Takedowns in Mixed Martial Arts

Bringing the Fight to the Ground

In mixed martial arts takedowns are a very important part of the game if you are more confident in your grappling game than your stand up/striking game. Your opponent will not just roll over and flop onto his back so that you can attack him on the ground. However ineffective takedowns can be dangerous as well. Taking down a grappler can be dangerous since well he is a grappler, and a striker will probably be very familiar with at least his takedown defenses.

Judo Throws

A Judo leg weep takedown attempt. And I’m pretty sure this will be successful

What Muay Thai is to knee and elbow strikes, Judo is to throwing and takedown techniques. Judo’s throwing techniques are very widespread and can be implemented with much speed and power. However there is a very specific technique that makes them exponentially easier to perform and it is why experts make it look so easy. There are also many takedowns taught in this martial art that are equally as quick and powerful when performed right. HERE is a site with tons of great videos of judo techniques, throws, and takedowns. 

Some judo moves you see a lot in the mixed martial arts arena are the leg sweep and hip toss. Both of these are effective takedown techniques when in close while standing up with your opponent. This makes them great for grapplers, and really BJJ users since takedowns are not emphasized in it, because it neutralizes some striking opportunity before your takedown. Videos of both can be seen in the link above.

Single and Double Leg Takedowns

The single leg takedown is a classic takedown in mixed martial arts and knowing how to do it is almost crucial if you want to round out your mma game. This is a dangerous technique if you fail though because you are =vulnerable in the position you are left in. If your opponent sprawls or gets a good push on your head to put you in a guillotine it could mean goodnight for you. This is why the correct technique and also importantly the correct timing are required for this takedown as well.

The double leg takedown is a powerful takedown that can be very technical or very powerful, ideally both. Former football players will have to take notes because the idea behind a takedown in mma is not to land in your opponents guard. One main concept to remember is that during the takedown you need to turn your opponent to the side to land in a better grappling position. Also with the right technique getting enough leverage to lift your opponent high off the ground can be easy and that opens up the opportunity for a slam.

Watch Out

A takedown is certainly not a guaranteed success like anything else you try in mma. Even with the right technique there are a lot of good counters to many of the takedowns you can execute. It is easy to slip in a guillotine on a bad takedown attempt becuase your head is just sticking out there. Or even a well timed strike can ruin your takedown. The reality of the situation is that if you are a grappler in a mixed martial arts arena you better start practicing your takedowns so that you can fight your game not the opponent’s.

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