Takedowns seem to be the most untrained area of Jiu-Jitsu. I understand why as well, I’ve even stated it in other interviews and blog posts. If I were fighting in a BJJ competition and my opponent didn’t pull guard right away I would pull guard. There is a greater opportunity to win from the guard then there is from the top position. What I mean is by that is doing any takedown is a huge risk. There is a higher chance of getting a takedown reversed then there is of getting your guard passed right on the pull.
The Jiu-Jitsu world needs to understand that the takedown game they need only has to be that of a white belt level. No Jiu-Jitsu practitioner needs complicated takedowns that require multiple steps. The technique in the video above shows just that. It’s a simple move that doesn’t require any athleticism or a great deal of power or speed. This is a technique a white belt could hit on a black belt with just a little bit of practice.
95% of all Jiu-Jitsu black belts have next to no stand-up game. Even the ones that the BJJ Community labels having great takedowns, don’t really have great takedowns. If any of the BJJ black belts were to compete in a specialized sport of just takedowns how would they do against the best in the world? In my humble opinion not so well!
As an athlete who has decent takedowns (in my opinion), I would almost rather have someone take a shot/attempt a takedown. This would allow me to set grip on my opponent to hopefully lock up a submission or a reversal. Even if they actually get the takedown I wouldn’t be upset it’s a gamble that I’m willing to take. Being on the bottom for me is great I trust my guard and my ability to get back on top to pass and work toward a submission.
All you really need for a great takedown game in BJJ is two things, patience, and a threat. Patience is the most important thing to have for most BJJ athletes when it comes to wanting to play the top position. Just by walking around and acting like you are considering taking someone down gives the opportunity for your opponent to go “I guess I’ll just sit then.” The threat doesn’t even have to be an actual takedown. You just have to have a shot or a sweep that is good enough to make your opponent think, “wow that was close.” Mixing the two things together can result in your opponent just making the choice to pull guard or sit to guard.
I think having big takedowns is nice, looks great, and comes in handy every once in awhile. But in the development stage of your BJJ stick to what’s simple, easy and have a lot of patience. I honestly feel you will go further with that then spending hours learning complicated takedowns with instructors who are not qualified to give you proper guidance.