The 2004 Mundials DVD has highlight reels of the best takedowns, sweeps, passes and submission. Here is my tally of the takedowns:

  • 8 Single leg takedowns
  • 7 Double leg takedowns
  • 2 Single to double leg
  • 1 Armdrag to single by Marcelo
  • 8 seoi nage, including 1 with double sleeve grip
  • 4 Kouchi gari (Jacare’s favorite)
  • 1 Kouchi gari to ankle pick by Jacare
  • 3 Fireman’s carry (kata guruma)
  • 1 Single/fireman’s hybrid (started like a single but followed through like a fireman’s)
  • 2 Uchimata, 1 as a counter to a single leg
  • 1 Suplex as they tried to stand out of turtle
  • 1 Snapdown to front headlock
  • 1 Duckunder after shooting and being sprawled on
  • 1 Sitout from the front headlock
  • 1 Ude gaeshi

The influence of wrestling on BJJ is obvious. Single and double legs are the most common takedowns. If you count single legs that were initiated from guard (as seen in the best sweeps highlights), you can add at least 5 more to the count, and a few more double legs too. (This is not including the many sweeps that end by standing with a grip on the ankle or an underhook on the leg which aren’t exactly single legs.)

Some of the takedowns (especially singles and doubles) seemed too easy as the guy on the receiving end quickly resigned to pulling guard.

Singles and doubles were setup many different ways and varying distances. Some came from the gi clinch, usually with a snapdown and dropping to the legs. Others came from shooting from the outside. The experienced wrestlers like Drysdale used more dynamic movement and footwork to shoot in, similar to how armdrags are done.

The single leg in particular stands out as the most used and versatile takedown. This mirrors what Marshal Carper wrote after working on Marcelo Garcia’s newest book:

3. The single leg is the most important takedown in jiu-jitsu.

As a slight disclaimer, Marcelo never actually says the above, but it is evident in his game.  Opportunities to execute single legs abound from all positions: from standing, from the butt scoot, from arm drags, from guard, and from guard pass counters.  Marcelo uses the single leg constantly, and it ties in perfectly with his arm drag system, creating a hyper-aggressive path to the back or to the top.  To be honest, I thought I would never learn to wrestle, but transplanting Marcelo’s system into my own style opened my game to new possibilities.  Suddenly, I was confident enough to stand with wrestlers, and I was hunting arm drags and single legs from a variety of positions.  If you have not begun to work on your single leg, you will after reading this book.

Judo also made its mark. The high number of seoi nage and fireman’s carries will be a surprise to some, since the usual theory is that they expose the back, but they worked for the guys who went for them with good timing and full commitment. (We don’t have a highlight reel of the ones that failed though.)