Combat Sports Project Est.2012
Combat Sports Project Est.2012

Best Takedowns for BJJ- Part II

As I promised the last time, I am continuing with the articles, addressing the takedown game in BJJ.

This time, we will look into takedowns from sambo.

First, lets take a step back and look at the wider picture:

Sambo is a grappling sport, allowing all sort of takedowns from judo and wrestling, often mixing it up and creating its own unique variations. Also, sambo has extended ground game, so the practitioners actually care about their landing positions and look for throws, executed with control, in order to prevent their opponents besting them on the ground.

That been said, sambo counts pins from every top position (for BJJ people, that would be within full guard, half guard and side control), so have to be careful when picking up your takedowns from a pure sambo guy.

All type of grips are allowed for prolonged amount of time in sambo, making it easy to convert into BJJ game plan. Although, you have to know that sambo is known for many pick up, slam and suplex variations, that would get you disqualified in BJJ.

Again, we are looking how to get someone on the ground and transition immediately to passing the guard, side control or some kind of submission.

So, I would suggest dividing the takedown strategies into several types, depending on the preferences of the athlete:

1. Top player – the player is looking for dominant game, executing takedowns, landing him in top position, from where he would be looking to impose his game plan. Not so different with judo. Maybe it would be good to look at variations of judo throws, using belt grips or back grips, like the two throws at 2:06 and the following one:

2. Bottom player – the competitor prefers sacrifice throws and sweeps in order to best his opponent.

Not really a great example of the style, but here, the initiator of the attack prefers to go for a sacrifice throw, in order to gain top position at 1:47


Here is an example of a throw, very useful for BJJ- in case the opponent lands on his front side, defending the throw, the attacker can immediately switch to taking the back and scoring even higher. Watch 2:45

3. High stance, most common between judo practitioners. Most probably the attacker will like to use big turning throws or leg trips.

A great set up for a leg trip, finished with ankle pick at 1:30

4. Low stance – preferred by wrestlers, sambo guys and very common stance in the beginning of every BJJ fight. Normally we see a lot of leg grabbing, arm drags and combined attacks fro that stance.

A simple and very effective ankle pick from Bellator HW champion Minakov, could be seen in this video, from his appearance in the Sambo Worlds. Check the grip sequence, hand position and set up at 3:48

Personally, I prefer executing this throw in a bit of a different manner, pulling the leg diagonally, so when I land, I will be already outside of the guard of the opponent.

Another possible style of takedowns from the same position, is very often used by players from Mongolia and Caucasus region. It is very characteristic with its belt gripping, mixed with leg grabs and sudden big amplitude throws. You could watch a great fight, giving you an idea about the style here:


Or here, at 1:15, where the player executes beautiful high amplitude throw from low stance:


I hope everyone can find something suitable for him self and use it in his arsenal.


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