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Takedowns Made Simple
One of the least trained aspect of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the takedown. On a very basic level, the evolution of BJJ has been focused on ground techniques. But ironically, competitive matches begin on the feet and arguably most self-defense altercations begin while we are standing. Another reason takedown training is usually one of the least trained aspects of the average practitioner's game is due to safety. Repetitive takedowns can be very physically demanding and sometimes damaging. Many schools and academies do not have proper training mats or crash pads to effectively drill intense takedowns without causing harm. Regardless of these facts, it goes without saying that adding some takedown training to your BJJ would be crucial to make sure you are at least aware of some the basic principles.
Once you've begun to add very simple takedowns to your arsenal, it will be beneficial to look to other grappling arts which have a more complete and broad array of techniques to learn from. Wrestling and judo, arguably, have the most complete and developed system of takedown techniques.
In the video below, you will see two very simple takedown techniques that you can implement into your game plan almost immediately.
The armdrag for the takedown
A key element of many takedowns in to force a direction change of your opponent's body. In this example, a simple arm drag motion is used to bring the opponent forward close to you. Once you've established this motion, the arm drag must be abandoned in favor of securing the underhook.
The leg trip for the takedown
Now that you've established the underhook, you will drive into the opponent and wrap your forward driving leg around their leg to trip them and take them down. As long as the underhook is maintained along with forward pressure, the opponent cannot reestablish any control and must begin working on what they are going to do once you pass their guard.
If you want to explore the take down weapons of one of the top judokas and BJJ practitioners today, check out this piece from BJJ Fanatics about Travis Stevens.
No matter what level of BJJ practitioner you are, it's never too early or late to begin adding some take down training into your drilling. Whether you are preparing for competitions or just wanting to feel a little more well-rounded, take downs are essential for understanding how to get the game to the ground. Start slow and start as simple as you can. Make sure you have a safe environment that affords you the opportunity to drill and develop the proper techniques without possibility of injury. And then once, you've begun studying them, you will want to expand your horizons into the worlds of wrestling or judo to further complement the training you are doing in BJJ.
If you want to expand your take down repertoire, look no further than judo champions Jimmy Pedro and his student and BJJ black belt Travis Stevens. Their "Takedown Blueprint" DVD Series is available here for only $67 today!