Takedowns are techniques used to take an opponent to the ground in combat sports. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) emphasizes ground fighting, but takedowns are an essential part of the art and can be used to set up submissions or to prevent an opponent from taking you down.
Brief History Takedowns in BJJ
The history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) takedowns is closely intertwined with the history of the art itself. BJJ was developed in the early 20th century by the Gracie family in Brazil, who were inspired by the teachings of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. The Gracies refined and adapted the techniques they learned, creating an art that focused on ground fighting and grappling.
Initially, BJJ placed less emphasis on takedowns and throws, instead focusing on techniques for gaining and maintaining control once a fight went to the ground. However, as the art evolved and spread around the world, practitioners began to incorporate takedowns and throws into their training and competition strategies.
In the early days of BJJ, many takedowns and throws were adapted from Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Judo, such as the Osoto Gari and Seoi Nage. Over time, BJJ practitioners began to develop their own takedowns and throws, often based on wrestling and Sambo techniques.
Today, takedowns are an important aspect of BJJ training and competition. Many BJJ practitioners incorporate takedowns and throws into their training regimen, both as a means of gaining an advantage in competition and as a way to improve their overall grappling skills. Some BJJ competitions also have specific rules and scoring systems for takedowns, further emphasizing their importance in the art.
Popular BJJ Takedowns
There are many effective takedowns in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), and the best one for you will depend on your body type, skill level, and personal preferences. Here are some popular BJJ takedowns:
- Double leg takedown: This is a wrestling takedown that involves shooting in on your opponent’s legs and driving them to the ground.
- Single leg takedown: Similar to the double leg takedown, but instead of grabbing both legs, you grab one and take your opponent down.
- Osoto Gari: A judo throw that involves tripping your opponent’s leg and sweeping them to the ground.
- Harai Goshi: Another judo throw that involves using your hip to sweep your opponent’s leg and take them down.
- Foot sweep: A simple but effective takedown that involves sweeping your opponent’s foot out from under them.
- Ankle pick: A takedown that involves grabbing your opponent’s ankle and lifting it, causing them to lose balance and fall.
- Seoi Nage: A judo throw that involves using your opponent’s momentum to throw them over your back.
- Tomoe Nage: A judo throw that involves pulling your opponent forward and then using your legs to throw them over you.
It’s important to note that mastering takedowns in BJJ require a lot of practice and technique. You should work with an experienced instructor to learn proper form and execution.
Being Afraid of Takedowns
Takedowns in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) can be intimidating and may seem scary, especially if you’re new to the sport or not accustomed to grappling. However, with proper training and technique, they can be executed safely and effectively.
It’s important to learn takedowns gradually and under the guidance of an experienced instructor. They will teach you the proper technique and how to execute takedowns safely without injuring yourself or your training partner. In addition, takedowns are often practiced in a controlled environment, with partners taking turns practicing and drilling the moves.
As with any physical activity, there is always a risk of injury. However, by following proper safety guidelines and training under the supervision of a qualified instructor, the risk of injury can be minimized. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if the benefits of learning takedowns in BJJ outweigh any potential risks.