When examining the standup elements of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we are confronted with different methods and ideas proposed in wrestling and judo. Although judo-style throws are present within wrestling, wrestling focuses more emphatically on takedowns like double legs and single legs. Judo practitioners focus more intensely on throws and trips. This does not mean that one style is superior to the other, just that they are different. In order to develop a great stand-up game, then, it is vital to become competent in both styles.
Too many students (especially blue belts) focus on the new fancy techniques, guard sweeps, etc. But don’t ignore the old school fundamental jiu jitsu that just works.
A problem many grapplers face when trying to takedown an opponent is strong defensive tactics. Some grapplers are wary of being taken down to avoid being on their back and unfortunately these are usually bigger, heavier people. Learning how to deal with defensive grapplers in a stand up setting requires an intricate understanding of weight distribution. The biggest factor that predicts where someone’s weight is directed is their head positioning, for example, if someone’s head is forward, then their center of gravity will be forward as well.
Satoshi Ishii is a Japanese mixed martial artist who won gold at the 2008 Olympics in judo, a very impressive feat. He currently fights MMA with the Professional Fighters League with a total MMA record of 28 wins and 8 losses. In the following video, Satoshi will teach an uchi mata takedown you can use when you are going up against a very defensive grappler.
When attempting the uchi mata, it is important to be confident in your abilities, and confidence comes with practice, of course. If you are hesitant or too slow with this technique, the defender can counter your attempt with a single leg, not that that is the end of the world since you can still do this takedown when someone grabs your leg, but its more effective when they don’t.
It may be difficult to see, but when Satoshi finishes this takedown, he is doing a lot of rotation rather than just dropping forward. It is very tempting from my experience to try to finish this takedown by rolling forward, but it does not work as well. Another transition you can make from the uchi mata position is a forward ninja roll that takes you to leg locks, a technique Garry Tonon does often.
You’ll be able to start surprising everyone in your gym with old school brilliance that still works and with Kurt’s unmatched style that can include excellent details and even some well placed shouting and swearing – you’ll remember well what you learned..