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The Single Leg and Double Leg change of angle Takedown Chain

What an absolute treat to have my friend and takedown mentor Chris Wells come and share his continuation of a whole series he began teaching over five years ago. As was the case with our previous article, this one is concept driven, as if it wasn’t already cool enough.

For those of you unfamiliar with the backbone of our takedown series from the over under 50/50 clinch, a great deal of it is based on attacks to the leg nearest us which usually occurs on our overhook side.

Below is the Spiral Takedown, note Coach Well’s left hand and how it taps at the inner thigh of the leg nearest him on his overhook side:

Next up is the Knee Tap Takedown, notice again, the tap occurs with Coach Well’s left hand on the leg closest to him on his overhook side:

The third piece of the first section of the basic over/under takedown series is the Body Lock Takedown. After this we either transition into the Whizzar series, or can attack the far side (underhook side) leg which we will address in this post. But still, it is important to notice that again, the attack occurs on Coach Well’s overhook side, moving toward the leg and hip that are nearest to him.

The premise of this new series, offered in the featured video at the top of this page is to address how one might attack the leg on our underhook side. It is important to develop attacks on both sides of the body. This is so because as your opponent defends one side, he begins to offer the other. This is the case in striking as well as submissions or in this case takedowns.

The concept driving this whole series, is a constant change of direction and angles of attack. This allows you to take the initiative and keep it, while your opponent attempts to stay on his feet, always 1 step behind what you have in store for him until eventually, the onslaught is simply too much and he eventually is taken to the ground.

If you enjoyed this series and would like a to lear a little more about what our guests have shown us in terms of takedowns, you might enjoy one of our previous articles it is a collection of closely related takedowns from the likes of Coach Robinson, Ajarn Greg Nelson and UFC fighter Nick Diaz. I’ve put them together in one spot because they all seem to play off of each other. You can find them at http://damagecontrolmma.com/2009/06/a-solid-clinch-game-for-takedowns-and-submissions/

Weigh in and let us know if you liked this article and would like to see more from Coach Chris Wells.

Wrestling’s Jab: The Basic Double Leg Takedown

I don’t really know why I’ve saved this one for so long before making it available to the public. I do that sometimes with techniques that have sentimental value to me. And this one does. I guess the technique itself isn’t all that unique. But whenever I watch it, and I watch it quite a bit, it reminds me of when I learned it from Coach Wells and to me

what was unique was how he taught the technique, which, for the sake of time, was basically, in a way that even a self proclaimed idiot like me could understand it.

On top of that, it wasn’t just the technique, it was the concept that he taught to me. That

the Double Leg is the Jab of Wrestling. A probing, long range technique used to measure the opponent’s responses and create openings for second and third beat techniques.

Sure it works as a stand alone technique, but when used in conjunction with a bigger, broader takedown scheme, it becomes something altogether different, better, more potent.

And thus began my quest to develop such a game. And under Coach Wells, it has been exceedingly easy. At least for me to understand… execution is an entirely different story, but as the old addage goes, only a poor craftsman blames his tools, and in the case of Coach Well’s takedown game, I know it’s not the tools that fail.

The quest continues to this day, as do my other pursuits. And

during a conversation with Coach Wells while we watched a couple of mutual friends fight at a recent MMA event, he imparted yet another idea that has hence forth brought about a second revelation in how I look at the takedown game in general.

I have for some time now attempted to develop “games” from every conceiveable position known to me. A “game” would constitute a series of at least 3 technique options for any given position/situation whereby at least one techniques covers any given opposing energy. This would be for escaping a postion, passing a guard, or in this case finishing a takedown.

As I spoke with Coach Wells I told him that I had felt that for the hips in, I was comfortable with his Takedown Trifecta “game” (Spiral Takedown, Knee Tap Takedown, Body Lock Takedown).

However, once hips were way, I didn’t feel like I had the same 3 or more options.

He explained to me that he had tried to offer me (and his other students) this in the form of an over hook series he had us working on and then I began to put the pieces together.

Days later,

as I shoveled the walks in front of my home, I contemplated this further and began to hypothosize that maybe what Chris had been teaching me would also answer another question that had been rattling around in the dusty, cavernous, emptiness of my brain. Why use and Underhook as opposed to an Overhook?

Why an Overhook as opposed to an Underhook? Was it a matter of personal preference? Was it a matter of body type or natural attributes?

Certainly, my hypothosis would include possibilities for the above, but what seemed to make just as much, if not more sense, especially after looking at the techniques that Coach Wells had presented (both for close range, hips in clinching as well as for medium/long range, hips out clinching) was that there was something consistent going on.

It would seem that the closer the hips, the more, the techniques favored the Underhook, which made sense mechanically, physiologically, and kinesiologically.

And conversely, it would seem that the farther the hips are away relative to each other, the more the techniques favorered the Overhook. Which too, made sense, as the farther the hips are back, the more your opponent is tempted to break the head, knee, toe rule in the frontal plane. In being situated in such a way, it would make sense that you would want to be able to exert presured downward to help him break this plane and the Overhook is a better tool for doing so than the Underhook in this situation.

I’ve been playing around with the idea of including a Flow Charting Program with the members area of DamageControlMMA.com and in light of this idea, I’ve thrown together a quick, dirty, diagram of how this hypothosis looks on paper.

Keep in mind, there are plenty of other techniques that could be filled in, different branches that could be added, exceptions, etc. etc., but my goal was to show the general idea of hips in and hips away and the correlating Underhooking/Overhooking Scheme and subsequent takedown options.

A Rapid Prototype Flowchart Drawn On A Whim To Demonstrate The Possible Connection Between Hip Distance and The Most Advantageous Arm Control (Overhook vs Underhook)

A Rapid Prototype Flowchart Drawn On A Whim To Demonstrate The Possible Connection Between Hip Distance and The Most Advantageous Arm Control (Overhook vs Underhook)

I’ve also added the other 3 techniques shared with us by Coach Wells, so that you can see the whole picture; i.e. the Double Leg Takedown as an entry into the Wellian Trifecta, The Spiral Takedown, Knee Tap and Body Lock (hips in, close range clinch *) game from Over, Under 50 – 50 Clinch Position.

The quest continues, as I am sure it will until my final days.

Remember, what I’ve presented here in terms of general principal (hips in = underhook vs hips away = overhook) is a hypothosis, which means, it is untested and unverified by those more qualified than I to make such generalizations. But at any rate, I hope it has at least given you some food for thought.

Best wishes and happy hunting!

Spiral Takedown

The Head Takedown Instructor and Pedro Sauer BJJ Black Belt, Chris Wells of Unified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu shares the first of a series of three takedowns which, when used together form the foundation of a very high percentage, low risk takedown game. Coach Brandon Kiser and Khru Brian Yamasaki both credit Chris with being the driving force behind their approach to takedowns.