The Best Defense With Kyle Dake
Kyle Dake. 4 time NCAA champion. Four different weight classes. Two time world champion, and neck and neck with an olympic champion for the world team spot at 74kg. Kyle Dake’s style is unique, difficult to replicate, and comes with a certain degree of gifted athleticism, explosiveness, and strength. But Kyle’s greatest strength is his knowledge, both on the human body and on the sport of wrestling, and he shares some thoughts on double leg defense (a topic he naturally would be one of the best to consult regarding) and opens up a plethora of counter offense, fundamental technique, and overall multiple routes to shutting down the double leg. You never would have thought the fundamentals could be so interesting. Pick up the full instructional, Defense Wins Championships, and immediately begin to improve your defense and counter offense, as well as fundamental understanding of wrestling
Meet His Hips: Fundamental Concepts
Kyle shows multiple defenses, all with a few overall concepts. The first: meet his hips. Meaning, once your opponent shoots a double leg, you meet his shoulder with your hips, stopping the momentum generated by your opponent’s hips. This can knock your opponent off balance, disrupting the shot. Next, try to make him wrestle a single leg, break his hand off of one leg. After, he shows how the typical approach of pulling the hand up, carries more risk. This presents an opportunity for the opponent to get his hands locked again, to attempt a finish. Rather, pushing the hand down shuts the re-double down, and forces a single leg, creating a more favorable angle to defend. He emphasizes: you never want to “run away” from a double. When he shoots, you meet him with your hips, shut down the momentum, and begin to create an angle to work towards scoring.
Vaguely Unorthodox Defense: The Crotch Lift
The next option Kyle presents is when your opponent brings their trail leg up immediately. Kyle Dake is infamous for his chest wrap off of a double leg, but his crotch lock is a similar move he is equally as effective with. Kyle “falls” towards the trail leg, pressuring his opponent’s head with his hips towards the foot, as he locks his hands. Next, he takes small, choppy steps as he drives towards the trail leg. Eventually this collapses the far hip, and exposes his partner to score two points in freestyle, or begin to wrestle through and score a takedown in folkstyle. When your opponent sees the lift coming, and bails by extending the leg, you are then in a great position to score with a go behind or any options from short offense you prefer.
This is the option to use if you simply can’t break the hands, and Kyle shows how you can even simply walk out of the double, without going for the crotch lock when done correctly. Small details, like your chest and arm covering his head, preventing his posture from staying solid, the small steps rather than large ones, all slowly pressure your opponent and keep the double weak. Finally, if you want the crotch lock, the best bet will be after you rotate him away from his posture, extending his spine and getting his head down. Then, once you drop to the side, your odds of scoring increase greatly.
The Difficulty Of The Double Leg
The single leg is arguably the most common takedown in wrestling, with a variety of finishes. If there’s less ways to finish a double, why is it also such a fundamental takedown? Firstly, the hips. A good double traps your hips, as opposed to just one, which can provide opportunity to escape. The conversion time (locked hands to scoring) is shorter on a double. So the most important step to stopping a double, it shutting down your opponent’s control and motion. Where the head goes, the body follows. Kyle shows you just pushing your opponent's head out of position immediately improves your odds of avoiding the takedown, especially the lift finish. You also have to keep your feet on the ground at all costs. Your power comes from your feet being connected to the floor. You can’t extend your hips, or find a new angle if you get lifted. So pushing the head off is key to breaking posture and preventing the lift.
The Head Position
Disrupting head position is huge for preventing any takedown. For the double, we have already listed why it’s especially important, and that’s why Kyle goes into great detail on ways to disrupt the head, and in doing so, mess up your opponent’s position. As long as his head is on the same side as the trail leg, his position needs to be broken. So, Kyle takes his forearm, tight to his chest, and pops his opponent’s head inside to force a knee switch. Then, you can throw the head back outside, and you've found your angle. Do it as effectively as shown in the video, and you can push your opponent over their far hip for an easy takedown. All this head switching will disrupt opponents who can’t wrestle both sides, and prolongs the time between them locking hands and scoring. In the words of J Robinson, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all”, and this constant disruption has the added bonus of likely being a huge source of fatigue for your opponent that will pay off later in a match. Once you get his head on the same side as the leg with a knee on the floor, the window to score is there.
Pick up Kyle’s instructional and you’ll be overwhelmed with details, ranging from the most fundamental defense to the advanced positions of wrestling that he has used to win world titles.