Various Finishes to the Double Leg Takedown

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy

A double leg takedown has 3 parts that should be treated separately but performed sequentially without stopping.  The decision of which finish to use must be made on the spot based on our opponents reaction.  For this reason, it’s important to drill good double legs over and over with a cooperative partner giving you different realistic reactions.

3 Parts to a Double Leg Takedown:

  1. Setup
  2. Entry
  3. Finish

Today we will be looking at a few of the options for finishing a Double Leg Takedown.  These are nowhere near the only ways to finish a double leg.  Future posts will cover other setups and finishes.  We are assuming you know the proper way to shoot the double leg as well as it is only covered slightly in the following videos.  Subscribe to our website or our Youtube page to be notified of future technique videos as we post them.

How to Submit a Wrestler with Judo and BJJ!

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy

I have a hard time writing this post because I love Wrestling.  The truth is though, wrestling doesn’t have submissions.  Combining Wrestling with BJJ is the best combination for Grappling and Self Defense.  Add in Great Muay Thai Kickboxing and you have a lethal combination for MMA.  That being said submitting a wrestler can be hard.  They have a good understanding of balance, body mechanics and have a good base.  They are fast, athletic, and aggressive.  Every fight starts standing and they are masters of takedowns and takedown defense.

To better understand wrestlers, I believe you need to actually learn wrestling.  The same can be said about beating a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu artist.  It’s been said, “The only thing that beats Jiu Jitsu, is Jiu Jitsu.”  I believe to beat any martial art, you should have some understanding of that martial art and it’s strategies and intentions.  That being said, the debate of which martial art is best is an invalid argument no matter which side you are on.  I love BJJ, Wrestling, and Muay Thai equally.  I think they all offer something the others don’t.  BJJ for submissions; wrestling for takedowns, defense, and scrambles; and Muay Thai for the awesome striking that it offers.

So just for fun.  Let’s look at a couple ways to submit someone when they try to go for a single leg takedown!

Greco-Roman & Freestyle Wrestling at Grappling Mastery

Greco-Roman & Freestyle Wrestling

Grappling Mastery is an Officially Chartered USA Wrestling School. We specialize in Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling as it applies to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Grappling and the Mixed Martial Arts. Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestling are Olympic styles of wrestling, known for their proficiency in takedowns and takedown defense, particularly throws. Wrestling teaches balance, standup skills, how to set up and take down an opponent, as well as how to control them once they are on the mat. Wrestling will also teach you how to avoid being taken down by an opponent. Wrestling Classes are taught by Experienced USA Wrestling Coach, Competitor, and Referee, Brian Ruscio.


USA Wrestling Chartered Member Club
USA Wrestling Chartered Member Club
Florida Amateur Wrestling Association Member Club
Florida Amateur Wrestling Association Member Club

Wrestling for BJJ: Lateral Drop Throw

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy

The lateral drop is an effective wrestling throw that works well in BJJ.  It can be used to take down an opponent directly in side control, or Kesa Gatame (Judo).  In Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling this takedown would normally score 3 points, however in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu all takedowns currently score only 2 points.  In either case the lateral drop lands you in a very dominant position!

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Fighting with Disabilities in MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, Jean Jacques Machado

I’m reminded of an old wrestling poster that said “Any Body can Wrestle!” featuring a large heavyweight and a very small wrestler, both Champions.  This is especially the case in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu where many times it’s focus is to use leverage and technique to overcome strength and size.

But what about people with disabilities?

In my BJJ journey I’ve learned that many of the “guards” and other positions/techniques were often developed to overcome a handicap or injury that an athlete had.  From PTSD to a bum leg, amputees, partial hands, diabetes, suffering seizures, and being exceptionally weak are only a few real examples of disabilities BJJ and MMA fighters have overcome. These are some physical or mental disabilities that people may be concerned about.  I have also experienced parents with concerns of their children having ADD, ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia and other behavioral disabilities or special needs that they think might hold their child back from learning.  In many cases, I found it to be the complete opposite! Many times these are the children that excel and thrive in my kids classes!  Many adults and kids experience huge benefits from Grappling specifically pertaining to their challenges.  This is in addition to the long list of benefits of training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu every person who trains can tell you about.

In the following post I’ll be reviewing some of the most popular Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, and MMA athletes that overcame their disabilities to improve themselves rather than letting it hold them back.

  • Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, Jean Jacques Machado
    Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt, Jean Jacques Machado

    The first that comes to mind is Jean Jacques Machado.  Cousin to the Gracie’s, and a Black Belt under Carlos Gracie Jr., Machado suffered birth defects resulting from Amniotic Band Syndrome, which left him with only his thumb and pinky finger on his left hand. Despite this affecting his ability to grip in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he won many National and International titles, including Gold in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Nationals for 11 consecutive years.  He also won a Gold in Abu Dhabi and earning the “Most Technical Fighter” award.

  • Kyle Maynard wrestling
    Kyle Maynard wrestling

    Kyle Maynard, born with congenital amputation, is a quadruple amputee who wrote the book No Excuses: The True Story of a Congenital Amputee Who Became a Champion in Wrestling and in Life.  Maynard began training in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in 2005.  He had his amateur debut fight on April 25, 2009.

  • At 19 years old, Roberto “Gordo” Corriea suffered a knee injury in competition and damaged the cruciate ligaments in his knee.  This injury lasted a very long time and prevented him from using one of his legs.  He didn’t let this stop him from getting better.  He overcame the injuring by working around it. Through his adjustments in his jiu jitsu game, he contributed to the development of the “Half Guard”, one of the most important positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu today!
  • Keith Miner, MMA fighter
    Keith Miner, MMA fighter

    In May 2000, then 19 year old, Keith Miner was feeding trees into a wood chipper when the driver of the truck it was on pulled forward without telling anyone. He tripped and his hand and forearm got caught in the wood chipper.  Right handed, but now without without being able to move anything past his shoulder, he had to learn how to do everything left handed!  He started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA, holding a record of 5-5 and becoming the first professional amputee fighter.


  • Tracy "Tra" Telligman, UFC Fighter
    Tracy “Tra” Telligman, UFC Fighter

    Tracy “Tra” Telligman was in a car accident crushing his ribs when he was only one and a half years old. Tra can be seen fighting with a deep recess in his chest because he is missing his right pectoral muscle and his right lung due to the accident! Telligman began training in karate when he was 8 years old, continuing until he was 13 years old, and then began boxing until he was 15. During high school he started training in jiu jitsu.  Tra Telligman has a professional Boxing record of 4-2 and MMA record of 7-5-1 and has fought some legendary UFC fighters!

  • Garrett Holeve, MMA Fighter with Down Syndrome
    Garrett Holeve, MMA Fighter with Down Syndrome

    Garrett Holeve, of Cooper City Florida struggles with Downs Syndrome and is also fighting to be allowed to compete in MMA.  On November  8, 2014 he earned a victory in his first sanctioned MMA bout.


“You expect great things from your children, but you learn how to be realistic with a child that has sensory problems early on. You learn their limits fast and try not to push too far past those too fast. Most people know my awesome fun loving son, but haven’t seen what it took to get there. He amazes me all the time, but on this day he really went past his limit and way beyond. He showed strength, heart, control, and above all respect. He put it out there on the mat then with the exception of a few heartbroken minutes he left it there and told me what he was going to work on in the future. I am proud to call him my son and I have seen the struggles we went through break through the clouds to a beautiful moment. It’s almost too much and I never though Jiu Jitsu of all things would bring this out of him. So thank you Brian Ruscio and Rita Rojas, you have given me something way more precious than any medal he could bring home.”
– Brandi Rust, Mother & Behavioral Health Tech.
“Building Champions On & Off the Mats!”

Techniques: Wrestling for MMA and BJJ – Turtle Guard Reversals and Escapes

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy

Turtle Guard is generally thought of as a defensive position in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA, however when practiced it can prove difficult to submit a turtling opponent that knows all of his/her options.  Turtling opponents can escape, sweep, and even submit careless opponents.  Turtle Guard can be used an alternative to shrimping and replacing guard.  Turtle Guard is very similar to “Referee’s Position” in Folkstyle Wrestling, so many wrestlers develop a strong turtle guard when transitioning to BJJ.  It also allows the wrestler to defend without laying on your back.  The following instructional videos provide several options from turtle guard that will be familiar an useful for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Practitioners or Wrestlers.

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Technique: Side Sacrifice Judo Throw for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Judo Classes at Grappling Mastery in Mount Dora, Florida

Here is a variation of a side sacrifice Judo throw that takes little effort to bring an opponent to the ground.  Similar to Yoko Sutemi Waza, Yoko Otoshi, and a few other Judo throws, we will utilize modified grips for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu securing an overhook holding the lapel or an underhook with the collar.  Secure the opponents far elbow and pinch the wrist with your armpit for a far side overhook. In a one-legged squatting motion, “glue” the bottom of your foot to the opponents ankle for a sacrifice throw that will give you knee on belly position or side control.  You could also counter this throw with the same exact takedown since it can be thrown with an overhook or an underhook.

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Burn 888 Calories per Hour and Get in Shape with Mixed Martial Arts!

Get in Fighting Shape at Grappling Mastery

It is well known in the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) community that wrestlers are among the most well conditioned and mentally tough athletes there are.  Wrestling is a Grappling Martial Art that does not involve punches or kicks, as opposed to Striking Arts like Muay Thai Kickboxing.  Other similar arts to Wrestling are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), Sambo, and Judo.

According to Harvard Medical School, Martial Arts like Judo, Kickboxing, or Boxing Sparring can burn anywhere from 400 to 444 calories every 30 minutes for a 185 lb. person.  That’s up to 888 calories/hour!

Not only will you get in shape and gain energy, you will also learn a skill that could help you protect yourself and your family in the future.  You will lose weight and tone up without realizing the workout you are actually getting.  Thinking about the techniques and what to do next keeps your mind on the moment instead of the workout.  You will relieve stress and have a great time!

Grappling Mastery offers 30 Days Free so can get started on your Fitness Goals now and Get in Shape using Martial Arts.  So come check us out today!
Get the best selection and prices on over 6000 best selling supplements and fitness products at

Mount Dora Citizens compete in Police and Firefighter First Responder Games

Mount Dora Citizen
2015 First Responder Games
2015 First Responder Games

Recently the Mount Dora Citizen recognized Professor Brian Ruscio of Grappling Mastery and his team for their participation in the upcoming 2015 First Responder Games in Brevard County.  First responders always receive the Hero Discount at Grappling Mastery.

You can find the full article here.

Brian Ruscio appears unassuming and quietly confident.  A youthful-looking 36, he says he has been at his craft – Grappling – for over 30 years.  He recently sat down with Mount Dora Citizen editor, Melissa DeMarco, to talk about his passion for teaching and competing.

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA Academy is Brian Ruscio’s  career, his passion, his hobby – and his life’s calling.  Ruscio says that when he was only 5-years old, his mother encouraged him to take up wrestling.  “When she first took me, she tried to warn me that it wasn’t TV wrestling, you know, like WWE?  Well, I said I understood that, but I was still a little disappointed at first.  Anyway, I started wrestling – and I fell in love with the sport.”

Ruscio says his first organized sporting activity as a young child was soccer. But somehow, he knew it just wasn’t quite the right fit for him.  After he transitioned to wrestling, he never looked back.  As a young adult, Ruscio went from wrestling, to coaching, and then refereeing wrestling matches. He realized he wanted to be involved in wresting and grappling in some way, but knew he could not make a living by working with wrestling clubs and organizations.

That’s when he discovered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or BJJ. Says Ruscio,  “When I started BJJ, I was immediately interested in the sport.  What first interested me the most, was that being pinned doesn’t end a match.  When you’re pinned you find a way to work your way out of that situation…that opened up a whole new world to me.  I fell in love with how creative you could be in the sport, the flexibility to try new moves, to work to find a new solution.”

The attainment of fitness is one aspect of BJJ to which participants aspire.  But there is so much more, according to Ruscio.  “If you’re stressed, having a bad day, overwhelmed with something – this sport can take you away from that.  It gives people a place that’s a relief from school, and work and things like that.  When you’re on a mat, when there’s a guy trying to get you in a choke hold – well, all that other stuff doesn’t matter any longer.  You are thinking and reacting to those things happening on that mat, in that moment.  You focus on the moment, on your next move and you let the other things in your life go for a little while.”

Professor-Brian-Ruscio-with-the-Kids-BJJ-Academy-in-Mount-Dora-of-Lake-County-Florida-Best-Kids-InstructorGrappling Mastery hosts students of BJJ from age 4 to 64.  Ruscio says physical limitations in the sport are fewer than many people may believe.  “There are many people who practice jiu jitsu with some kind of physical disadvantage,” he says.  “That’s one of the amazing things about this sport – there is room to be creative, to adapt to circumstances and evolve.”  He says he works with children who have autism and adults who have physical limitations.  All of them, he says, gain from the experience.

“I can watch how a person first approaches grappling and see what kind of person they probably are out in their day-to-day activities,” he says.  “How people roll here is how they generally do things in life.  People who are aggressive here, always restless, on the move, going for a take-down, that’s how they live.  People who are reserved, shy, don’t like to learn new things in here – well, that’s how they probably operate in the rest of their lives.  But through BJJ, when my more aggressive students work with the more reserved ones, they all gain something.  They all learn from each other.”

Coach Rita with Tracie, Justin, Brian and Jason at Central Florida BJJ Regionals

Ruscio is pleased to be working with a strong team who are considering participating in a 2015 First Responders Tournament in Cocoa Beach.  Tony Tindell, Firefighter Lieutenant; Ryan Swinford, Army Captain; Alec Ritter, Florida State Trooper; Anthony Biasella, Groveland Police Captain; and Justin Blake, Orange County Corrections are training with an eye to compete in the tournament.  First Responders Games are open to firefighters, military, paramedics, police, EMTs and federal agents only.  Competition is tough.  The areas of competition include running, cycling, paintball, grappling, hockey and much more.  “These guys train hard and work hard in here and out there,” he says, motioning toward the door.

Most weeks Ruscio is in his facility all seven days.  His classes and training styles vary depending upon the clientele at any given class.  Within a day he may go from teaching basic skills to 4-year-olds, to working with mixed martial arts “No-Gi” competitors preparing for Pan-American NAGA (North American Grappling Association) tournaments. He teaches classes and has open mat sessions almost every day, except Sunday, when he gives private lessons at the academy.

Competitions are key to improving in the art of BJJ.  Ruscio says attending, and participating in competitions are probably the best ways to stay abreast of changes in the sport and learning new moves.  Small competitions may include 50-100 entrants, but the larger tournaments may have several hundred competitors vying for titles.  Ruscio, who has a long list of competitive achievements (some of which are displayed at the academy) is modest about his many wins.  One of the most impressive looking trophies he displays is the large belt he won in December as an Expert Champion in the NAGA Pan-American Championships.

But it’s not only Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that is practiced at Ruscio’s Grappling Mastery Academy.  “We also combine BJJ with wrestling and Judo.  In addition, we have a striking martial art called Muay Thai, or kickboxing that we offer here,” Ruscio explains.  Although students work towards belts earning “belts” (there are different colored belts in BJJ that demarcate levels of proficiency), they are secondary achievements. “I try to keep the integrity, the guys who work here with me understand that.  Of course, they still want the belt, they know what it means.  But they’re not chasing the belt, they’re chasing the knowledge. The knowledge is so much more than the belt.”

Melissa DeMarco, Editor

What is Grappling?

Grappling Mastery: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy

Grappling is a style of fighting that does not involve punches, kicks, or any other type of striking.  Some Martial Arts that use Grappling Techniques are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Judo, and Sambo.  Some striking arts have grappling elements such as Muay Thai and Sanshou or Sanda.

Grappling specializes in Throws, Takedowns, Controlling your Opponent, Dominant Positioning, Sweeps, Joint Locks, Chokes, and other Submissions.  Some Grappling Styles use a Gi, or Kimono, while others do not.

In the early days of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships) Grappling was introduced as a formidable style of fighting when Royce Gracie and the Gracie Family fought in a No Holds Barred tournament to show which styles came out on top.  Royce beat most opponents without throwing a single punch and used a lackluster front kick only to distract people from his attempt to clinch for a takedown.  His biggest rivalries were against Ken Shamrock, a submission fighter and Dan Severn, a Greco-Roman Wrestler.  He also had a notable fight against Kimo Leopoldo, in which Kimo was credited as a Taekwondo Black Belt, though he also wrestled growing up.

Other UFC, King of the Cage, and Pride FC matches proved over and over that Grappling Arts were superior to the striking arts.  Not until later, when strikers started to learn techniques from Grappling and how to counter them, did they start to overcome the grapplers.  In response, Grapplers started to learn how to strike and combined it with Grappling.  This was the evolution of mixed martial arts we see today.  Many fights now come down to who the better athlete was, not which martial art is superior.  This is because the athletes are both familiar with striking and grappling.  Grappling remains a vital part of every MMA fighter’s training regimen.

At Grappling Mastery we specialize in the Grappling Arts.  Professor Brian Ruscio is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and has been Wrestling since 5 years of age.  He also has extensive knowledge of Judo and Sambo techniques.  Grappling Mastery also offers Muay Thai Kickboxing Classes to compliment our Grappling Techniques.  Muay Thai Coach Mike Sgroi and Professor Brian Ruscio both have a history of training MMA Fighters, both amateur and professional, some even appearing on TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) and UFC.

Come try a FREE Class at Grappling Mastery to see what Grappling is all about.  We have a great group of people waiting to help you!