Misdirection Double Leg by Ed Ruth
Having athletic ability takes you relatively far in wrestling, but it doesn’t take you all the way to the top. No matter how strong or fast you are, your threshold for success is going to be determined by how savvy you can be on the mat. That’s not to say that drilling moves to muscle memory isn’t useful, or that you need to be a certified genius in order to win championships. It does, however, require you to think strategically on the mat in order to outwit your opponent.
One of the most creative ways to throw your opponent off strategically is to use misdirection, especially with your takedowns. To demonstrate this concept, three-time NCAA champion Ed Ruth shows you in the video below how to hit a misdirection double leg.
Ed’s variation begins with establishing inside control on both arms. While it is possible to hit this move with an outside tie, he stresses in the video that you are more likely to hit it successfully by working on the inside. This makes sense as you wouldn’t normally hit a double leg takedown without looking to establish some form of inside control by clearing the arms or manipulating the opponent’s posture. The opponent isn’t pressuring into Ed nor is he being pressured. The feint that follows next works while both wrestlers are static, at least for the moment.
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Feints and misdirection go hand-in-hand. By pretending to attack your opponent in one direction, you throw all of their attention away to the wrong side of the body. Ed takes a measured approach with this by reaching towards his opponent’s right leg. Doing so causes them to drop their leg back and lower their stance for defense. Notice that Ed does not over-commit to the reach. He feints just far enough that the opponent sees it as a real threat but not too far to where his own stance is compromised.
The Double Leg and Finish
Once the opponent is focused on the “attacked” leg, this is your chance to use the misdirection to your advantage. Ed lowers his stance and shoots on his right leg to attack the opponent’s left side of the body. The beauty of the moves comes with the added momentum you create with the feint. The opponent is so focused on defending the wrong side that their weight is shifted deeply to that leg, leaving the other side loose. Once you hit the double leg, the finish is up to you. Ed briefly shows two finishes in the video: rotating himself completely to the back and pulling the legs around to drag them down. The finish will mainly depend on your style (whether you prefer to climb the body after the takedown or want to immediately begin working the upper body).
Wrestling is not just a demonstration of brute strength; it can be a showcase for your wit. By relying on feints and misdirection as shown by Ed Ruth’s double leg, you can outmaneuver your opponent even if there is a physical discrepancy between you two.
If you have been struggling to find takedowns that work for you, Ed Ruth has you covered. Ed uses a scientific approach to taking his opponent's to the mat. Use the same precision and tactics as Ed Ruth in Scientific Shots!