The other day I can across a book I had bought when I was a young lad called “Enter to Trapping to Grappling (Jeet Kune Do)”. Before I even had heard of BJJ, I was thinking of following in Bruce Lee’s foot steps. Now years later my one love is Jiu-Jitsu. I immediately noticed the grappling in the title and wondered what Bruce considered grappling or what aspects of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu might overlap with the Jeet Kune Dosystem.
As I searched the book I came across my old friend the Double Leg Takedown. It isn’t an easy thing to do. In fact the best instruction I ever got was from Clint at the seminar held at West Side. I blogged about it in 6 Steps of the Shot or Takedown. I still do not feel I have the double leg takedown close to armature level. So I broke into laughter when I saw the two pictures and accompanying text that teach it in this book. The text reads:
“Bend forward and throw your opponent by picking up his legs as you shove forward with your right shoulder”
Followed by two pictures:
Now I am not trying to knock Bruce or Jeet Kune Do. As anyone knows who spends time looking at grappling books, they are not all created equal. For this technique this book falls woefully short. But it gave me a great laugh. If only it was that simple that one sentence and two pictures could teach it.
I went on to find other interesting throws and locks in the book but none that were a direct one-to-one with BJJ or Judo. But some came close. Who knows maybe after some careful study and a lot more pictures I might be able to adapt a few.
It has been a while since we had Takedown Tuesday. We went over Osoto-Gari and I think the other was called Oshi-Gari. It involved grabbing around the waist and stepping in for the throw over the hip. I couldn’t find it on YouTube so I’m not sure I have named it correctly.
After some instruction they showed me the Tomoe-Nage to Arm Bar that I have in the videos. After throwing a guy a few time with the same throw he should get wise to it. This looks like you are going for the throw but instead you get the arm bar. Very sick!
We also went over a wrestling takedown called the "Snap Down". I think it is more timing then anything. It would be cool if while pressing your forehead into the opponents temple that you got a tap but I think that unlikely.
This takedown fits more into sport BJJ. I don’t think in a street fight I’d be in a situation like this. This also seems to be for when someone just wants to grab on to you and isn’t sure what to do. If you look at my post "Dojo Wars At West Side", you will see towards the end when everyone was tired this became the dance of choice. If a few people knew the Snap Down they might have had a good chance to use it.
The key points I got from this are:
Applied pressure with the hand on the neck and the temple press causes discomfort and draw the opponents attention away from your true intent.
The snapping down motion as they step forward uses their own momentum to help throw them down.
The forearm on the neck along with your upper weight helps to pin them down and give you a chance to either go for the submission or move to a superior position.
The Tomoe-Nage I feel really embodies Jiu-Jitsu. BJJ should be nearly effortless, I think. A well executed technique uses physics in your favor with little expenditure of energy on your part. The dropping of your weight is one of the main forces at work in the Tomoe-Nage. It is combined with the twisting motion as you go down to position your opponent onto your leg. As the momentum continues with your guidance the throw feels very natural and powerful. I also felt a lot of control with it. I could throw into mount or into a arm bar. The Tomoe-Nage has become my favorite throw. As shown in the video above there are variations to it. Its versatile and I plan on adding it to my throw/takedown arsenal in all its many forms.
We practiced takedowns a week ago on Tuesday. I had a pulled bicep and sat it out. After watching my videos it looked like Dojo Wars! With everyone going at once it was a battle scene. As time wore on you can see the fatigue setting in. By the time part 3 was being captured it turned from Dojo Wars to something like marathon dancing. LOL! Most of the guys are just learning grip fighting and takedown technique. I myself have nothing to brag about when it comes to grip fighting and takedown technique. I have been trying to improve by reading Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu: Revolutionizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I did a review on it some time ago "Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu by Dave Camarillo with Erich Krauss". It has really opened my eyes. But book learning and practical application are two different things. I hope next week we have "Takedown Tuesday" as I’m calling it and I get a chance to go over some of the things I’m learning in the book. Until then its time to drill what I can solo from the instruction in Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu.
I just watched the Roger Gracie vs Bruno Bastos match on Georgette’s Blog. Here are some of the things that caught my attention and that I was impressed with. First of all, 2/3 of the match with just jockeying for the takedown. I know that having takedown skills are important in your game. I was more impressed with the importance of them as I watched Roger and Bruno battle it out. In my mind it looked like Roger realized it was going to stalemate if they kept going on like this so he jumped guard to move it to the ground game. The next thing that caught my attention was the taking-the-back, as Georgette points out by Roger. I had just read Meerkatsu’s post "K-Taro Nakamura Back Control & Choke Review" and was thinking about the "Armdrag from closed guard with back take" example. Roger did it with style of course and made it look easy. I find that getting up and moving my hips out is the hard part. Roger gave me a few pointers as he did it. I noticed he grabbed the opposite knee and pushed off the hip with the leg he was trying to get around. Once the hips came out Bruno couldn’t or didn’t stop the rest of him. Roger then, it looks like, put a body lock on him and rolled him over. I couldn’t tell what submission he used to finish it. Does anyone know?
Here is the second takedown or throw we practiced the other night at BJJ class. It took me a few days to find its name. Once again I’m sorry I put my finger on the mic. My hands were also shaking after the work out.
The Ashi-Barai is about shifting your opponents balance to meet your needs. It starts out a lot like the Ochi-Gari.
Grip. Because you will manipulate your opponents balance with your grip it is important to have a good hook grip on the collar and firm grip on the gi at the tricep.
Balance and Step. As you step in you lift the tricep and move the opponents balance over to the opposite foot you are going to block or trip. This can or should cause a opposite reaction from him in the direction you want to sweep him.
Twist and Step. Now you twist him back the other way. This motion should be added by his resistance to step two. As you stick your foot out for the block or trip it is only intended to stop him from using it to gain balance. You don’t need to kick or sweep the foot. Just stop it from moving. His forward momentum with your twisting action will do the rest.
Capitalize. Be ready to take a position or submission. The technique isn’t successful if you both just end up in a sprawl.
I hope this is helpful. It helped me memorize this technique by posting it. Thank you to Chris and Miles again for being the movie stars of this post.
Hip Throw, Double Leg takedown ("Baiana"), Single Leg takedown, Seoi-Nage, and Osoto-Gari to name a few of the throws or takedowns employed in BJJ. What do they have in common other then taking your opponent to the mat? They take a lot of practice. Last night we worked on take downs. We started off by practicing how to land correctly. It hurts when you slap that hand to the mat but its a lot less painful then landing incorrectly. We then went into the 3 basic throws or takedowns used in BJJ. First was the hip throw from a "T" position. Next was a leg hook and driving back to take your opponent down. Last but not least the foot behind the far foot of your opponent and sitting down. They all look so simple, so why is it someone always gets hurt? We had a few minor injuries at class. I think it is because we don’t practice them as much. All the more reason to throw, throw, throw again. After I tore my MCL I had a fear of throws and takedowns. I decided I couldn’t let that ruin my love for Jiu-Jitsu. Last night in class I got the chance to do the very takedown with my instructor that tore my MCL. This time I was a experienced blue belt. I didn’t make the mistakes I did before. My fear is gone and I have a new love for throws in particular. What changed my fear to enjoyment was my desire to over come adversity. As with anything in BJJ you need to try, try, try again. John B. Will said it best ". . . It is difficult to extend ourselves to the point of being uncomfortable, but the rewards can be more than worth the risks." (Rogue Black Belt – Book One, pg. 77)
Is this a true statement "BJJ practitioners are terrible at takedowns and throws"? It seems like that is the case. I keep hearing things that lead me to believe it. I know I’m deficient in takedowns and throws. In fact when I sought advice on my first tournament I was told to go for the "flop". The meaning was to jump into guard or just go for something that quickly brought us to the ground easily. My instructor realized we needed more work in this area and we had a special seminar on takedowns (click to see one post I did on it). It was very educational and I enjoyed it. But what do we spend most of our time doing in BJJ? Not takedowns or throwing, they are just a few techniques in the vast array of Jiu-Jitsu techniques. So I’ve begun to wonder if Judo wouldn’t help me. I’ve decided to investigate by ordering these books:
I tried to find books on Judo but they all seemed specify for the sport of Judo and I didn’t think they would have the twist I wanted. These two books looked like the closest match. I will continue this post after I get them and have some time to read them.
I also sent a e-mail to John Will of Will – Machado BJJ asking what would be a good book or DVD on takedowns in his opinion. He responded with:
"If I had to pick just one – I would go for John Smiths DVD entitled: ‘How Low can you go?’"
I think I’ll try it next if these two don’t fill my needs. I don’t want to be a flopper and I don’t want to fear takedowns. I think Judo with a emphasis on BJJ and MMA side of things is important to make a efficient BJJ practitioner.