2 Wrestling Takedowns With NEW UFC Fighter Ben Askren
2 Wrestling Take Downs For BJJ by Ben Askren
As one of the newest fighters to the UFC roster, Ben Askren has a lot to teach us about the art of grappling. Askren is a mixed martial artist, former Olympic wrestler, former ONE Welterweight Champion, and former Bellator Welterweight Champion, with an undefeated record as a professional. He is known for his unorthodox style of grappling, borrowing from many different types of wrestling. Askren’s list of accolades is long in his professional grappling career. He is the assistant coach of the Askren Wrestling Academy (AWA) in Hartland, Wisconsin. Ben teaches the unique Pillars of A.W.A. that includes a focus of long-term success through “total wrestling”, fundamentals, and experimentation.
Wrestling take downs are some of the best techniques for your standing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game. Some of toughest wrestlers and take downs artists in the world at the Russians. Rustam Chsiev is one of those toughest ADCC Vets in the world with a take down game that is a force to be wreckoned with.
Let’s explore two great wrestling take downs for BJJ by Ben Askren. In the video below Ben is going to demonstrate an ankle pick from the collar tie that he learned from watching multiple time world champ Elbrus Tedeev from Ukraine. Check out the video below and then we will break down the technique.
As shown in the video, Ben Askren starts out with the collar tie, holding the back of his opponent’s arm at the elbow. Askren pulls the head, the key here being to pivot giving himself the angle to get the pick. A lot of people simply circle and stay squarely facing their opponent which will make this technique difficult if not impossible to successfully pull off. See when he pivots, now he had the angle to shoot for the ankle pick. From here he pushes the elbow and drives into his opponent, picking the ankle, tying up his opponent’s legs forcing him to go to the ground. Pay attention to that head snap he uses to break down his opponent’s posture and get him off balance and his momentum going. Askren makes this technique look easy, but there is a lot of detail in the foot work that makes this high level ankle pick so effective. I would recommend watching this video a couple more times before you drill it so make sure you have the right angle to go for the pick.
Learn the art of hitting other leg attack take downs like the single leg, snatch singles, low singles, fireman's carry and more.
The next video we are going to watch is of Ben Askren demonstrating a double leg take down. Check out the video below and then we will break it down!
Askren starts off by explaining that the double leg take down is a much underutilized technique in grappling. The biggest benefit of the double leg take down is that is it the hardest position to scramble out of. Ben looks to get his shoulders into his opponent’s abdomen, hands just below the butt, grabbing low. He gets in position, changes his level and shoots, his head ending up on the outside of his opponent’s waist, his arms wrapped tightly around the calves. One of the most important things about the double leg that Ben Askren shows is how he shoots. Askren has a pretty unique way of entering. Rather than the typical knee down, step up style of shot, Askren chooses to exploded and let his hips travel under him, making the double leg a split second faster, and super effective.
There is a lot we can learn from high level wrestlers like Ben Askren to help improve our BJJ game. Wrestling take downs can be very effective when done correctly, but require a lot of drilling to get every detail just right.