Top 7 Gi Takedowns for BJJ

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Taking the fight to the ground is the first and most important factor for a BJJ practitioner in order to implement their BJJ skills in a fight/match.

Most BJJ practitioners pull guard and yes this can be an effective method to get the fight to the ground but it is not always optimal as sometimes you want to perform an offensive takedown as it can get more points in a match, it can place you in a top game position, it is much safer for a self defense situation (especially on concrete) as you do not rish being slammed and at the same time can use the throw/takedown offensively to hurt the opponent, and most of the time you have the option to stay standing after a takedowns and throw should need be.

Learning BJJ takedowns and throws that are easy and high percentage is pivotal to BJJ success as without a proper takedown game a BJJ practitioner simply cannot get the opponent to the ground.

Here are the 7 best gi takedowns for BJJ that we believe every BJJ practitioner should have in their arsenal.

Collar Drag to Single Leg

This is probably the easiest takedown to learn, it requires the least amount of coordination, it is extremely gross motor movement and anyone can pull this takedown off. 

When squared off against an opponent simply grab the opponent’s gi collar same side as the gripping hand. Once you have hold of the collar, simply perform a snap down at the same time you lower your stance and drop (which will cause the opponent opposite leg to step into you) to grab the opponent’s opposite leg (like you would grab a single leg), stand up and pull down hard on the collar, then simply drive to the side of the grip you have the collar and follow through till the opponent falls down.

Sweep Single Leg Using Collar Drag

A different variation of the collar drag to single leg is the sweep single leg using the collar drag, this is slightly different as with this technique as instead of snapping your opponent towards you in order to make them step, you step the your leg forward (same side leg as the leg you want to grab) while dropping and “sliding” deep below the opponent’s leg (almost behind the opponent) while grabbing the leg. You simply switch your hips so you can drive and finish the takedown. Depending on which way the opponent moves you can finish this takedown in either direction to the side you have attacked.

Drop Seoi Nage

One of the most effective BJJ throws is the drop seoi nage – which originates from Judo.

It takes a little more effort to master but it is a great throw for BJJ as if pulled off correctly, let’s you land in a great top position that can easily open up attacks such as chokes and armbars. 

One of BJJ’s greatest champions named Fernando “Margarida” Pontes used the drop seoi nage to blast through opponents with much success, often opening up to his world class baseball bat choke.

Tai Otoshi

Tai otoshi is an excellent technique for BJJ for a few reasons, the first is you can pull off tai otoshi from several different grips giving you more options to throw off of, the second is it attacks both highline and lowline as you grip up high but the actual contact point of the throw is near the calf/ankle, this creates an immense amount of leverage to throw, the third reason is that you end up in an excellent top position.

Ko-Uchi Gari

The Ko-Uchi Gari is an excellent sweep to have as it gives you the option to take an opponent down when they are heavy footed on their front leg and slightly bent over. This specific technique is a bit trickier to master but if done correctly it can definitely be relied on when trying to take your opponent down.

Fake Guard Pull to Double Leg

This specific double leg takedown and setup is excellent for BJJ practitioners as by setting up a double leg takedown off a fake/failed guard pull the opponent’s stance and hip height is perfect to shoot on with little worry of sprawl as their weight will be on their heels. Add the fact that you can grab the gi for a formidable grip and you will see this is a very successful takedown to attempt.

Fake Guard Pull to Ankle Pick

The ankle pick off a fake guard pull is amazing as once again by faking a guard pull the opponent will switch the stance and have more weight on their heels. Simply grab the collar with the same hand as your lead foot, fake the guard pull, bring your knee to the mat and  then grab the opposite leg’s ankle (same said as your free hand and the same side as where your knee touches down). You will develop tremendous leverage as you pull the ankle towards you while pushing forward with the grip hand.

Final Thoughts

Knowing these 7 BJJ gi takedowns as well as developing a good solid gripping game will give you a great foundation to be successful at taking down opponents.

Once you master these techniques try to find ways to chain them together in attacking combinations in order to develop more attack options as by doing so you will develop a seriously great BJJ takedown game.


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