What’s a takedown? A takedown happens when you take your opponent from their feet (standing) to their back or knees, and in a perfect world, you’d end up on top of them.

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Here we’ve got a whole class of students learning takedowns from Navy Wrestling Coach Danny Song

If you’d like to be a truly complete fighter, takedown training will be 100% needed. Embrace it and enjoy the process. Once you get good, takedowns are some of the most fun you’ll have in the training room.

The most common martial arts that specialize in takedowns are:

  • Judo
  • Wrestling
  • Sombo

If you watch events like the UFC, you should take notice that all the best fighters have a very deep understanding of takedowns. By that I mean they fully understand how takedowns work during the course of a fight.

Here at Ivey League MMA, our goal is for the students to master at least a few good reliable takedowns. These takedowns should work in a street self-defense situation as well in the training room.

Most people don’t like to learn or work on takedown techniques. Why’s that? It’s because learning takedowns has hard work written all over it.

They take more energy to use then most techniques that come from Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

But here’s the thing; If you truly want to be well rounded, you’ll need to take some classes on takedowns. That’s just the cold hard truth.


Ivey League MMA's own Bradi Truett is pictured here working on her "Cement Mixer" takedown

Ivey League MMA’s own Bradi Truett is pictured here working on her “Cement Mixer” takedown

The good news in all of this is that you don’t need that many to be effective. Like I was saying, just a few good ones will do.

Below is a list of takedown techniques that work extremely well.

  • Double leg
  • Single Leg
  • High C
  • Hip Toss
  • Bearhug

All these techniques are solid and should work on most people, most of the time. We call these high % techniques.

Every now and again I’ll get the student who says “But I’m learning BJJ, I don’t need to know takedowns”. Come on man…not true! Let me ask you this; let’s say you’re pretty good on the ground and you get into a street fight.

How do you plan on getting this fight to the ground? Yup, you’d better have a good takedown trained and ready to go!

The same goes for Muay Thai and MMA. If your thing is striking that’s fine but you’d better be able to stop the good wrestlers from taking you to the ground. Understanding wrestling and it’s defenses won’t hurt your odds in a stand up fight.

I’ll admit that I love takedowns. That and I love learning about takedowns from an art like Wrestling. But I’m also quick to admit I’m a rare breed. For most students it isn’t normal to have a desire to learn a double leg takedown.

Learning Takedowns is no different then learning anything else. You need to get the idea of how a certain techniques works then drill it like crazy. Once it’s been drilled to the point where you know it front and back, now you’ll be able to try it in a live situation, against a resisting opponent.

Only once all that’s been done can the technique be used in a real world street fight. Hopefully, that never needs to happen.

Different martial arts styles tend to use different types of takedowns. For example, in Judo/Sombo, they rely much more on throws whereas wrestling teaches mainly leg attacks like the double and single leg takedowns.

For me personally, I always preferred wrestling more. I never really took to the big throws. Leg attacks seemed to fit me well. You might be the opposite.

In the end, you don’t need to become a takedown machine. Learn a few of the techniques talked about in this blog post. Do that and you’ll be on the fast track to success.

Below I included a video of Chael Sonnen. One of the funnest guys in the business who also happens to have some nasty takedown skills. Check it out!


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