And some you shouldn’t do.
John Danaher gives his very educated thoughts on which takedowns are effective in the sport of Jiu Jitsu. He also covers a few that he doesn’t recommend as well. And gives great demonstration of why they may not be the best idea.
Mid way through the video he gives an important caveat. This video is really about takedowns lower belts can become proficient in in 3-6 months. Many Jiu Jitsu schools focus on the ground game with minimal work on stand up, especially for lower belts. If you want to compete you’ll need to get confident with some takedowns. John’s focus in this video is on low risk takedowns that work. AND you can realistically get good enough at, to use them effectively against a similar weight and skill level opponent in a short time.
Some takedowns and throws have an element of risk or the opponent taking your back, or they expose your neck. While that may not be the end of the world in sport Judo or wrestling, in Jiu Jitsu it’s a nightmare. The focus here is on takedowns that work in Sport Jiu Jitsu without exposing you to undue risk. So the main criteria he uses to judge are back exposure, neck exposure, belt exposure, weight exposure (sprawl), momentum exposure (roll through), and degree of difficulty.
The point being if there are multiple takedown options available why not become proficient in those that have the lowest risk and are the easiest to learn.
So what are the best takedowns for BJJ?
John Danaher likes ankle picks, collar drags, leg sweeps, and Ouchi-gari. He also favours variations of traditional throws like Tai-otoshi and Osoto-gari where you keep your body weight low to reduce the chance of getting rolled by momentum after the throw.
He’s not saying other throws don’t work, or aren’t worth learning. He’s pointing out that some of them take many years to develop the skill and technique required to effectively pull them off in competition, without putting yourself at risk. So if you’re an Olympic level Judoka, or an NCAA wrestler then some of his critiques may not apply to your flawless technique. But they definitely apply to my weak ass, poor posture, double leg.