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Is It The Final Takedown?
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Is It The Final Takedown?

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The Jiu Jitsu community is growing exponentially, which is great and amazing to see, but with that growth comes change.

Some of the change is for the better, some could be argued to be for the worse. Positive transitions in jiu jitsu include things such as more tournaments, the growing number of black belt professors, increasing academy numbers, and a globally connecting activity.

Modifications from the original tend to be ill received by those that were there from the beginning, but the biggest difference in active grappling that is debated today is the slow disappearance of live takedowns. The reason for this can be attributed to too many people on the mat to start standing safely, a relatively new injury prevention schools have to think about. What are the real benefits of actively starting rolls with takedowns? Are the newly addressed reasons to limit them changing the sport, or is the worrying all for naught? 

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Jiu Jitsu is mainly a ground sport, but you have to get someone down there first! Drilling a takedown is still commonly worked into class time; a lot of schools have adopted learning the technique in a controlled fashion without taking it live or full throttle.

The big decision is whether knowing the technique and repeating it during drills or warmups is enough to be considered proficient in the move. If you are a blue belt on the ground, but have limited takedown experience, are you a takedown white belt? Where does the line end? 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools should be looking out for their students, so if mat space is limited they are completely valid in reigning in the amount of throws that happen during class. A crowded mat combined with 20 pairs of jiujitiero’s tossing each other around is a recipe for disaster, there’s no arguing that.

However; is it also harmful to expect students to be able to execute and defend these moves in competition or real life without much technical practice? Here is the rundown on the two sides, and what we can do to stay safe while still getting enough exposure. 


Minimizing takedown practice 

More wear and tear on the body, especially if going all out. This results in more injury. 

Lack of mat space 

Time! During timed rolls in class, if starting from standing it could eat away at valuable ground time

Variety of partners- in class people aren’t necessarily in similar weight classes or at an equal ranking to make adding in throws safe for both partners 

Enables students to reserve energy and focus to learn the technique being taught 

Keep takedowns 

Different positions become available off of takedowns that don’t come up from the ground 

Important for competition or self defense

The more you practice, the safer you are able to carry out the moves.

Helps you learn how to fall more appropriately, even if during rolls that means falling from knees

Trains your body on how to deal with the adrenaline of landing from a toss and continue with the match 

Each person has their own preference, and depending on what your goals are in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu your desire to start from certain positions will change. Understanding the reasoning behind each method is helpful regardless so you can make a more educated decision on what you want to work on!

If you are solely looking for competition practice you might want to get good enough at takedowns so you are well versed in the experience and energy needs, but be aware of the amount of points and how much time you will be using during your match. If you are more in it for self defense then you have to remember that it is highly unlikely that an attack or approach will ever start from the ground. Whatever your decision may be, there are many options and skills to learn in the BJJ fanatics vault! 

Henry Cejudo is a world champion. Now, he is here to share is world class technique with you! Check out his DVD "High Level Takedowns and Mat Control For Grapplers", and get the secrets of a world champion! BJJ Fanatics has it! Check it out here!

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