Takedowns are one of the most neglected areas Jiu Jitsu. However, they often mean the difference between winning and losing a fight.
If you watch any high level Jiu Jitsu athlete they always have a good understanding of takedowns and a few go to techniques they can use when necessary.
Takedowns should be considered an essential part of your Jiu Jitsu arsenal as they allow you to control where a fight takes place and are a quick way to score points.
A great example of this is the absolute final of the 2008 IBJJF World Championships between Roger Gracie and Xande Ribeiro.
Roger had steamrolled through his competition and everyone expected him to win his second absolute title in a row. However, Xande had different ideas.
Much of the fight between Gracie and Ribeiro was spent exchanging takedown attempts, but it was Xande that won the day and absolute title by scoring two takedowns.
(You can watch the fight at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOkVb60noO8)
Where many people go wrong when trying to add takedowns to their game is they try to learn way too many attacks.
If you watch any elite Judo player or Wrestler you’ll see they typically only use 2-3 takedowns. For example John Smith and his low single or Kosei Inoue and his Uchi Mata.
“Jack of all trades, master of none, Master a few and jack everyone” – Greg Nelson
The skill in takedowns is not knowing a hundred different takedowns. It’s knowing one takedown incredibly well. You should know how to enter it from any position and how to finish it depending on how your opponent reacts.
Enter the Russian 2 on 1
The Russian 2 on 1 or Russian Tie Up is a simple grip to set up is effective both Gi and No Gi Jiu Jitsu. Here are two simple setups for the 2 on 1 grip:
2 on 1 from Collar Grip
2 on 1 grip from Collar Tie
Once you have established the 2 on 1 grip there are many ways to get the takedown. Here is a great sequence from 2 x NCAA champion and 3 x World Cup Champion, Gene Mills.
2 on 1 to Ankle Pick
2 on 1 to Arm Drag
2 on 1 to Firemans Carry
2 on 1 to High Crotch
2 on 1 to Single Leg
Here is one final video from Chris Herzog teaching at 10th Planet Rochester. In it, he covers the 2 on 1 set up and several variations on takedowns from there.
2 on 1 from Chris Herzog of 10th Planet Rochester.
3 Ways To Start Improving Your Takedowns Today
So you don’t currently have a takedown game? No problem. Here are a three simple things you can start developing one today.
– Start Judo or Wrestling classes. This is the obvious way to start improving your takedowns.
The only slight problem with it is both Judo and Wrestling have their own rules and regulations. Often there are techniques that are legal in BJJ that aren’t in Judo or Wrestling and vice versa.
– Start every roll standing and avoid pulling guard. This will get you used to playing the takedown game for BJJ but doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop good technique
– Get a specific Takedown for BJJ instructional by a World Class Competitor. This is a great option. The techniques will be specific to Jiu Jitsu and have been tried and tested in competition. All you’ll need to do is practice them.
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