Takedown For Jiu Jitsu

Learn 3 Highly Effective Takedowns for BJJ

Takedowns for Jiu Jitsu are a vital skill that most BJJ players tend to ignore over learning glamorous guard sweeps and submissions.  But learning takedowns doesn’t have to be a daunting task.  Here are 3 of the best takedowns for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Students to use in training or in BJJ competition.

Uki Waza:

Uki Waza, or Floating Technique, is a sacrifice throw and one of the original 40 throws in Judo. This is a very effective technique because it is not size or strength dependent and if you mess it up you are usually right by your opponent’s leg to snatch up a single. Bernardo Faira shows this in the first clip. Most of the time you are able to finish the takedown as planned, but as Faira shows, you are able to go right into a single leg which is another very effective takedown.

When doing Uki Waza, you are disappearing underneath your opponent when they give you some forward pressure. This makes it a great choice for smaller grapplers or anyone who doesn’t want to expend too much energy going for a take down. And as they go over in the second clip, you can add a butterfly hook to help really get larger opponents over. There are numerous setups and slight variations to this throw making it personal favorite. I’m a big fan of options when choosing techniques.

(Faira Sacrifice Throw)

(Uki Waza with Butterfly Hook)

Single Leg Takedown:

The single leg takedown is a staple of wrestling and a great option for BJJ. BJJ players will often have their hips low and back making a traditional judo type throw difficult, but making snatching up that front leg much easier. The single leg is more strength dependent than some other takedowns, but with the right technique you are able to use considerable leverage making it possible to lift that leg on even larger opponents. As they show in the first clip the drive into your opponent is key to getting the weight off their leg making it easier to lift. If you just try to pick up a leg it’s going to be extremely difficult, but using that drive makes it possible on the majority of opponents regardless of their size. And like all my favorite techniques, there are a myriad of options of how to set it up and finish it. Everyone has their favorite setup and finish and almost every YouTube technique video has slight differences based on the instructor’s preference. All those options make your single leg very customizable to your preferences and body type once you learn the basic concepts of the technique.

(Stephan Kesting Single)

(Moreno Single Leg)

Kouchi Gari:

The Kouchi Gari, or Small Inner Reap, is exactly what the name says; a small reap on the foot coming from the inside. It is one of the original 40 Judo throws and is classified as a foot technique. Trips and foot sweeps in general are effective throws for Jiu-Jitsu because you don’t need to get under your opponent’s hips. The majority of BJJ players will have their hips low and back making many throws difficult, they also tend to move backwards on the feet shutting down many takedown options. In Judo and wrestling a person gets bumped for stalling if they move back too much, so that forward pressure is why you see more of those bigger high impact throws than in BJJ. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get our own throws or take downs. As you can see in the first clip, the arm drag is a fantastic entrance to the Kouchi Gari. I have been on the receiving end of that exact technique too many times and it’s tough to deal with. This is a great setup for smaller scrappier grapplers, but the Kouchi Gari isn’t only for fast athletic people. With the correct timing you are able to knock anyone off their feet with very little effort and a small amount of movement.

(Arm Drag Kouchi)


These are just three of the takedowns I find to be most effective for BJJ, but there are countless other options for you all. That is one of the great things about Jiu-Jitsu, it is completely customizable to you. Once you get the basic concepts of controlling the hips the options are endless as to the techniques you can make work for you. I don’t even really use the Kouchi Gari personally, but I have been put on my butt enough times to see the value of that technique. What works for some may not work for me, and what works for me may not work for you. And that is what I love about Jiu-Jitsu, it’s a personal journey. Learn as much as you can and keep what works for you. Be like water my friend. See you on the mats. Oss

At the Cage JSA, we offer a classes for takedowns and ground fighting.  We ensure our students are well rounded and have the ability to “fight” from anywhere.

Takedown skills and ground grappling skills are start with basic concepts.  We review these concepts during our intro free lessons.  To sign-up for your free 1 week trial, just hit the button below!

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