What takedowns should I focus on?


Black Belt
Apr 8, 2018
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Hey guys, as you know I have been focusing a lot more on grappling now and although I've been off due to elbow pain, I've started to make a return by just doing one light session weekly with some friends and working towards building it up. I am much more comfortable playing bottom positions such as closed and open guards but have been attempting to work on being able to secure top position too. I don't want to pull guard every time I face an opponent. I want to have options. Unfortunately, I currently cannot afford the risk of reinjury by signing up for Judo clubs, but a friend of mine who has a deep Judo background has offered to help me.
I was wondering what the most reliable or important takedowns are that I could learn. So far, the only takedowns I know are the arm drag -> bear hug -> suicide trip, and the single-leg takedown. I would like to use this opportunity to focus on throws. I specifically want to learn takedowns that would help me in a competitive environment, so suicide throws are not off the table. I would also prefer if the takedowns were transferrable with both gi and no gi. I basically just want to take 3 takedowns and focus on them exclusively for a couple of months. If you had just 3 (maybe 4 or 5 for leniency) takedowns that you could rely on for the rest of your life, what would they be? Thanks guys :D

Christopher Adamchek

Purple Belt
Oct 1, 2018
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based on what you said (and hinted that you are comfortable with guard pulling but want to expand)
id recommend building on guard pulling such as
straight and side circle throw
pull into a butterfly / elevator sweep
in the forward direction falling minor reaps might work for you


Brown Belt
Mar 31, 2006
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Generally speaking folk in BJJ lean forward quite a lot in standing which can make leg attacks hard (that's why they do it)
So I find throws like sumigaeshi work well & worst case you've pulled guard
I also use uke otoshi a lot (standing and kneeling) and it links nicely to ankle picks
For fun I use tai otoshi or ganseki nage, but only if I know my partner has good break falls and they probably take a little while to get the hang of

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Feb 23, 2014
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Double leg, single leg, back take and I do a rolly polly from a guillotine.

And that way you can chain them all together

So most of that is pretty self explanatory exept the rolly polly which looks a bit like this.

(I do mine differently but meh.)

Now the theory is this. If they defend the double, hit the single. If they defend the single hit the double. If they sprawl. Sit out take the back. If they shoot on you and are crap. Guillotine. If they posture out of the Guillotine hit the double.

And then variations on that theme untill they fall over.

Part of what I am focusing on at the moment are takedowns that can be done in a way as to not scare everyone in the room to either instantly jump guard. Or to defend so hard as to not ever be able to practice them.

And all of these can be done a bit nicely.

Because the secret to take downs is doing them.
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