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JIU JITSU THROWS
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JIU JITSU THROWS

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is highly systematic in how many of the technical components work. There are many different facets that make up the complete game style, like positional control, sweeping mechanics, escaping from positions, passing the guard, and submission maneuvers. What makes Jiu Jitsu extremely dynamic is the ability a practitioner has to throw, or takedown their opponent. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu derived from Kano Jigoro's systems of Kodokan Judo, and his Martial Art was heavily governed by dynamic throwing techniques.

What this article covers:

The art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a comprehensive range of takedown maneuvers, from different judo throws for bjj, to modified versions of Wrestling takedowns. A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fight always starts on the feet, as both combatants strategise for position, and the dominant grips.

It's time to add some UNORTHODOX EFFECTIVE THROWS to your BJJ takedown game!  Grab your copy at BJJFanatics.com!

bjj throws

Some competitors will pull guard, especially the more modern combat athlete, but other athletes will set up takedowns, or a throw in an attempt to score points, take the wind out of their opponent, and gain the dominant control position. Sometimes a takedown will land the athlete inside their opponent's guard, and this will lead to the athlete looking for guard passes.

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A THROW AND A TAKEDOWN

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there is a difference between throwing an opponent, or simply executing a takedown. In BJJ most athletes will use modified Wrestling takedowns, and this is because most of them involve keeping their opponent in their line of sight. They will also use this style of takedown, so they end up on top of their opponent, giving them little time to scramble into a better position. A takedown is the act of unbalancing an opponent, and bringing them to the ground, while maintaining a dominant top position, and moving in for the takedown is referred to as shooting for a takedown. The difference between a takedown, and a throw is that a throw is used in a more deadly manner, and usually consists of a higher impact. To throw an opponent means to try and finish the opponent in one move, and traditionally this is why Judo matches are stopped after a good throw, and that is to simulate an opponent unable to get up if it was on a hard surface. Not all throws are legal in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and this is because of the dangerous nature of an opponent landing on their head. 

THE IMPORTANCE OF TAKING THE FIGHT TO THE GROUND 

All fights start on the feet in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and when both competitors are looking for a takedown, or to gain a top control position, the fight can become stagnant. This is evident when two heavyweight beginners are using too much strength, and are both trying to outmuscle each other. Unless an athlete is going to pull guard, the importance of a throw, or a takedown is quite substantial. Getting the fight to the mat is crucial if an athlete wants to use any of their technical proficiencies. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is predominantly a ground fighting art, so getting the fight to the mat is how an athlete will be able utilise the bulk of their techniques. 

There are other contests like Mixed Martial Arts where athletes will use Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills, and this is even more important to achieve throws, or takedown maneuvers. In MMA pulling guard can be a huge mistake, and this is because athletes are allowed to utilise striking on a grounded opponent. This becomes extremely important for an athlete to execute throws, or takedowns, so they can stay in control of their opponent in a dominant position. The same concept is applied in a street fight scenario, as athletes that use self defense will commonly try to take an attacker to the ground. In a street fight situation a throw is more common than a takedown, and this is because a throw will get an attacker to the ground, while leaving the person on their feet, and this is more of a high percentage result in a violent situation. 

HOW TO ENGAGE AN OPPONENT 

Engaging an opponent can be an artform in itself, and all athletes need to use good footwork to be able to close the distance on their opponent. Understanding distance management is crucial in calculating when to shoot in for a takedown, or even knowing when to sprawl in order to avoid an opponent's takedown attempt. Closing the distance is one of the hardest aspects of the takedown game, and using fakes, side steps, level changes, or fast steps forward can ultimately help an athlete gain access to an opponent. Setting up an entry into a takedown takes commitment, and poise, and commonly athletes need to be constantly switching their grips in order to maintain the dominant control of their opponent. 

Staying in base at all times is an important concept, and this means to have their feet positioned in such a way that their balance is not compromised. If an athlete has their feet to close together, or not in a proper stance, then it becomes easy for an opponent to unbalance them. This can be the difference between an athlete keeping their feet, or easily going to ground during a match. Another important aspect is posture, and this means to keep their spine straight, and in alignment with their head. Athletes should always be looking up, and this will make it extremely hard for an opponent to break their posture, which will lead to staying on their feet easier. These concepts are all fundamentally important, and learning how to engage an opponent the right way will make things a lot easier in terms of achieving a throw, or a takedown.

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HOW TO SET UP DIFFERENT THROWS

Setting up throws in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can happen a number of different ways. It highly depends on what type of throw that an athlete is going for, which will determine which way they step into their opponent for the set up. Some throws will require athletes to shoot in low after changing levels, in order to shoot for double leg takedowns, or even a low single leg takedown. Other throws require athletes to secure a grip first, before stepping in, and moving into more of a sideways angle to initiate different types of throws like a seoi nagi, an uchi mata, or a basic hip throw. Arm drags are also used to then circle to the back of their opponent, and this can open up a range of different throws altogether. Some set ups require an athlete to wait until their opponent secures a grip on them, as they will use countermeasures in order to set up for foot sweeps, or various types of takedown maneuvers.

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THROWS USED IN BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU 

There are many different throws or takedowns used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and some of the most popular ones are double leg takedowns, or single leg takedowns. The double leg takedown is an old school Wrestling move that has been modified a number of different ways to suit a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner. This takedown is also used in Mixed Martial Arts, and involves an athlete shooting in low, and using a two handed grip on the back of the knees, while they push their sternum into the front of their opponent's legs. This will force the opponent backwards, as they turn the corner and dump them on the mat in a circular motion. The single leg takedown is another highly successful movement in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and involves an athlete to secure one of their opponents legs in between their thighs. The athlete will hug the leg tightly, as they place their head to the inside of their thigh. From here they will step their outside leg backwards, and use their head pressure to make room for the circular motion of dumping their opponent on the mat.

One of the most successful takedown maneuvers in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the lapel drag, but commonly this is a hard takedown to pull off, as it is often telegraphed to an opponent. A good way to execute this maneuver is to use a fake guard pull, and this is a good way to get their opponent to react in a natural way. As an athlete sets up a grip on the arm and a grip on the collar, they will use their foot to press into the hip. From here they will begin to lower their body in an attempt to pull guard, and just as their opponent begins to lower into the guard pull, and begin to react, the athlete will quickly step their leg off of the hip, while quickly transitioning to the mat on both of their knees. From here they will keep the grip on the lapel, as they use their other hand to wrap around the leg, and now they have an opportunity to step up on one leg and drive their opponent to the mat in a circular motion.

The ankle pick is another extremely diverse takedown maneuver, which incorporates a grip on the collar, and a level change to execute this maneuver. Commonly this takedown will be set up with a grip on the lapel, and a sleeve grip. From here the athlete can step forward pushing their opponent backwards, which will force them to react by pushing back. From here the athlete will use the momentum of their opponent's push back, to pull them lower towards the mat. At this point they will let go of the sleeve, dropping extremely low, and cupping the back of their opponent's ankle. Because the athlete already has the downward momentum on their side, they will pull the ankle sideways, and drive the opponent down to the mat in a nice circular ankle pick maneuver. This is another high quality takedown that is used in all forms of Wrestling.

Another extremely efficient takedown maneuver is an easy one to initiate, and to finish, and all the athlete has to do is secure some form of back control. This can be done by using an arm drag, and going to the back, or shooting in for double under hooks, and ducking under the arm into a back control position. From here the athlete has a couple of different options, and the first one requires the athlete to place their foot out behind the ankle, and simply fall backwards, tripping their opponent to the mat. The second option is they can decide to drop their hips lower than their opponent's hips, and as they pick them up, in a circular motion they can dump them on the mat. Utilising this kind of takedown maneuver is highly effective, and is extremely hard for an opponent to defend.

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JUDO THROWS USED IN BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a high quality Martial Art that incorporates some elements of Judo technique. Because many Judo throws require an athlete to turn their back on their opponent, this may not always be the right takedown maneuver to use. Although some Judo throws are highly effective against a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner. Utilising a simple hip throw can be extremely effective, and all an athlete needs to do is look at wrestling for an under hook.  From this position they can take a grip on their opponent's other sleeve, before angling their hips side on, and using the momentum of the hip thrust to pull the opponent over their hip, and down to the mat. From here they can also utilise an uchi mata variation by stepping their leg through the middle of their opponent's legs, and kicking their leg back hard, as they rotate their hips, to turn their opponent and land them onto the mat. This can be an extremely effective series of movements, which can be hard to stop from an opponent.

Another high quality Judo throw that can be utilised in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a Tomoe Nagi. This is a high percentage maneuver that involves using timing, and weight distribution to achieve the throw. An athlete will secure a grip on the collar, and the sleeve of their opponent, as they look to drive their opponent forward with pushes. The common reaction is for an opponent to start pushing back, and as soon as the athlete feels the momentum shift of their opponent coming forward, this is where they can step their foot up into the hip, dropping their back down towards the mat like they were pulling guard. As they begin to fall, the athlete will use their foot in the hip to flip their opponent over their head. This Judo flip can also be used on more of a sideways angle, and all of these maneuvers allow the athlete to follow the movement, rolling over and coming up into the mount position. If the athlete is athletic enough they can flip their opponent over, rolling over to the side where they have the sleeve grip. From here in one dynamic motion they can roll straight into an arm bar finish.

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HOW TO COUNTER A THROW

Countering a throw has a range of different aspects involved, and commonly the first step is to use takedown defense as a way of stopping an opponent. To set up a throw an opponent will need to secure some type of grip in order to initiate their movement. This is where an athlete will need to break their opponent's grips, and reposition their own grips, and make sure their base is solid otherwise they may be going for a ride. All athletes must be ready to sprawl their hips backwards, because this is the best way to counter a double leg takedown attempt. Furthermore, using the sprawl can put an athlete in a dominant front headlock position, where they will be able to attempt submissions like the guillotine, the anaconda, the peruvian necktie, and the darce choke. 

Another good way to counter a throw is to use an opponent's grips against them, but this takes a higher level of grappling knowledge, as well as specific experience in takedown maneuvers. Once an opponent sets up their grips to look for their takedown, the athlete will already have their counter grips in place, and they will use their expertise to lure their opponent right into the trap. This is evident when an opponent attempts a collar and sleeve grip, as they try to manipulate the athlete into a foot sweep, the athlete will counter with double under hooks, and stepping around the back of their thigh, and using this to wrestle them to the mat. This type of scenario may not be extremely common, but with the right knowledge, and training, this is a realistic proposition. 

It's time to add some UNORTHODOX EFFECTIVE THROWS to your BJJ takedown game!  Grab your copy at BJJFanatics.com!

jiu jitsu throw

Another way to counteract a takedown maneuver is by utilising a reversal. The downside to this is an athlete must get taken down for a reversal to be possible. Sometimes an athlete will try to reverse the move, but will wind up being stuck underneath their opponent's mount, or side control. Nevertheless this can be a last ditch attempt to stifle an opponent's throw, or take down.  Usually with most types of throws, or takedowns an opponent will use specific momentum, and grips to take an athlete down to the mat. As soon as the athlete has been taken down they will use the momentum of the throw, and the power from the mats to turn their opponent over, rolling them into a worse position, as they take a dominant top position control. This may not always work but if an athlete is going to be taken down anyway it is something that is worth trying.

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