When looking to determine what the best takedowns for Jiu Jitsu are we are looking for a few attributes. The first is how well a takedown works in terms of efficacy and efficiency. The second thing we look for is where we might end up if a single leg fails. Since grappling does not stop after the takedown in Jiu Jitsu, we don’t want to end up in turtle or worse after a failed takedown attempt.
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The single leg is one of those old school, fundamental wrestling techniques that transferred over to Jiu Jitsu very well. The single leg is very effective and efficient and is why you see it so commonly when watching high level matches. The single leg also had many different variations which can be useful in unique situation as well as providing an opportunity to transition to better positions and takedowns.
As I mentioned previously, it’s important to look for takedowns that don’t lead to poor positioning if it fails. For example, if you do the double leg wrong, you will end up on bottom turtle, which is not a great positional at all. So, if we can use takedowns that prevent that outcome, we will find ourselves more successful.
One of these takedowns that is both very effective and low risk is the single leg. In the following video, Bekzod Abdurakhmnovov, an Uzbekistan free style wrestler and MMA fighter who defeated Jordan Burroughs in 2016, shows a very efficient and quick single leg from the collar tie. See below:
This modification of the single legs combines elements from the ankle pick and low single leg, two takedowns used very often in the Jiu Jitsu scene. The first thing you will notice about this single leg is just how low Bekzod goes on the leg.
Normally, we are looking to get a high single leg or even a high crotch grip, but here, Bekzod is grabbing below the knee. Bekzod explains that he does this because the defender can’t sneak their arm inside of the grip, which is a common defensive reaction people will do. Bekzod than explains that he likes to go for the far leg grip as well because the defender can no longer use that leg to base out and get the balance they need to stay standing.
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