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How Takedowns Will Enhance your Guard Game

How Takedowns Will Enhance your Guard Game


Takedowns are one of the biggest parts of grappling. In Jiu Jitsu, they are not emphasized as much because of the guard pull.  There is a common misconception with takedowns.  People assume takedowns are only necessary for getting your opponent down from a standing position.  People assume that take downs are only part of the standing aspect of bjj and are only utilized when both opponents are standing.

Take downs are primarily used from standing but enhancing your take downs will also assist you with your guard game. How will take downs help your guard?  They will give you more options to sweep your opponent and allow you to have a diverse arsenal of sweeps.  We recently wrote an article on “The Three Best Takedowns for BJJ,” give it a read if you would like an intro to takedowns.

The three takedowns we refer to in our article “Three Best Takedowns for BJJ” are the same ones that will enhance your guard.  The single leg, the double leg, and the ankle pick. These takedowns will carry your guard game to the next level.

The Single Leg and Guard

The single leg takedown is one of the most essential takedowns for any bjj practitioner to learn.  Even if you always pull guard, it is an extremely important takedown.  The reason the single leg takedown will enhance your guard is because there are countless entries into a single leg from guard.

Some World Champions are infamous for their “single leg” sweep and they never set it up from standing.  Bernardo Faria, infamous for his half guard, constantly uses the single leg takedowns to sweep his opponents. There are single leg entries from De La Riva, Reverse De La Riva, Half Guard, Butterfly guard, Spider Guard, and almost every guard in bjj.

We wrote an article dedicated entirely to the single leg, if you’d like to give it a read, click here. Also, check out this entry to a single leg takedown from De La Riva below shown by World Champion, Cobrinha.

The Double Leg and Guard

The double leg is another one of the most important takedowns in bjj.  The double leg can also be utilized from guard and is also a great way to finish a single leg.  The double leg takedown supplements the single leg extremely well.

Just like the single leg, you can set the double leg up from virtually every guard.  Marcelo Garcia was infamous for double legging his opponents after pulling butterfly guard. We wrote an article dedicated to the double leg, so if you want to check it out, click here.  If you have problems getting double legged, check out this cool counter to the double leg below.  Learn to use a kimura and counter takedowns.

The Ankle Pick and Guard

The ankle pick is another takedown that is crucial for any grappler to learn.  The ankle pick is also an extremely viable option from the guard.  You can ankle pick your opponent from almost any guard.

The ankle pick is a very simple and effective takedown.  The most important detail to a good ankle pick is the timing.  If you develop good timing with an ankle pick it takes no strength at all and is virtually effortless.  The ankle pick can be a great option from butterfly guard.  Check out this instructional of how to execute an ankle pick from butterfly guard.

If you really want to sharpen your takedowns, get your hands on this DVD set, “The Takedown Blueprint.”  It is with Jimmy Pedro and Judo Olympic Silver Medalist, Travis Stevens.  These two have a vast amount of knowledge on takedowns and you WILL not regret getting this DVD set.


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