When you’re a BJJ white belt, there are a lot of unknowns! How are you supposed to transition from one position to another, what are you supposed to do when you pass the guard, how to solidify a position once you get it? How to submit opponents from any and all situations – and how to defend and escape when you need to?
These are all big questions and it’ll take time for you to figure them out. However, one question is even more fear-inducing for white belt Jiujiteiros worldwide… And it’s what sort of a takedown is best for me to learn?
DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF
Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but a thing such as the „one best takedown“ doesn’t exist. Sure, some takedowns can be used successfully more often than others can, but it all depends on who you’re facing in training or competition. To put it simply – there are just too many techniques and possible scenarios out there for you to focus on just one or two.
Instead of limiting yourself to practicing one takedown technique and then hoping it works (which it probably won’t), you should focus on tying up multiple takedowns together. That is, you should create a takedown plan; a setup that will lead to multiple attack options, where each option can be used against the opponent’s possible reaction.
A SIMPLE TAKEDOWN GAME PLAN
Instructor Stephan Kesting understands the importance of a good takedown game plan for BJJ beginners all too well; especially when it comes down to Gi matches. That is, if you don’t want to end up in a „bad Judo“ stalemate and losing simply because you didn’t know what to do, then you should follow along with what Stephan has to say – to his simple takedown game plan for white belts!
You’ll start by offering the opponent your elbow. Just point it towards him, while your other arm will wait below this elbow, palm up and ready to engage. Because it will engage soon enough; tempted by your elbow, the opponent will try to grab it! However, this will be to no avail, as he’ll get a bad one (which happens when your sleeve is tightened). Now that he has this lousy grip, you can use your second arm to grab the opponent’s sleeve. Then, pull his arm while you move your first arm’s elbow powerfully behind you.
This will free your arm up to reach across the opponent’s back and grab their Gi; Stephan advises you to get it just below their armpit. Place pressure with your chest on the arm you’ve established your sleeve-grip on and you’re good to go.
From here, you will have access to several options. The best one is to get behind their back and set them up for a Rear Body Lock takedown from there. If your opponent steps with their near leg backward, in order to incapacitate you from doing this, then no problem. Just push into them; once they push back into you, Stephan advises to get your far leg to the inside of their far leg. Then, pull them towards you (a bit to the side) and elevate them with this leg – and you’ll have them on the ground in a blink of an eye.
And finally, if they insist on turning into you by pushing your face, then just elevate and push the arm you’re gripping into their „push-arm“. Change levels and get the Double Leg Takedown.
This is a really simple takedown plan for any BJJ white belt. Watch Stephan explain it in more details in the video below:
Learn how to wrestle in the gi from one of BJJ’s most successful champions ever, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida.
Buchecha explains his concepts around how to read his opponents and choosing which takedown is best, how he breaks stubborn grips, and how even much smaller fighters can still find success by focusing on these fundamentals.