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Flying Scissor Takedown: Powerful & Functional


There is one takedown in grappling that everyone knows. In Judo, it is outright banned. In most BJJ tournaments, it is banned up until black belt/expert. And in Sambo, it is seen as a completely essential takedown. The takedown in discussion is the flying scissor takedown. While it is flashy in nature, it is also a devastating technique that you will want to have in your arsenal.

First and foremost, it is dangerous. I won’t sugar coat that. The damage you can do to someone’s knee and ligaments is downright nasty. I’ve personally done it in a tournament and hurt a competitors knee due to the way he fell, with his knee folding up. When drilling it in the gym, or using it during rolling, you have to be careful. It’s one thing to use it freely in competition, but when using it on training partners, use it slowly and with precision. There is a proper way to train it. Sambo legend, Reilly Bodycomb has a great video demonstrating the proper use below.

Besides the takedown being powerful, it is the positioning that makes the technique so great. If you have a love of leg locks, this is the number one takedown you should pursue. The flying scissor allows for a variety of leg lock positions such as honey hole, knee knot, and 50/50. If you’re not a position before submission kind of artist, it also allows for heel hooks and kneebars right off the takedown. One of the most famous MMA highlights on the internet has the flying scissor featured produly. Back in the days of PRIDE, Ryo Chonan was able to defeat UFC legend, Anderson Silva with a flying scissor into a heel hook for a triumphant victory.

Lastly, the setup for the flying scissor takedown is deceptive. The main set up for the technique involves grabbing and controlling the head. When controlling the head, a lot of people are expecting snap downs, inside trips and outside trips. With that knowledge and the ability to hit this takedown, you will surprise a lot of people with it. In modern high level no gi Jiu Jitsu, Garry Tonon is the man that makes quick work of opponents with it. Slick, powerful and functional!

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