10 Best No-Gi Jiu Jitsu Takedowns

10 Best No-Gi Jiu Jitsu Takedowns

1. Important Concept for No-Gi Takedowns

No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu takedowns are crucial because they are a prerequisite for gaining points, an advantage and most of the time play an important role in win or loss. No-Gi takedowns are more technical because there is no Gi, collar, or lapel grip involved.

In Jiu-Jitsu, both fighters want to control their opponent's body movements and execute the body locks and submissions. Takedowns are the first step to gaining an advantage and controlling the opponent by applying any chokeholds or submissions.

Related: Essential Rules for No-Gi BJJ for Beginners to Know

2. No-Gi Grip and Setup for Takedowns

Most of the time it is observed that if the practitioner focuses on the solid grips the chances of takedown increase potentially.

Positions before submission are very important which means you should focus on the ground battle and remain in an offensive position. If your opponent is playing with a defensive mindset, he is actually molding his game according to your game plan and acting in reaction while leaving his own game plan out of the equation. This is the ideal situation for initiating a Takedown.

2.1. Wrist Control

This can usually happen more against the standing opponent. While sitting, the opponent should take one hand on the mat to maintain his strong base. Either your standing opponent will be in the standing position or kneeling position. You offer him one hand as bait and he will definitely grab your wrist. Your left hand is in the grip of the right hand of the opponent. All you have to do is move your right hand and grab the top of his right wrist. While pulling your C clamp free your wrist by punching through his grip.

Related: A Handy Guide to BJJ Gi Grips for Beginners

3. 10 Best Specific Takedowns for No-Gi Jiu Jitsu

3.1. Single Leg with Back Trip

Single-leg takedowns cover so many variations. There are always different variations of these takedowns depending on your position. Single leg is the practice of grabbing the opponent's leg and fixing it under your ribs then pulling his leg a little to shake his balance and instantly push him on his back. A basic technique where you are attacking only one of your opponent's legs and your head will be on the inside of their leg. Single-leg takedowns are highly important in No-Gi grappling.

How To Do:

  • Take a chance to grab the opponent's leg carefully with a strong grip.
  • Carefully wrap your arms around the knee of your opponent.
  • Lift his leg off the ground.
  • Put your head inside of their legs.
  • Push your upper body down to bend the opponent’s knees.
  • Turn your body around 90 degrees to force pushdown.
  • Hold him tight so that he does not escape from your grip easily.

3.2. Arm Drag

An arm drag No-Gi takedown involves various variations. It can initiate back takes, submission attempts, and takedowns. An arm drag gives you the starting point; you need for initiating a lethal takedown and provides you with the accurate position for a takedown. It is applicable in wrestling and Judo styles and increases the success rate of takedowns Arm drag can lead to a spectrum of possible takedowns, you can apply arm drag to take the back, sweep your opponent, set up a barrage of chokes, sweep, and submission, defend your guard and even just spam your opponents so they react to your moves rather than executing an offensive game plan.

How To Do:

  • Grab his arm from the elbow and pull it to cover his back.
  • Drag the wrist, control side, and pull the opponent to the mats.
  • From his back, reach over and control the hip.
  • Push him down to the ground when he is unbalanced with your move

Note: Footworks are very important while initiating arm drag takedowns.

3.3. Underhook to Knee Pick

The underhook knee pick is a great move to score points. It will give you scores and opportunities for gaining back points. This is an important move for No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu and freestyle wrestling. The underhook works as a lever to pull inwards while lifting the opponent. In order to maximize its effectiveness, you should reach under your opponent's arm and curl your hand over his shoulder on the same side of the body. The underhook is used in grappling basics from wrestling to BJJ. The obvious power or motion in an underhook is to lift while keeping your elbow close to your body in order to counter your opponent's arm strengthening.

How To Do:

  • The opponent's leg should be in front of you.
  • Grab the knee and push forward with an open side leg.
  • Slightly pushed forward on the underhook and drove forward to take him down.
  • This underhook ends up on side control and might end up with a back position.
  • Underhook and grab the wrist, push the underhook up then drop the opponent.                                            

3.4. Ankle Pick

Ankle pick is one of the pivotal takedowns and an effective one too. Not only can the ankle pick off-balance your opponent but also be applied with an above-the-tie hand.

It is the safest takedown initiative, if not executed properly or defended well, you can always get back into the previous position. It will force your opponent to end up in a position where you can easily perform a leg drag pass.

While executing an ankle pick takedown, your chances of being caught in a scramble are very low. All the leading No-Gi competitors and wrestlers use ankle pick takedown all the time.

How To Do:

  • Secure the position of the collar tie.
  • Push down the head of your opponent, and bend your knees in the direction of the opponent’s ankle.
  • After grabbing the ankle of the opponent, push the head by applying pressure on your collar tie arm.
  • Put pressure on the body of your opponent and maintain your dominant position.

3.5. Kouchi Gari

It is one of the best No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu takedowns that can be very effective. However, arm drags can provide you with a spectrum of opportunities to secure points. One of the lethal combinations is arm drag leading to Kouchi Gari. The steps are easy and basic. After gaining control of the arm of the opponent, initiate to sweep from the back then put your foot between the legs of the opponent. While under hooking the leg of your opponent, secure your elbow from Omoplatas. Make sure to secure your leg by pinning down the knee of the opponent by putting weight to gain full control.

How To Do:

  • First, develop an underhook.
  • In underhook practice first, tuck the head inside position and frame your hand on the tricep muscle of the opponent.
  • Sweep your hand underneath their armpit and grab a hold of their shoulder from the inside.
  • Once you succeed to control his body, tap his leg to get a takedown and process with guard passing.

3.6. Double Leg

When fighters are confident and want more points they use offensive techniques. One of the No-Gi takedown techniques grapplers love is the double leg takedown. Grapplers commonly use this effective technique to get their opponents down on the mats. It is a basic takedown where you attack both legs of the opponent.

A double-leg takedown is an offensive method to bring an opponent down. Double-leg takedowns are not easy to master. There are a few aspects that make this move a complex one. While the notion is easy, grabbing both legs from a lower-level position, getting there, and staying safe. Finishing a double leg takes experience and the ability. Getting as low as possible without blocking your movement is recommended.

How To Do:

  • Get close enough to touch your opponent’s shoulder.
  • Put your lead foot between your opponent's legs.
  • Snake their legs with your hands.
  • Bring your back leg forward and place your foot on the outside of your leg.
  • Step forward with your trailing leg and get to your feet.
  • Get over your opponent's belly when you execute a double-leg takedown and take advantage by staying behind in a dominant position.

3.7. Underhook to Single Leg

The underhook position is very effective in controlling the opponent and initiating takedowns. Artistically applied underhook will push your opponent on the defensive front and create opportunities for you. Successful execution of this attack involves the inside head position and wrist control. However, you can actually hit the same shot if your opponent is in the head position. And has control of your wrist.

An experienced opponent can use an inside step with his far leg by using the non-underhook hand to secure the leg. Then drop down with his underhook hand to secure the leg and drive it up. Make sure that you don't leave the opponent underhook to give space for escaping.

How To Do:

  • Get close enough to get his leg to take your opponent down.
  • Underhook your opponent with your shoulder and grab his leg when you get a chance.
  • Try to escape from your opponent's inside-the-head position.
  • Grab his leg and take him down and finish the underhook with the side control.

3.8. Snap Down Takedown

Snap-down takedown is one of the most effective techniques in No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Takedowns. Snap-down takedown is also an effective and brave technique which means taking the opponent's head down to your head in a sitting position. Taking someone down using the snap down is actually a very straightforward and dominant technique. Once you grip your opponent from the shoulder and you are in the right position where you pull your opponent's head.

Apart from the direction, the snap-down is the perfect technique to combine a number of No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu takedown methods. The mechanics used for this takedown technique is understanding your partner's posture and getting ready to take his head down.

How To Do:

  •  Get into a collar tie with your partner.
  • Touch their legs one by one to get warm up for performing the snap-down technique.
  • Once your hand's grip around your partner’s shoulder is firm you can initiate the takedown.
  • With your solid grip, pull down the opponent's shoulder or head, and take control of his headlock to finish it on the ground.

3.9. Inside Trip Takedowns

This technique works with close ties against the opponent. If you drill the technique well you need to lock the opponent’s neck and bring him down through leg snap and get the closed guard position to score points.

How To Do:

  • Get a collar tie with your partner when you both are in a lean position.
  • Take your hand around his head and shift the hand to choke his neck.
  • Drill your shoulder into him and snap your elbow tightly to grip his headlock swiftly.
  • Now grab his leg which is close to your leg and take his back down to the ground.
  • End this inside trip takedown into a closed guard position and finish him on the ground.

3.10. Foot Sweep Takedowns

There are a lot of takedowns that are popular in No-Gi BJJ. Maintaining timing, counters, combinations, and unbalancing are all part of the sweep takedowns and trip for improving your whole game. Most of the time it is seen that a good sweep turns a bad situation into a great one. Foot sweep requires a ton of energy and strength to work in your game.

How To Do:

  • Maintain strong footwork and base during the standing confrontation.
  • Hit your opponent's foot by measuring the correct angle and position.
  • Grab the shoulder of the opponent and push it while kicking the leg.

4. Final Thoughts

When it comes to competing in No-Gi competitions, there is a slight difference in the execution techniques when compared with Gi competitions. In Gi competitions, there are a lot of hand-grip options available for both fighters. They can grab the collar or lapel of the opponent. But when it comes to the No-Gi style BJJ fights, the approaches to initiate or defend against the same moves differ. So while competing in No-Gi competitions make sure to inculcate these above-mentioned techniques and incorporate them into your daily practice for executing a successful takedown.

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