The White Belt Guide To The Single Leg Takedown

 

One of the most effective and commonly used takedowns in any grappling sport (where the rules allow it) is the single leg takedown. This is partly due to the fact that there are many different variations and technical nuances that go into the single leg takedown. If you’re trying to learn the single leg takedown but you’re not sure where to start, let me break it down for you and show you how each piece fits into the big picture.

Types of Single Legs

 

Single legs can be divided into three main categories: high, mid-level, and low.

For future reference, virtually nobody says “mid-level singles”. They’ll typically just refer to three variations as high singles, single legs, and low singles.

High Single

High singles are easiest to learn since you don’t need to get into the complexities of the penetration step (which is where most beginners make their mistakes). For the high single, you step towards your opponent’s leg, put your forehead to their chest, and grab the back of their knee with your arms. This variation is great if your opponent stands up in a very high stance or if you don’t want to drop to your knees with a single leg (due to a knee injury, for example).

Mid Level Single

Mid level singles are the most common variation you’ll see in grappling because you have the most options with set ups and finishes. With the mid level single, you can finish your takedown as a high single or as a low single, so you get more flexibility with your options. However, this also means that it’ll take longer to master.

The basics are simple enough to learn, but it does take longer to learn than the high single since the penetration step is introduced. If you follow the principles I mentioned earlier, though, your single leg will be much more effective early on.

Low Single

Low singles are generally the favorite for fast and technical wrestlers since the attack focuses on precision and leverage (though there are exceptions). Setups are somewhat limited because you’ll tend to shoot a low single from a slightly farther distance.

Done wrong, a failed low single also puts you in a bad position where you’re extended and your opponent can put their weight on top of you like a sprawl, so there is more room for error than the other two variations. The plus side is that with the additional technical mastery, it’s also potentially the least energy consuming of the single legs, which is why it tends to be the energy-efficient attack of choice for quick and technical wrestlers that can pull it off.

How Do I Work on my Single Leg?

Choose your leg attack variation, learn the key finishing positions in that variation, and then master the set ups. This sequence is unorthodox but there is a reason to the madness.

At the beginner levels, you can get a lot of mileage out of a mediocre set up but your inability to finish will put you in all kinds of trouble. You may also develop bad positional habits down the road if you’re used to getting extended as well.

Of course, I don’t mean have zero knowledge of how to set up an attack. Learn the basics there, but sharpen them after you feel confident in your finishes. Wrestlers tend to hesitate on their attacks due to their inability to finish their takedowns, so we want to mitigate this as much as possible.

The single leg takedown is one of the most popular takedowns in wrestling. When you are controlling one of your opponent’s legs, your ability to score a takedown is far greater than your opponent’s ability to score a takedown. You can also personalize a single leg based on your body type, which makes it even more favorable. There seems to be endless variations and nuances of single leg takedowns.

To get deeper into the details of the single leg takedown, you can view my free ultimate guide to single leg takedowns.

Che Chengsupanimit is a former collegiate wrestler, member of Thailand’s national freestyle wrestling team, and current combat sport enthusiast. He writes about how to improve your takedowns and achieve higher performance both physically and mentally. You can learn more about Che and his work at his blog.

 

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Demian Maia Wrestling Study

 

Demian Maia: Wrestling Takedowns

One of the biggest problems that high level Jiu-Jitsu fighters have is that the fight starts standing. Wrestling takedowns is the transition from standing to the ground and Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t put enough emphasis on them. Demian Maia is the best in the game that made the necessary adjustments to be successful in MMA. Watch him execute a series a takedowns on world class fighters.

 

 

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Are You Scared To Shoot Takedowns?

 

“I’m a little hesitant on my shots. I hate getting extended in that position and putting myself at a disadvantage. Even if my attack connects, what do I do from there? I don’t know how they’re gonna react. What if my opponent counters with something I’ve never seen before and I give up points? Shooting also takes a lot of energy. What if I get tired? Oh well, guess I’ll just pull guard!”

If this sounds like you, then you’re not alone. This still happens in wrestling despite extensive amounts of takedown practice (except for the part where you pull guard, of course). In fact, it’s so common that you’ll occasionally hear this in Division 1 NCAA Wrestling where people are extremely cautious and hesitate to attack.

So, why is this a problem and how do you go about fixing it? Fear when shooting takedowns may stem from a variety of factors and it’s tricky in that there may not be a one-size-fits-all solution. If you address the following points, however, you should be in a good position to overcome these fears.

Technical Disconnect
The most obvious cause may be some form of technical disconnect between practice and competition. Maybe you’re not getting a good enough feel of the position because your partner is simply falling over when you try to execute a takedown. A little resistance (anywhere from, say, 20% to 50%) helps immensely in getting a feel for the takedown because it teaches you where to put more force or pressure into an attack when you’re met with resistance.

You might also simply misunderstand takedown principles, which is certainly possible. Some instructors talk about the techniques but not the reasoning as to why they work. Think of it as chess openings. At some point, you’re going to want to learn how the chess pieces relate to each other and why certain chess openings are more favorable in some areas than others. A takedown may seem complicated with many parts at first, but most of the time you can break it down into three parts: set up, shot, and finish. Often times, hesitation with shooting takedowns comes from not being sure how to finish a takedown after you successfully connect an attack. If need be, feel free to focus on drilling takedown finishes without the set up or the shot.

Uncertainty and a Lapse of Confidence
You may call it stage fright, performance anxiety, choking, or something else. Mark Cody, a division 1 NCAA wrestling coach, once said, “If you think, you’re in trouble.” One of his wrestlers had gone undefeated for the entire season leading up to the national tournament but started thinking about one particular opponent that he would inevitably face. It was his only loss of the season but it certainly cost him the 1st place finish.

Confidence is something that you can actively build up over time. Think of all the times you’ve successfully executed a takedown. Maybe this starts in the practice room; think of all the times you’ve practiced it, followed by all the times you were able to do it while sparring or during a live go. More effectively, you can think of all the times you’ve successfully taken someone down during competition. If you’ve got personal experiences in your mind of all the times you’ve taken down high level competitors in competition, you’re more than ready to attack.

Focusing on Getting Everything Just Right
During a practice session, you get to focus on every detail. In a competitive situation, however, that focus on every detail will slow you down and get you in trouble. Conscious thought can lead to hesitation, and that hesitation could be the split-second difference between a well timed shot or one that feels rigid and sluggish. If this is the case, you may often feel as if you’re “forcing” a takedown that’s not there. Make no mistake- it was there! By the time you decided to execute, however, it just wasn’t there anymore. At the beginner and intermediate levels, you may be able to get away with it. At the higher levels, those fractions of a second will matter.

Past a certain point of practice, you’ll realize that the technique has been integrated into your subconscious. You can do it with your eyes closed. You can do it without thinking. You can do it with seven seconds left in the match when you need to score the winning takedown to close out the match.

When you’ve got a solid understanding of the technique, have some sense of certainty in the positions you may end up in, and the confidence to execute, you’ve got yourself a go-to takedown. All that’s left to do is to clear your mind and let your body take care of the rest.

What is your go-to takedown and what steps can you take to improve it in practice and in competition?

Che is a former collegiate wrestler, member of Thailand’s national freestyle wrestling team, and current combat sport enthusiast. He writes about how to achieve higher physical and mental performance while being on a budget or a busy schedule. You can learn more about Che and his work at: https://chayoot.blog/welcome-to-chayoot-blog/

 

 

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5 Best Chain Takedown Sequences [High Percentage Success Rate]

 

Here are 5 of my personal favorite CHAIN Takedowns! Takedowns can be like a chess game where you can plan two to three steps ahead. When you attempt a takedown, your opponent will defend, when he does, he may be opening himself up for another takedown. So you want to attack in combinations (AKA chain-takedowns) with different angles and weapons!

 

 

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A Simple And Effective Takedown Plan For White Belts

 

A simple 3-step throw and takedown plan for BJJ competition with the gi. If you want an overview of what BJJ is all about (and how to learn it quickly) then check out the free checklist at http://www.grapplearts.com/book

 

 

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5 Easy Takedowns For BJJ White Belts

 

5easytakedowns

 

5 Easy Takedowns For BJJ White Belts

 

Many people who start practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu find themselves in academies where the sparring begins on the knees, versus standing up. This is because our art takes place primarily on the ground and it is also serves to prevent excessive injuries.

 

Because of this situation there exists somewhat of a stigma surrounding the art of the takedown for beginners in BJJ. Many who compete for the first time feel inclined to immediately “pull guard” and work for a sweep or a submission. Sometimes that stigma can be so intense that beginners who excel on the top, will pull guard out of fear, or lack of experience performing a proper takedown.

 

Here is a list of 5 safe and easy takedowns that you can begin to master right away. This list is intended for Jiu Jitsu in the gi. However, there is some technique spillover into no-gi for the “no-gi-centric” BJJ player. Enjoy!

 

1. The Double Leg Takedown

 

 

2. The Single Leg Takedown

 

 

3. The Foot Sweep

 

 

4. The Drop Seoi Nage

 

 

5. The Fake Guard Pull To Ankle Pick

 

 

There are hundreds of ways to take a fight to the floor. What are some of your favorites?