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Takedown Artistry with Garry Tonon

Takedown Artistry with Garry Tonon



Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu contains within it some of the most exciting and interesting techniques in the world of martial arts. These beautiful methods of navigating a resisting body can be incredibly artistic in nature and Garry Tonon is a Michaelangelo among the great artists of BJJ. A quick look at a highlight reel of Tonon’s will have you on the edge of your seat. His incredible athleticism mixed with razor sharp technique provides the fans with an experience each time he steps onto the grappling stage. Tonon is not afraid to experiment and take risks and in many cases it certainly pays off for the accomplished grappling star.  

Tonon is an incredibly successful grappler, with victories at the highest levels of competition over some of the biggest names in the sport. In recent years he's also amassed an impressive undefeated MMA record with One FC, demonstrating that his abilities transcend the world of grappling and proving that he is a well-rounded martial artist with some exciting wins inside the cage. Tonon doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon and we’ll expect him to add plenty more accolades to his already impressive career before things are all said and done. 

With his acrobatic abilities we’ll often see Tonon pull off some beautiful techniques that involve him leaving the mat for a moment before landing in a perfect position to continue dominating. These types of takedowns and transitions are amazing to witness but they can also be dangerous to drill (check also The Camberly Way by Ashley McKenzie). In Tonon’s most recent release, Shoot to KIll: Wrestle, Scramble, Submit, Tonon is giving us an inside look at his unique approach to these themes and how to perform some of the most beautifully effective techniques of BJJ properly and safely. 

Let's take a look at an excerpt from the series. Here, Tonon will break down the ashi toshi. You may have heard this one described as a “broomstick takedown”. It frequently makes an appearance in grappling and even in MMA as the great Renzo Gracie demonstrated not long ago. Tonon will show you not only how to execute this takedown but also how to make sure your partner is kept safe in the process. Take a look! 


Tonon prefers to set this one up from a rear body lock position where he’s behind his partner and has the waist secured. He then weaves his leg over the top of his partner’s thigh and behind his partner's far leg, planting his instep behind the knee. With this tripping mechanism in place, Tonon begins a series of hops toward the front of his partner, eventually tripping him up, and then sitting, bringing his partner to the mat. Upon completion of the takedown, Tonon has put himself in perfect position to take the back. A traditional back take can be performed here but Tonon opts to enter into the cross body ride instead. 

Learn a High-Octane attack plan with Garry Tonon! Click Learn More!


OK, simple enough right? Yes, but let’s talk safety. There is plenty of video evidence of the catastrophes that these kinds of takedowns can cause. So, let's back up for a second and understand why. Remember that series of hops that Tonon instructed us on before completing the takedown? This is not to be skipped. If Tonon was to stay on the side of his partner, it's likely he could blow out his knee as he attempts the takedown. Watch as these few hops to the front clear his partner's knee from danger. 

With the cross body ride now in place, Tonon begins to attack. Grasping the writs, he forces his partner’s top arm down to the mat and then covers his forearm with the wristwatch portion of his own arm. Tonon then shoots his hand deeper into the void and cups the back of his training partner's arm above the elbow. Keeping downward pressure on the wrist so the arm doesn't slip free, Tonon pulls his partner in tight, allows his head to travel up to the elbow, and then reaches with his second hand to form a cupping grip over his hand that's securing the elbow. He then pulls upward with the hammerlock (find more about hammer locks in Torture Chamber Top Wrestling and Escapes by Zain Retherford) to apply braking pressure and command the tap. If the arm does happen to come free, there's always a very easy path to the back! Beautiful technique here from one of the best in the world and this is just the tip of the iceberg!  

Shoot to KIll: Wrestle, Scramble, Submit, is available now!




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