March 21, 2024

Unlock Your Nogi Potential with These BJJ Takedown Drills (Part 1)

Embarking on your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) journey can be thrilling yet daunting, especially when it comes to mastering takedowns. Fear not! We've got you covered with beginner-friendly drills that focus on fundamental techniques to improve your control and efficiency on the mat. Let's dive into these essential BJJ takedown drills tailored for newcomers.

Understanding the Basics of BJJ Takedowns

Takedowns are a critical component of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, bridging the gap between standing combat and ground fighting. A successful takedown not only positions you advantageously but also sets the tone for your ground game. The key lies in control, leverage, and technique, rather than brute strength.

Drill 1: The Seatbelt Control and Hip Manipulation

  • Objective: To gain control over your opponent's hip and create a favorable angle for the takedown.
  • Technique:
    1. Start by swiping your forehead as if wiping sweat, simulating the movement to control the opponent's head.
    2. Drive your hand through to secure a seatbelt grip (one arm under the opponent's arm and the other over their shoulder), keeping your palm down. This grip offers superior control over the opponent's hip.
    3. Focus on maintaining your eyes up and turn your angle sharply to weaken your opponent's balance.
    4. Leverage this position to execute the takedown, emphasizing the angle to cut off the opponent's hip flexor, making it difficult for them to remain standing.

Drill 2: Inside Leg Control and the 'Awkward Santa' Position

  • Objective: To close the distance and bring the opponent to the ground efficiently.
  • Technique:
    1. Drive forward to create space and insert your inside leg between the opponent’s legs.
    2. Kneel on your outside leg, pulling the opponent onto your hip, mimicking the 'Awkward Santa' position.
    3. Ensure to smother the opponent’s movement, preventing them from escaping or countering.

Drill 3: Snapping Down and Chin Strap Control

  • Objective: To lower the opponent’s base and gain control over their head and neck.
  • Technique:
    1. Execute a snapping motion to bring the opponent's head down, reducing their ability to resist.
    2. Secure a chin strap grip (hand under the opponent's chin), allowing for better control and setting up subsequent moves.
    3. Follow through by placing your feet between the opponent’s, sitting down, and rolling to finalize the takedown.

Drill 4: Lateral Step and Knee Clap

  • Objective: To prevent the opponent from establishing underhooks and to complete the takedown with a lateral step.
  • Technique:
    1. Anticipate the opponent’s movement and block their underhook attempt by controlling their elbow.
    2. Perform a lateral step, bringing your knees together to disrupt the opponent’s balance.
    3. Use this movement to pull the opponent down, ensuring you maintain control throughout the process.


For beginners in BJJ, mastering takedowns is fundamental to developing a solid foundation in the martial art. These drills, focusing on seatbelt control, leg positioning, snapping down, and lateral movement, provide a comprehensive starting point for effective takedown techniques. Practice consistently, and you'll find your takedown game improving significantly, paving the way for a successful BJJ journey. Remember, the key to proficiency in BJJ is not just strength but technique, timing, and strategy. So, hit the mats, drill these techniques, and watch your BJJ skills grow exponentially.

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COrsair BJJ

127 Roy Davis Rd suite 4 D,
Elgin, TX 78621