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Use This Fake Guard Pull/Ankle Pick To Secure The Takedown!

Use This Fake Guard Pull/Ankle Pick To Secure The Takedown!


When it comes to Jiu Jitsu whether from a sport perspective or a self defense perspective one thing remains the same.  Before you can start working submissions or controlling the opponent from mount, or anything else for that matter, you must first get them on the ground.  Let’s face it, most self defense situations don’t start on the knees, or from a seated position. I know that seems ridiculous to read, but seriously think about it. 

How often do you see people starting from the ground?  How often do you start standing? Maybe you do a better job than most, but it seems to me that in my experience at least, the vast majority of practitioners start on their knees.  Why do you think it is that we don’t prioritize the very thing that allows us entry to do what we are training to do? Laziness perhaps? Or maybe it’s simply that people don’t realize what a priority it actually is.  

Just in case that’s the case and people genuinely don’t understand what a priority it is to be good at take downs let’s talk through that.  It is a rather simple explanation in my opinion. Without the knowledge and ability to do good, practical and swift takedowns, how can you ever hope to get on the ground and control your opponent?  Pulling guard in the street is probably not a great idea. 

Realistically, pulling guard in general without a solid plan is probably not the best plan as it puts you in a non dominate position in most cases and in a street fight situation, being on your back on the ground without the ability to move quickly is less than ideal for sure. 

Don’t freak out.  Not every take down involves you picking the opponent up and slamming them down on the mat.  While that may help with any anger issues you may have, it may or may not be legal in competition and it is also not the only route.  If you prefer a less dramatic take down then you should consider this fake guard pull ankle pick.


To start, well, we start standing…  First things first, we need to secure a same side lapel grip.  This grip should be located about chest height on your opponent and should have your thumb on the inside and your 4 fingers on the outside of the lapel.  Next you want to bring your opposite foot up to your opponent’s hip without actually touching their hip, just faking a guard pull at this point.  

Add to your No-Gi Takedown arsenal! 


Next you will drop your knee to the mat (same leg you just faked the foot in the hip movement with) and pull your opponent in using the lapel grip you have.  You are now in position to scoop up the opponent’s ankle on the same side as the knee you have on the mat. Once you have your hand cupped behind their ankle you can begin pushing into their chest with your lapel grip and pulling with your grip around the back of their heel.  

This should knock them over on their backs and allow you to quickly throw the heel you still have in your had to the side and get around to a side control of maybe even mount position.  As you can see, take downs do not have to be big scary throws or slams, they can simple and effective like this one. 

Another option would be to attack the arm immediately following a double ankle pick.  Check out this double ankle pick to arm bar and add this to your arsenal. Let’s take a look at it in detail.  

Starting in guard the opponent stands up.  As they stand we want to keep the guard locked until we are certain we are in position to drop down and grab both of their ankles.  As you grab both ankles your feet should be straight up and past the opponent’s torso with your knees pointed in and inside of your opponent’s knees.  

From this position we simply lift our hips and drive into the opponent forcing them off balance since we are controlling their feet and they can’t step to regain balance.  As they fall to their back we want to use that momentum to come up and post a hand on the mat. Hold onto the opposite foot as an added detail to control the opponent and limit their ability to move while you get in position.  As you get in position you can let go of the foot and drive your hips into the opponent’s arm pit positioning their arm in between your legs. 

From here we rotate the hips down as we drive across the opponent’s body landing in a position like you see in the image below.  By putting your foot behind the opponent’s head it will help limit movement of rolls or posturing up. From here you can finish the arm bar by simply driving your hips forward as you hug the arm. 

Yet another move that is rather simple but looks flashy and fancy.  Something definitely worth trying any time you go for this sweep and are not able to get all the way to mount because the opponent blocks you from doing so. 

These are just a couple of examples that prove you do not need to have an extreme level of athleticism to do a really good take down.  While wrestling certainly helps, there are other options out there. Like anything, these are just a couple of more tools on the tool belt, make sure to understand when these are applicable, and when you need to use a different tool.  

Also keep in mind that at the end of the day, it all comes down to several factors that will determine if you win or lose the match.  How prepared are you? Are they more prepared? Who is more technical? Who is stronger? Ultimately, who is better trained for this moment when it is all on the line and it’s time to prove your abilities.

Rick’s system will have you swiftly knocking your opponent’s to their backs in no time at all taking your stand up game to a new level that you may have wondered if it were even possible.  Remember the end goal here is to train as realistically as possible and not only remove the fear of starting on your feet, but give you the confidence you need in a street fight or in a competition to do what you need to do to get to the ground and get to work.  Remember when drilling with your training partner to take care of them and pay special attention to any physical limitations or injuries they may have. We want them to enjoy their training too and make it back to the academy tomorrow.

No Gi Takedowns Made Easy by Rick Hawn

If you are looking to up your takedown game you should consider checking out “No Gi Takedowns Made Easy by Rick Hawn”.



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