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Train your takedowns and train them often

man throwing another man

Training takedowns in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is important for several reasons, even though BJJ is primarily known for its ground-fighting and submission techniques. Here are some key reasons why incorporating takedowns into BJJ training is valuable:

  1. Self-Defense: In real-life self-defense situations, altercations may start on the feet. Knowing how to take an opponent down safely and effectively is crucial for gaining control of the situation and potentially avoiding harm.

  2. Scoring in BJJ Competitions: BJJ competitions often award points for successful takedowns or throws. Scoring points through takedowns can be a strategic advantage, influencing the outcome of a match, especially in cases where submissions are not achieved.

  3. Starting Position in Matches: Matches in BJJ often begin with both competitors standing. Training takedowns prepares practitioners for this common starting position and helps them dictate the pace of the match.

  4. Control and Dominance: Takedowns provide an opportunity to establish control and dominance early in a match. Gaining top position from a successful takedown can lead to better control over the opponent and a more advantageous position for executing subsequent techniques.

  5. Transition to Ground Fighting: Takedowns are a natural transition to ground fighting. Training takedowns seamlessly integrates with BJJ's ground techniques, allowing practitioners to smoothly move from standing to ground positions.

  6. Balance and Coordination: Takedowns require good balance, coordination, and timing. Practicing takedowns improves these fundamental aspects of athleticism, which contribute to overall skill development in BJJ.

  7. Defending Against Takedowns: Understanding takedowns is not only about executing them but also about defending against them. Training takedowns helps BJJ practitioners develop the ability to sprawl, defend shots, and counter an opponent's takedown attempts.

  8. Well-Rounded Skillset: BJJ practitioners who have a well-rounded skillset, including takedown proficiency, are more versatile on the mat. Having a broader range of skills allows practitioners to adapt to different opponents and situations.

  9. Fitness and Conditioning: Takedown training can be physically demanding and contributes to overall fitness and conditioning. The explosive movements and cardiovascular demands of takedown drills enhance a practitioner's physical preparedness.

  10. Respect for the Art: BJJ has its roots in Judo, which includes a strong emphasis on throws and takedowns. Incorporating takedowns into BJJ training respects the lineage of the martial art and its holistic approach to combat.

Takedowns increase self-defense capabilities, improves match strategy in competitions, and contributes to a well-rounded skillset. It adds depth to a practitioner's understanding of martial arts and allows for a seamless integration of standing and ground techniques in a BJJ context.

What are your thoughts on takedowns? I know it has been a more controversial topic recently.

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