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Takedowns from the back in BJJ
When it come to takedowns in BJJ, I prefer takedowns from the back in BJJ. It’s a lot easier to take someone down when you’re behind them than when you’re in front of them. First of all, it’s never easy to take a skilled grappler down when you’re directly in front of them. Worse still, it can be downright risky when they have strong positional and submission counters to your takedown attempts. In contrast, takedowns from the standing rear body lock are easier and safer. We preach this heavily here at Savarese BJJ Academy (www.njbjj.com). Futhermore you don’t have to get past your opponents head, hands and hips – the major defensive lines when operating from frontal positions. You don’t have to worry so much about guillotines and front headlock chokes, there is some threat from rolling leg lock entries and kimura but substantially less than the guillotine/front headlock danger from in front. Best of all, your feet are very close to your opponents feet, which opens up the possibility of foot sweeps. These are among the safest and most energy efficient takedowns in the game and are a big part of what we teach here. There are many paths to the back in standing position, some are deliberate and planned moves, some are spontaneous reactions to a perceived opportunity that arose as you grappled. Both approaches can put you in a position to make the task of takedowns much easier. The great Gordon Ryan used this theory in this summer’s ADCC tournament in the Superfight vs Andre Galvao (pictured below). Coming into this match, many fans of the sport and in the BJJ community probably thought that Andre would have a clear advantage in the standup game. But I knew from my training with John Danaher over the years that Gordon would be ready from anywhere.