March 21, 2024

Unlock Your Nogi Potential with These BJJ Takedown Drills for beginners (Part 2)

Essential BJJ Takedown Drills for Beginners: Enhance Your Standup Game

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art that emphasizes ground fighting and grappling techniques. However, the ability to take the fight to the ground efficiently is crucial, making takedown skills fundamental for every practitioner. In this post, we delve into essential BJJ takedown drills tailored for beginners, designed to elevate your standup game and provide a solid foundation for your grappling journey.

Understanding the Basics of Takedown Drills

Takedown drills in BJJ are designed to prepare practitioners for the transition from standing to ground fighting. These drills enhance balance, timing, and the understanding of leverage, crucial elements in executing effective takedowns. For beginners, it's vital to start with fundamental techniques that build core strength, coordination, and the ability to control an opponent's movement.

1. Foot Placement and Body Alignment

One of the primary drills focuses on proper foot placement and body alignment. The goal is to position your big toe facing your opponent’s little toe, creating an angle that favors your control. This alignment is crucial for maintaining balance and leverage during the takedown attempt. By flaring one elbow and dropping the other to your chest, you create a robust frame that aids in driving the opponent off balance.

2. The Drive and Control

The essence of a successful takedown lies in the ability to drive forward effectively and control the opponent’s weight distribution. Practitioners are taught to push and shift the opponent’s weight to one side, making them heavy and off-balanced. This drill emphasizes the importance of the forward drive, where the practitioner learns to use their shoulder and body weight to steer the opponent into a vulnerable position for the takedown.

3. Option Selection and Execution

In BJJ, the ability to adapt and choose the right takedown option based on the opponent’s reaction is crucial. Beginners are taught different scenarios where they might need to alter their approach. For instance, if an opponent is stronger, the drill may involve making a connection with your own bicep and maneuvering the opponent’s head in a way that compromises their stance, leading to a successful takedown.

4. Positioning and Control Post-Takedown

Once the takedown is achieved, maintaining control and positioning is key. The drills include methods to limit the opponent’s hip mobility, preventing them from regaining a dominant position. Beginners learn to step into the circle, closing the gap and ensuring they land in a favorable position to control the opponent on the ground.

5. Advanced Techniques and Transitions

As beginners progress, they are introduced to more advanced drills that include transitioning into dominant positions post-takedown, like achieving a high mount. These drills focus on the intricacies of grip, body movement, and the timing of executing these maneuvers to ensure the practitioner not only takes the opponent down but also secures a dominant position immediately afterward.

Practical Applications and Continuous Learning

Practicing these takedown drills regularly allows beginners to internalize the movements and understand the mechanics behind effective takedowns. It’s not just about overpowering an opponent; it’s about using technique, leverage, and timing to your advantage. Continuous drilling and sparring will enable practitioners to apply these techniques fluidly in live situations, enhancing their overall BJJ game.


For beginners in BJJ, mastering the art of the takedown is a journey that requires patience, practice, and persistence. The drills discussed provide a structured path to developing effective takedown skills, which are essential for transitioning to ground fighting successfully. By focusing on proper technique, body mechanics, and situational awareness, practitioners can build a strong foundation in their standup game, setting the stage for a comprehensive grappling skill set. Remember, the journey in BJJ is as rewarding as it is challenging, and every drill practiced is a step forward in your martial arts journey.

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