Monday, October 22, 2012

MMA/WRESTLING: Single Leg Takedowns Finishes - part 1

My friend, Joe Silvia, aka Ausgepicht posted some great info on finishing the Single Leg Takedowns. This is part 1 of 4. The other parts can be found here:


Excerpted from

K-Dub-"T" posted:

Please post 'em.

I get the single a lot and am looking for some nice followups.

Here's one I like:

  1. Get single lol... ('pick' calf & trap between your legs)
  2. Turn the pike (head on his chest/pec as you turn sharply to side of 'captured' leg.
  3. If it fails, use the momentum to remove leg from between yours outside leg steps over), dig both hands under (on inside) & stand up/ straighten back.
If you're on roids, lift him to heaven & slam him, or no roid version; step behind support leg & trip him.

Joe Silvia aka Ausgepicht replied:

This is about finishes so I'll stay away from everything beforehand, except I have to make a note on the single leg base camp: feet close together, knees bent and pinched together trapping his leg, FOREHEAD in his RIBS, elbows cinched at your side (let go as opposed to allowing your elbows away from your side), and hands in a Gordian knot/Gable grip/Chinese "fingertrap" grip. Your "inside hand MUST be on the bottom". MUST. Your energy with the grip is you are trying to contact your solar plexus with the base of the thumb of the top hand. There MUST be pressure here. This energy is coupled with the pressure of driving your elbows into your side.

That is the base camp for the single leg, regardless of how you got there. If ONE if these elements is missing your objective is to restore it or you do NOT have "permission" to work a finish. I don't want to bog things down, but EVERY one of those elements has a distinct purpose.

Running the pipe (which is what I think you mean with "turn the pike") is a last resort due to it's complexity and low percentage. Though running the pipe with a Japanese switch is better, it's still nowhere is good as much simpler and higher percentage takedowns.

These days I only run the pipe to set up the far side knee block. In other words it's a fake. It's just simply not a great finish.

The sheer amount of finishes of a single leg mean I can only touch on a few. Maybe I will keep returning and add more.

The first finish I teach everyone is SIMPLE, easy, and VERY effective. The Treetop single. From your base camp, swing your inside leg out, around and behind you in an arc, freeing his leg from your pinched knees. At the same time, powerfully drive your arm closest to him in an uppercut motion, HIGH. This will lift his leg in the air and begin to tip him as well as making room for the next motion. Immediately place your other arm under his leg and shelf it. Your arms are now acting as a shelf for his entire leg which is too high for him to defend. Your arms are now in a "praying" position. This is the Treetop Single base camp.

From here you have a multitude of choices, but suffice it to say he has next to no offense possible, and nearly no defensive options outside of turning and diving. Here are some quick easy finishes.

  1. "The [golf] swing"- turn away and lift HIGH. So there is a pulling away AND lifting motion. Your body posture all the way to your elbows will look like the end of a driving golf swing. His other foot will come off the floor and he will come crashing to the canvas. Be sure to follow to prevent scramble.
  2. "The a$$hole dump"- reach around his head with your hand closest to him and drive your other arm towards it so they can join together. You are now bear hugging him with his knee touching his face in a small package or cradle. You may now German Suplex, back arch, or lateral him. Yes, you are the a$$hole if you do this to someone. My personal favorite. In sparring we just buddy lift. It's a moot point once you have him in the air. Optionally you can get forgo the standing cradle and get a seat belt on his hip and just Suplex or back arch.
  3. Sweeps and trips - you can lift his leg high and sweep his pillar leg out from behind or step in front and drive for a trip.
  4. Spiral - the arm that is closest to him will get him to bend his leg by driving it into the back of his knee POWERFULLY. At the same time, you turn your ENTIRE body, stepping as you go. Then step your foot behind his as you continue to spiral. You need do nothing, he will fall. These are the same motions you use to run the pipe, only his balance is TOAST and can't defend it.
  5. "The Crunk"- raise his whole leg and place the back of his knee on one of your traps. You have both hands free to punch him in the face. If his back is against the cage even BETTER. No takedown need be described here. He will fall no matter what you do.

K-Dub-"T" asked:


These days I only run the pipe to set up the far side knee block. In other words it's a fake. It's just simply not a great finish
I always think it only fails from not turning enough, and/or the head slipping off and losing contact with the ribs/pec.

I can't remember who I saw do it repeatedly recently... might have been Maia on Grove? he got it almost every time.

Ausgepicht replied:

Yeah, it's one of those moves that has too many "pieces". There are too many variables that have to be right with you alone. It's one of those moves, if I get you a few times, you'll figure out the defense and then it's pretty hard ton finish. It has to be the most stuffed and failed single leg.

You gotta have a GOOD run the pipe single and it doesn't hurt to have someone not so good at defending it. Hence the example you used.

FWIW, the FOREHEAD in the ribs has nothing to do with the finish. It's to bend his upper half off axis. It's a posture wrecker only. The finish is dependent upon your base camp, footwork, angle of fa jing. The lack of footwork and angle is the most common error I see.

So your forehead should never slip off unless you are doing a Japanese switch. You can be not deep enough, so your forehead doesn't have contact, but since you aren't using your forehead to spiral in a "run" it shouldn't slip off or it isn't an issue.

Not sure if that makes sense.

K-Dub-"T" posted:

Oh it does.
How nice to see "fajing" used heh.

Gonna play with this.. treetop single is brand new... I was kind of tree topping the reverse way.

Ausgepicht's reply:

T, I've had too much prior experience with so many other martial arts....if some other culture has a word for something we don't, F the naysayers. It is what it is.



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