle Dake
There is nothing more eye-catching than a double leg takedown. No matter what set-up you use (duck under, clear the hands, high crotch transition, and so on), hitting a double leg is a confidence builder and sure to get your picture taken by fans. While it’s important to know how to hit the double leg takedown, what’s just as important is knowing how to defend it and spoiling your opponent’s plans.
Defending against the double leg takedown is a bit more nuanced than defending the single leg, as the move can be transitioned into other takedowns with ease depending on your movement. It takes more hip movement and directional opposition to effectively stop the double and prevent any follow-ups. In the video below from the brand-new Defense Wins Championships DVD, 2018 World Champion & 4-Time NCAA Champion Kyle Dake focuses on defending the double leg takedown for wrestlers of all calibers.
Hip Pressure and Angle
Dake’s partner shoots in with a double leg, and Dake responds by pressuring back with his hips. This may seem counter-intuitive at first, as our first instinct when faced with a shot is to create distance. Dake makes it work by applying pressure and directing his partner at an angle, forcing him to focus on one leg instead of two. To help force this redirection, he also moves his partner’s hand down and away from the opposite leg, getting an extra degree of separation.
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Fall to the Lead Leg
Dake’s next defensive technique also involves redirection, but he changes his angle instead of his partner’s. As he pressures in with his hip, Dake leans over towards the lead leg and connects his hands between the outside hip and under the buttocks. The resulting body cradle is driven over the partner’s lead leg and creates a scramble situation. A good scramble from there is much more preferable than having to fight off an advancing opponent on their feet. As Dake points out, most wrestlers who are crunched up in the body cradle are going to bail on the double leg, so from there it becomes a matter of who can maintain top position the quickest.
Push the Head Away
The body goes where the nose goes, that much is evident when you move. For example, squatting becomes a lot more effective when you keep your head up and look towards the ceiling than keeping your head down and facing injury. Dake uses this thought process with his double leg defense. As his partner shoots in, he pushes the head away and keeps him away from the hip. It also prevents Dake from being lifted, as he stresses how important it is to keep your feet on the ground while defending. The general concept here is to keep his head away from the same side as his trail leg and force the single leg.
Force a New Stance
An interesting take from Dake in the video is how he makes his partner continually shift in knee position during the defense. As he pressures the head back and forth from inside to outside, his partner’s knees shift between being up and down on the mat. Dake points out that shifting their pressure can make the opponent bring up their opposite knee during the scramble, which they may not be used to. For example, having a left-legged shooter attempt a double on you means that their right trail leg is up for pushing off the mat. Forcing their right knee down and left leg up (or vice versa) can put them in a situation they are not accustomed to when finishing the shot.
Use a Freestyle Throw
The last technique Dake mentions in the video is using freestyle wrestling to your advantage even in a folkstyle setting. As his partner shoots in for the double leg, Dake wraps his hands around the body and squats low to settle his weight. From there, he leans back and brings his opponent over his shoulder and lets go. This allows him to get plenty of space to separate and may result in points depending on which scoring system you’re using.
Take away the picture perfect moment from your opponent by learning how to defend the double leg takedown. Using proper pressure, angles, head positioning, and expectations, you can keep your opponent at bay and score the two points you need to succeed.
4x NCAA Champ Kyle Dake has the Defensive strategies to UP YOUR GAME! Defense Wins Championships By Kyle Dake contains everything from stance to 2-on-1 grip defense!