View Full Version : Takedowns?

Anton Emery
10-12-2007, 12:48 PM
Thought i would see if anyone here is interested in discussing takedowns. I never wrestled in high school, and i am always amazed at the takedown ability of wrestlers that come into my BJJ gym. To me takedowns seem just as harder or harder than ground fighting.

I have been working on my basic double leg for a few years, and its ok. I can often get in deep enough but my problem is turning the corner. Its hard when the guy sprawls on you. I have also been messing with the high crotch lately, which seems a bit easier than double.

My eventual goal is to have a good high crotch/double, a good hip throw, and a few options from the clinch. I'll list a few that i enjoy or am working on.


I like this option from the clinch alot. The japanese headlock position is pretty secure and you can do the takedown shown, or step through into a hip throw if you want. Its one of the first takedowns i learned when i started studying at Straight Blast, and its a good one.


A series of videos on the high crotch takedown. I am not sure how i feel about shooting a takedown on the street, potentially messing up my front knee if it hits the ground, plus the risk of getting hit. But i would like to have the skills, and i guess i can always shoot high and not bang my front knee.

As far as judo throws a partner and i have been drilling O Goshi for a little bit.

I think the big part of alot of the hip throws is just getting the skill down to execute that initial entry. Grips seem like they can vary, and the japanese headlock i think provides good options for some hip throws. I occasionally experiment with uchi mata as well.

Anyways, just my throughts on some takedowns. Perhaps one day i will to get semi decent at them.


Jesse Woody
10-14-2007, 11:24 AM
The first headlock takedown is pretty similar to my go-to move when I wrestled, plus the only two street fights I've ever been in. It's great, because you can pin his shoulders with your inside knee on the ground and reposition his arm across his face, then rotate your hips towards his head for a one-handed submission that you can also strike with your outside, free hand. The one thing that I've learned from BJJ is how to handle somebody who drops their hips and either tries to sprawl or ends up getting you around the waist. With somebody sprawling towards your back and side, it's all about pushing yourself back towards them, which makes them pull their weight forward a bit, which you can quickly flick your hip into theirs to get them in the air. If they get you around the waist and go for the takedown, it's easy to hook them behind the knee and then proceed to strike while you control their head and one arm (if it's a street fight) or get a kimura (sp?) on the arm you controlled, with which you can torque their shoulder and get a standing sumission.

Eric Kerr
10-14-2007, 08:45 PM
Not an MMA guy, but I wrestled for a number of years and have a bit of coaching experience.

Double leg. Great move. We had a DII National Champ on our team that used it as his bread and butter takedown. Hard to go wrong with it.

If you are getting too deep with it then your are dropping your foot in too deep. I usually coach that the toes of your lead leg should be even with your oppenent's toes as you are dropping in. This gives you the room to follow through with the trail leg. Your chest/head should smack the other person's chest and drive them back at least a little. Then your can turn the corner.

Wrestling wise, you should be proficient with a double leg, single leg, and a high crotch. That way you can finish the move from any position that you find yourself in.

Dealing with a sprawl. In a sprawl you are trying to gain control of your opponents head by forcing it down and under your strength (hips). They are also trying to get you extended to reduce your strength. So to defeat a sprawl you hand to realize those aspects and deal with them.

1) Don't lose the legs or leg that you have control of.
2) Get your head up.
3) Re-shoot from the knees. Coil up like a spring and then bunny hop from your knees closer to your oppenent. Which gets rid of the extension caused by the sprawl.
4) Try to get your head out to either side to gain control of their hip.
5) Get moving. Just like a tailback in football, if your feet stop moving, you are done.

I'm usually quite suprised by how bad takedowns are performed in the UFC. They generally look awful from a technique standpoint. Arms out, head down, shooting from too far out, etc.,.

But then again in folkstyle, freesytle, and Greco roman wrestling you don't have to worry about getting kneed, punched, or kicked, so that might explain at least some of the hesitancy I see in the takedowns being performed.

#1 Reverse Headlock

Not to shabby, but a savvy opponent could roll with it and essentially high crotch/fireman's carry you as they are falling to the ground or mat.

Just have to be prepared to deal with such an attempt. Hit hard, but then expect the possibility of a roll through so your hips are ready to counterbalance the effect your opponent's roll.

Only seldom saw this used in folkstyle wrestling at the highschool or collegiant levels, so there must be some trickiness to it regarding the technique.


Basic headlock stuff. The headlock sucks against anybody that knows anything about fighting, sorry Jesse.

Easiest way to defeat that hold is simply to lift up on the attacker's collar tie elbow.

The basic headlock sucks because if you miss, your opponent is now behind you likely with their arms locked around you waist. If they have a freestyle or greco roman backgound, you will shortly be on your head.

Or at the very least you will be on your stomach on the ground with your opponent on top of you.

#3 High Crotch. Excellent maneuver. But I agree, bouncing your knee of the concrete is not a pleasant experience.

You need to be able to finish it by cutting across to a double leg or as depicted in the video.

Typically cutting across to a double is the 1st option. Because controlling 2 legs is generally better than controlling one leg.

If your opponent blocks the cut across then you finish as depicted in the video.

Another downside is that it easiest to do from and weakside underhook, but most good wrestlers will not let you have that for long, so if you get it, you have to be fast about hitting the high crotch.


O Goshi (Hip Toss in wrestling parlance).

Footwork is very important for getting your opponent loaded up on your hips. It is a move that typically works best on low experience opponents. Anybody that wrestled should have a feel for that move. Not to say that is not effective, you just have to disguise it, have good footwork, and in a fight situation, not too picky about the actual handholds that you end up with.

FYI - throws in general are pretty low percentage when facing someone with experience. You have to get them really off balance or surprise them for a throw to connect.

The most high percentage throw I know of is shoot to a body lock, fold your opponent's torso backwards by driving your locked hands into your opponent's lower back (some people also drive the top of their forehead into their opponent's sternum) and then driving your lead knee up into their crotch to lift them off the gound. Then dump them to the side.

Jesse Woody
10-15-2007, 02:34 AM
Or at the very least you will be on your stomach on the ground with your opponent on top of you.

Very true, it's super important to wait until the perfect moment to use it...definitely not a technique I throw very often in sparring, but I've found numerous times to use it when somebody tries to jack me with a haymaker by getting inside, deflecting the blow, then using their momentum to take them down...maybe that's because I'm quite a bit more likely to end up in a fight with somebody who DOESN'T know how to fight that well...or maybe I'm just more comfortable with it in that context because of body type or some other factor!

Anton Emery
10-15-2007, 08:46 AM
Thanks alot for the tips guys. I agree, at least for me i rarely land throws when grappling in the gym. Its probably due to my lack of skill more than anything. They are just hard for me to get.

I had some good success with the double and high crotch yesterday at practice, mostly from the clinch. My main goal was to get a deep underhook and head control on the same side and then shoot, but alot of guys won't let that happen. When i get the underhook they re-pummel their arm.

I don't have much experience with the single leg, and need to work on that. When shooting the single, do you always have to have your foot on the same side forward as your opponents? So if i want to shoot a single on his left leg which he has forward i have to have my right leg forward? I always try to grapple with my left foot forward, and shoot the double/high crotch with my head on my opponent's left side. To shoot the single should i just keep my left leg forward, and make him step so his right leg is forward and i can shoot on it? The single seems a bit lower risk than the double or high crotch.


Eric Kerr
10-15-2007, 09:11 PM
Oh no a left lead legger!

I forgot to mention this in my previous post.

Good resource. The posts are wealth of info. You have to be a member of USA Wrestling (I believe that is the correct organization) to post though.

*All links are family safe. Work safe if your work dosesn't mind you viewing wrestling technique demos or wrestling forums.


I'm not really familiar with the clinch. They added that to Greco and ?Freestyle? after I 'retired' to try to generate more action in what had turned into mostly boring defensive battles.

Generally you need to circle to get your opponent to bring their trail leg to within striking distance.

If you are leading left leg and your opponent is a right leg leader, you don't need to circle as much, but you do need to circumvent your opponent's defenses, typically an arm that is left stationed on our just above the lead leg. Mostly likely it will be above the lead leg in any sport that allows punching.

If you are circling the lead leg to you, then you usually do a slight slide step to get your lead leg outside of your opponent's trail leg, then your knee drops (really your knee rotates to the mat, your trail leg swings around giving you the angle you need to attack) just to the front outside of their foot and your lead arm snakes around their trail leg. Head and chest should be up, preferably with your forehead driving into their ribs. After that things depend on how you want to finish.

[b]Circling to attack trail leg[b/]

Single leg (this is a bit fast, but all the elements I've described are there. The guy is finishing with a dump, which is a really good finish, but it is a more intermediate skill).


Single leg (dump, run-the-pipe) finish.


Single leg (finish from the mat). The only thing not explained well is that your lead hand drops to the mat palm down with your trail hand gripping your lead hand wrist. That is the third point of your tri-pod. The move won't work well without that little tidbit.


Single leg with leg on outside - sweep finish


Not a specific techinque per se, but does a pretty good job of pointing out that you need to be both actively working for a finish, but also opportunistic depending on what your opponent gives you


[b]Same lead leg[b/]

The leg you want to attack is right there so generally all you would need to do is get close enough and then drop-step into attack position. Except for that offending arm in the way.

So you have to get the arm out of the way which is typcially best done through various control ties and generally a bit of circling as they are likely to switch to a square stance to get their lead leg away from you.

Once you have them where you want attack and finish as described above.

Jesse Woody
10-16-2007, 12:04 PM
Nice! Great resource Eric!

Robb Wolf
10-16-2007, 05:01 PM
I'm not sure if this was mentioned already but the wrestling for fighting book by Randy couture, published by victory belt, is EXCELLENT. Highly recommended.

Eric Kerr
10-16-2007, 09:34 PM

Thanks, I don't know a ton about GPP and diet, but I'm learning. It's nice to be able to contribute in an area where I do have some experience.


Thanks for the book recommendation. Always, always, more to learn.

Here is the amazon link for interested parties.


Anton Emery
10-19-2007, 04:01 PM
Yea, i have been flipping through Wrestling for Fighting on my trips to the book store. Definitely something to pick up soon. I like that it sticks to basics and lays out everything in a clear manner.