Fake Shot to Ankle Pick

If you’re like most BJJ athletes, you likely have experienced problems with successful takedowns. Sometimes you even have trouble doing stand up at all. The good news is you’re in great company. This problems persists with some of the best BJJ athletes in the world. As a BJJ athlete, it is up to you to find out what methods and tactics work well for you, and how you can bamboozle opponents. When your trickery outwits them, it will allow you go for the ankle and achieve what you were really after all along: the takedown.

This fake shot to ankle pick is probably one of my most common takedowns Travis Stevens uses when doing BJJ. Despite all the judo knowledge he has, this one takedown seems to be the one that gets used the most. And believe it or not almost always works.

But How?

Travis makes the fake shot to ankle pick work for him every time, despite its simplicity. The trick? He just has to fail first. Failing at takedowns will, in the long run, make easy moves like this work for you! If you’re fighting and you keep failing at various moves (like a leg shot) now your opponent assumes that is what you are after. When the reality is, you can now use their assumption against them. Like a true evil genius!

Once the attempt at a leg shot has failed a few times you begin to condition your opponents to react in a certain way. This is what allows us to predict and make quick second shots (like the ankle pick). This is how you can use it to your advantage.

Let’s break it down a little bit further.

A Few Key Details 

  1. Work a few leg shots in throughout the duration of the fight. Fail. Make note of how your opponent reacts to the attempt to use to your advantage
  2. Step back as if to launch yourself into our opponent’s leg
  3. Slap the front foot down on the mat to draw a reaction from your opponent
  4. When your opponent reacts, attack the opposite (forward) ankle, like you’ve always been planning to do.
  5. Take your opponent down!

A Final Thought

Boom. Now you’ve got yourself 2 points and you are on top and inside control. That is, if you’re lucky.  Most of the time, you will end up with their knee inside and will have to go into an over-under type pass to control. That’s okay too, have plenty of options for how to move forward from a variety of positions and you’ll be in great shape.

The fake shot to ankle pick can be a great takedown to have in your back pocket. Especially if your opponent is faster and stronger than you and you fail a few times first. Remember, failing isn’t always bad, in fact it can set you up to succeed in the long run! Have at it and let us know how it goes.


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