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How Takedowns will enhance your Half Guard

How Takedowns will enhance your Half Guard


Takedowns are one of the most crucial aspects of bjj, but, unfortunately, they are also one of the most neglected aspects of bjj.  Many people overlook the benefits of establishing a good takedown game and fail to develop their takedowns. 

This may be attributed to the competition mentality of pulling guard.  So many people today pull guard, so why learn takedowns?  There is a common misconception with utilizing takedowns.  Many people assume they are just a way to get your opponent to the ground, but takedowns are extremely important for developing your guard. 

Many high level sweeps utilize takedowns like the single leg, the double leg, and the ankle pick to sweep your opponent. One of the best guards to set up takedowns from is half guard.  Half guard presents many opportunities to set up take downs, you can do the single leg, the double leg, and the ankle pick from half.

The Single Leg Takedown from Half Guard

The most effective takedown from half guard is the single leg.  Half guard is one of, if not, the best places to set up single leg takedowns from.  Many high level black belts constantly utilize single leg entries from half guard.  Some of these guys include Lucas Leite, Bernardo Faria, and Lucs Lepri. 

The Single leg takedown is one of the most crucial takedowns to learn.  From half guard you can set it up with a variety of entries.  You can also utilize the grips in gi Jiu Jitsu, you can use your opponents sleeve, lapel, and other grips to enhance your single leg.  The single leg is constantly used by Demian Maia, who has arguably the best Jiu Jitsu in the history of the UFC.  Check out this sweep from half guard master, Lucas Leite below.

The Double Leg from Half Guard

The double leg is another one of the best takedowns to set up from the half guard.  Some people commonly use the single leg to set up the double leg. We recently wrote an entire article devoted to the double leg, if you’d like to give it a read, click here.

The double leg can occur frequently when you use the underhook from half guard to get up, this can create a scramble that ends up in a double leg.  It is important to know the double leg and single leg because they supplement each other extremely well.  If someone pushes your head to the outside while in a single leg, you can switch to a double leg.  Check out this highlight of Black Belt World Champion, Bernardo Faria and watch how much he uses double legs and single legs from half guard.

The Ankle Pick from Half Guard

The ankle pick is another great takedown to use from half guard.  When you come up on a single leg from half guard, another great way to finish the single leg is with an ankle pick.  Sometimes the single leg can be tough to finish, and switching from takedown to takedown can make it easier.  Check out this video showing one of the most dangerous positions from a takedown, it will help you keep sharp technique and stay safe.

If you want to enhance your takedown game, check out our article, “three of the Best Takedowns for bjj.” When implementing takedowns from half guard, it is good to have a diverse arsenal of takedowns.  Check out this 3 DVD set, “The Takedown Blueprint” by Jimmy Pedro and Travis Stevens.  This is a great resource to build your takedown game.


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