Wrestling Takedowns

Simple standard single legs and other basic takedowns are often the most successful.  A wrestler doesn't have to use fancy moves to be successful.

This article is from http://stickgrappler.tripod.com/wrest/fbbesttake.html

Best takedowns? -- Some High Percentage Takedowns and Follow-ups

Robert Nelson wrote:
> Hey everybody,
> What, in your esteemed opinions, are the best takedowns and why?
> I'm not interested in starting a debate (e.g. whether judo is better
> than wrestling or vice versa); I'd like to know what, in each
> individual's opinion, are the most productive techniques of that type
> for him or her.

Since you asked specifically about "takedowns" and not "throws", we'll look specifically at takedowns.

The "best" takedowns are generally your high percentage takedowns. This term -- high percentage -- means that a majority of people across the board who attempt these takedowns are pretty successful with them . . . relative to attempts with other takedowns. IOW, these are the ones that work the most often for the most people.

Next, what constitutes a "high percentage" takedown for a given person has a lot to do with your personal attributes. That is, some takedowns are "high percentage" for a short and stocky person, while other takedowns are pulled off more successfully by long-limbed people, etc.


That said, here are some high percentage takedowns, with reasons why they are so effective.

1. The Double Leg Takedown from Center Penetration

-- Control of both legs (where they bend).

-- Does not require the opponent to be coming toward you or leaning in.

-- Can be done at various stages and levels: standing and lifting, standing to a flair, kneeling, or kneeling with a post.

-- Can be set up with numerous high percentage entries: Center Leg, High Crotch (come back to your feet and turn in and lift if you miss the double), Arm Drag, Two-On-One (to Sweep Double), etc.

2. Standing Single

-- Easy to snatch the leg standing with various entries, and from pummelling (off of Two-On-One, Underhook, etc., . . . even in fighting, e.g. snatching it as you come forward ducking inside and under a lead hook, etc.).

-- Numerous ways to enter.

-- MANY follow-up positions and ways to follow it up to a finish: Dump, Redump, Flair, Heave Ho, Flank, Tree Top, Sweep, Block/Trip, Barsagar.

-- In keeping with the above: Different finishes work off of eachother (Dump to Redump or Flank) . . . the single is probably the most versatile and multivaried of all takedowns.

-- Can be used very effectively as an immediate follow-up to catching a kick and putting your man on the ground (if he thought he could kick you, then from your POV the ground is a good place for him).

-- And perhaps the most major reason why the standing single is so effective is that gravity does most of the work.

3. Bear Hug (as a takedown, and position leading to other takedowns)

-- Nullifies the arms, and leads to some good body-controlling takedowns and throws. Tough to get against wrestlers, but works very well against non-wrestlers.

-- Very versatile, and you're too close to him for him to really hurt you before you're taking him down (if he tries, he's wasting precious time). Under the arms, off of a double underhook. From here you can join your hands in a 4 finger grip at the base of his back when you're ready to take him down, step off to the side and somewhat behind him, put the side of your head against the opposite side of his chest, and *bend* him backward.

-- Good setup for any of your front-to-front Greco-Roman throws

-- Very easy to get his back, if you want -- just hit a throw-by. Especially easy if tries to back his hips away and leans his upper torso *toward* you. Wing those elbows of his up, shrug your shoulders / tuck your head, and slip to his back -- keeping your hands tightly clenched in that 4 finger grip (elbows in tight to keep him from facing you again). Easy. Follow up to backward trip and sit to posted mount. Or, kick the knee to face-up backmount. Or, lift (hips below his) and turn 135 degrees as you slant him and set him down on his back . . . knee on chest, punch punch punch, take three aspirin and call your Dr. in the morning.

-- Lots of other good uses for a Bear Hug as well.

. . . . There are a good number of other takedowns which would be considered high percentage, but I'll leave it at those three areas -- each of which has many options within it.

As number "4" and last on the list, I'll add another "high percentage takedown method":
4. Off of the Sprawl as the Opponent Attempts to Take You Down

-- Personally, a lot of the takedowns I get on tough opponents occur when *they* are trying to take *me* down, whether off of a shot, or during pummeling.

Some reasons why it is so effective to take your man down off of your sprawl include:

-- The fact that a proper sprawl has your hips and legs defeating his arms (bigger against much smaller, with gravity on "bigger's" side).

-- Gravity . . . he has to support your weight as he tries to re-establish his posture or move.

-- Your arms are free to do a variety of things (depending on the situation . . . ride the ankle or pants, press the head, underhook, whizzer, crossface, quarter nelson, headlock, punches and elbows in some cases, etc., more on this in a moment).

The sprawl is pretty versatile in terms of the directions you can take it:

-- Walk around and back mount . . . leading to choking and striking.

-- You sprawl the single, whizzer him and come back in to a quarter nelson. Keep going in that direction as you press the head and raise that shoulder, and walk around to find him on his back under your side control or knee on chest. Punch punch punch, lights out.

-- Crossface if his head is to the outside, or if you can put it there.

-- Underhook and Pancake. If his head is trapped, go to a stocks. If not, heist your hips (reverse sitout) and achieve side control (center chest to center chest).

-- Walk around to side back control (ref's position), control the opposite wrist, and follow up to clock choke, downward elbow strikes, punches from the side, etc. . . this is a very good position.

-- Front headlock to cradle.

-- Walk around to the side, block his knee and elbow on that side (with knee against his knee and hand gripping his elbow), and pull him toward you onto his back. If your arm is already across his back, then he comes up right in position for a variety of finishes -- cross armlock, kata gatame, etc.

Everything mentioned here has been a "high percentage" maneuver for me over the years.

Again, I'm conspicuously avoiding "throws" since you asked for takedowns. There are also numerous high percentage *throws* to be found in Judo, GR and Freestyle Wrestling, Sambo, Jujutsu, etc., which I didn't mention here.

Good luck.

Frank Benn
Integrated Arts
Austin, Texas

Posted to Usenet's rec.martial-arts Thu, 18 Nov 1999 00:29:29 -0600