How to Defend the Double Leg by Hudson Taylor
The double leg takedown is a staple among wrestling fans and athletes. The ability to just blast through your opponent and trap both their legs is not only a physical spectacle but a strategic advantage. Knowing how to defend the double is also impressive, as you’ve stopped your opponent in their tracks and leave them open for a litany of counters. However, not every double leg defense is effective, as you leave yourself vulnerable to the single leg or trap-and-roll depending on your response.
With that in mind, your understanding of how to defend the double leg takedown should come from one of the best. How about three-time All-American wrestler Hudson Taylor?
Stop the Momentum
Taylor is joined in the video by four-time World Jiu-Jitsu champion Bernardo Faria. Faria begins by shooting on Taylor, who stops the momentum by pushing his hips in and pressuring Faria’s head to the inside. Doing so turns this into a single leg takedown as you’ve forced them into choosing one leg over the other. As mentioned earlier, this can still leave you vulnerable, but it is demonstrably better than having both legs attacked.
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Keep Downward Pressure
Keeping your opponent on one of your legs isn’t enough to stop the takedown. From here, you will need to force your opponent’s head down to the mat. Doing so will limit their ability to move and apply any true force towards the finish. From here, you have a few options. Normally, you could just spin to the tail and work your rides, but Faria and Taylor are looking at this defense from a jiu-jitsu perspective. That said, there is some crossover appeal here for wrestling.
Looking at This From Another Perspective
Taylor presents an interesting take on defending the double leg. His first finish is switching to a seatbelt grip after bringing the opponent down to their knees, blocks the head and their far arm with his knee, and tipping them over the trapped post. Doing so exposes their back, which you can use to switch to a pinning combination. If the opponent is in a flatter position than just on their knees, you can lift their elbow and pull it back until they loosen the grip (within the confines of the rules). Finally, you can disrupt their frame. In the last segment, Faria shoots for a double leg and Taylor responds by putting substantial pressure on his trail leg. Faria needs this leg in order to drive, so putting that pressure on it throws off their offensive frame. From there, you can go for a cradle or snap down, which would be the more cost-effective finish given the need to collect points and get riding time.
Knowing how to defend the double leg takedown is crucial to becoming a competent wrestler. Even if it means forcing the opponent into a single leg position, you are still in better shape than simply allowing them to blast double you across the mat. Hudson Taylor’s defensive strategy here is about stopping any forward momentum your opponent brings by using hip pressure, forcing the head inside and down, and combating with your own with rolls or grip strips. There’s no single way to defend the double, so experiment and see what works best for you.
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