Many grapplers lack even a basic knowledge of takedowns, and this is a HUGE mistake.
As far as I’m concerned if you’re a submission grappler or a jiu-jitsu player who pulls guard in every competition then you need to have at least a few ways to get the fight to the ground from the feet.
In having takedowns is just part of being a well rounded grappler, but it’s also for self defense: you’ll look awfully silly if you get in a fight and flop to the ground hoping the guy will dive into your guard…
The basic takedowns from wrestling are a great place to start, especially because they work both with and without the gi (Judo throws tend to rely much more on having a gi to grab).
In the video at the top this page my friend Nick Ugoalah, Commonwealth Gold Medalist in Freestyle Wrestling, breaks down the basic wrestling double leg takedown for you.
This is best learned from the video because he does a great job of breaking it down, but just for your reference there are 3 basic steps to this takedown…
- Drop down to create a level change and then take a big step forward with your lead leg to achieve some initial penetration
- Secure the position by bringing up your trailing leg and and your trailing arm
- Finish by driving across his body with your lead leg again.
I’ve seen Nick apply this basic framework to all sorts of takedowns including double legs, single legs and high crotches. I’ve seen him use it for takedowns on the feet and ones where you drop down onto your lead knee for the classic penetration step. And I’ve seen him do step 3 with different movements, including lifts, drives, and other finishes.
But all the variations are based on the basic shot, so learn that first and you’ll have a solid foundation to build upon.
The basic double leg takedown will serve you well, and if you end up picking a streetifight like the guy in the video below at least you won’t need to lie on your back begging the other guy to get in your oh-so-deadly guard!