The Essence: Learn a Double Leg

Reader Tommy outlines what he regards as a minimalist, essential curriculum. Keep in mind that

Note the Penetration and Forward Drive

most of us work and have lives that preclude being in the gym 6 hours a day and conditioning for another 4 hours.

Also, the more techniques you have, the greater the likelihood that you’re going to have decision paralysis. “He’s punching! I’ll block, uh, parry…no, I’ll just evade, then, –no, scratch that, a side kick, or maybe a round kick…” BLAM!

The fewer and more straightforward the options, the greater your odds of success. I think that has been part of the reason for the black belt who gets demolished on the street: one guy is thinking side step, block, parry, punch, knife hand, round kick, snap front kick, rising block, while the other guy is thinking “right fist to face, repeatedly.” Who is going to suffer decision paralysis?

Here is Tommy’s outline:

If your training time is limited it looks like this:

1. Train your hands (a good stance, cover, and straight punches with good footwork-basically boxing) and maybe one or two low-line kicks that are non-telegraphic and high %.

2. Do some in close work (e.g. clinching, elbows, knees, head-butts, etc) . Learn to fight on the inside without having to go to the ground.

3. Learn to defend a shoot/ takedown. Keep it on your feet.

4. Learn to get back to your feet as quickly as possible, using any means necessary. The longer you stay on the ground the more likely you are to die.

Once you have all this down pretty solidly (~ 1000 rounds of sparring) then you can add in a few little extras like chokes, locks, throws, whatever…

I think this is a good outline of a curriculum.

What's Wrong with This Picture? Are You Really Learning to Defend Against a Double Leg?

One of the essential techniques to learn is the double leg takedown. Not so much so you can use it, but so you learn how to defend against it. Also when you or your partner is throwing a double leg, you want to make certain you’re defending against a good double leg, not some go-through-the-motions tackle so that you can delude yourself into thinking you’ve got a solid defense.

Tito Ortiz teaches the double leg takedown here.

The “Rebel Grandmaster” teaches a double leg takedown defense here. Hmmm. Something seems a little off.


One Response to “The Essence: Learn a Double Leg”

  1. Hey, cheers for the acknowledgement sir. Well, it is an interesting issue with dealing with takedowns, etc. I have seen all manner of martial arts derived counters to a shoot or a double-leg. They look cool in a lot of cases, but just don’t pass muster when tested out in a real sparring situation. I’m not one of these killer kung-fu commandos that says “we never spar, because our stuff is too deadly…” Yes, I wear 16 ounce golves and we spar. It doesn’t match street level combatives exactly, but it puts a real, live, and resistive opponent against you and helps to develop everything you’ll need when it goes down for real. You can practice finger jabs, palm strikes, and the like on the mitts and bags to round it out but don’t be afraid to “spar”. With respect to wrestling and the martial arts defenses I say this: If it really worked against a good wrestler, don’t you think you would see that technique being employed in real matches? The sprawl may not look as cool as the ninja-wedge or whatever, but it works. If you really want to improve your ability to defend against these methods, find a good wrestler and spar with him once in a while. When you find yourself not taking the street lethal shots (e.g. eye gouges, groin shots, etc.) just recognize the opening and play on, it’ll make you a better fighter in the long run. Besides, it’s always funny when a wrestler gets into his crouch and eats a jab-cross combo. It works both ways-they don’t allow punches in wrestling matches so it forces them to adjust as well and sometimes leads to some very interesting sessions and ah-ha moments for both guys.

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