The takedown is one of the most important techniques you’ll learn in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In a BJJ match, takedowns are a necessity for top game players. On the streets, where there are no rules, being on top when the fight goes to the ground is an overwhelming advantage.
Whether in training or competition, takedowns are used by BJJ and MMA practitioners to throw their opponents off balance and take them down. This allows them to take control of the match, giving them the advantage when they end up on the ground.
Today, BJJ World Champion and ONE FC Superstar Herbert Burns shares 5 of the most effective takedowns for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with Evolve Daily. These techniques are used by some of the top BJJ competitors in the world, including Herbert himself.
1) The Double Leg Takedown
This technique is considered as one of the most effective takedowns in BJJ. Derived from wrestling, it requires the practitioner to switch levels and drive forward with force. Changing levels is extremely important in any takedown because it allows you to get past your opponent’s defenses.
Expert Tip: Keep your hips lower than your opponent’s to make it easier for you to get a deep shot.
2) The Single Leg Takedown
Another wrestling-based technique, the single leg takedown also uses some Judo-based concepts. Just like in Judo, the opponent is controlled by strong grips on the elbow and the collar, then pulled down with force. Doing so allows you to change levels and gives you space to move inside your opponent’s defense and finish the takedown. Similar to wrestling’s single leg takedown, your head should stay inside the opponent’s lead leg, switching grips after you lift their leg into the air.
Expert Tip: Make sure you lift your opponent’s elbow up when you control him. The closer his elbows are to his body, the more difficult it will be for you.
3) Fireman’s Carry (Kata Guruma)
Similarly, the Fireman’s Carry utilizes the same controls as the initial part of the single leg takedown. Like the other takedowns, you have to switch levels and maintain a tight grip on the upper arm. After shooting your arm through your opponent’s legs, use this arm as a guide to force him towards the direction you want your opponent to go. Make sure that your shoulder is directly under your opponent’s center to get them completely off balance.
Expert Tip: Whatever you do, don’t let go of your grip on the sleeve when you are performing this move. This will keep your opponent from escaping and taking your back.
4) Fake Guard Pull To Ankle Pick
The key to perfecting this move is to effectively trick your opponent into thinking you are pulling guard. By pretending to place your foot on your opponent’s hip, they will immediately change levels and try to pass your guard or pull guard. You should then react quickly and pull their ankle towards you, using their change in stance as an opportunity to get them off balance.
Expert Tip: In order to take maximum advantage of the situation, this technique should be executed quickly using leverage.
5) Foot sweep To Single Leg Takedown
When performing this move, remember to shift your opponent’s weight sideways to get them off balance. This gives you more room to foot sweep and finish the rest of the technique. Remember to grab his leg quickly while pulling the collar down. Once you have the collar, move your opponent clockwise, like you are “driving a bus”, as they say in Judo.
Expert Tip: The “driving a bus” motion is a very important aspect in BJJ takedowns. This allows you to torque your opponent with maximum force, ensuring that they are off balance.
When performing these moves, be sure to exercise caution. Since you are bringing your opponent to the ground from a standing position, remind them to break their fall properly to ease them into practicing the technique.