by Rory Coughlan
Double Leg Takedown
If you grapple then you should be able to do at least a basic double leg. This takedown is a mainstay in BJJ. You cannot use the double leg if you’re afraid of commitment, you have to hit it hard and fast, this is a highly technical manoeuvre with sophisticated setups and followups. There are lots of different variations for the double leg. The biggest differences between these variations include head position (is the head to the side or in the middle of the chest) and whether you drop down to your lead knee as you shoot (the penetration step).
Single Leg Takedown
The single leg takedown is another hugely important technique in BJJ. Basically you reach down, grab one of his legs, lift it off the ground, and topple him over. There are a lot of subtleties that you have to observe when you do that though, and changing the position of your hands, your head, or your body by a couple of inches can change this from a high-percentage takedown to an ineffective waste of your energy that lands you in a bad place. Single leg turn into double leg, and double leg can turn into single leg depending on your opponent’s reaction. They are often chained together. For BJJ you want to be very careful not to put your head to the outside of your opponent’s body (or let him force it to the outside) because that’s essentially sending him an invitation to guillotine you immediately.
Low Single Takedown
While technically still a single leg takedown the mechanics and finishes of the low single are so different that it’s worth considering it as a separate technique. Basically you get as low as you can go, shoot forward, cup your opponent’s heel with your hand, and then drive forward to take him down. Depending on his reactions to that initial attack there are a lot of different ways to finish the technique once you’re in on his foot. Some wrestlers have built their entire career around this attack and you see it all the time in BJJ competition, with competitors shooting for it both from outside of gripping range and after they’ve tied up with their opponents.