comfortable with takedowns

Stop being afraid of takedowns! How to integrate takedowns in your warm up routine

mindset no gi takedown wrestling Dec 26, 2020

Takedowns are such a vital part of Jiu-Jitsu, and every white belt should begin learning them as soon as possible! However, they can also be quite scary... So how do you, as a beginner in BJJ, overcome this fear of takedowns? Not of falling (that's a whole other topic), but of just going for them with full dedication and throwing someone else?

The answer is surprisingly simple and easy to implement.


When discomfort sets in – be it from takedowns or anything else – it's most often because a person is afraid of the unknown. That is, they're looking at something that they are unfamiliar with, something they are not yet competent in, and it makes them hesitant. 

The unknown, the not being in control during the takedown, creates an almost mechanical resistance. Will you faceplant? Will your training partner scramble and take your back? Just the thought of it is sometimes enough to pull guard.

So, how are you supposed to overcome fear and discomfort? You do the thing that you're afraid to do.

Break it down into parts: just try doing a part of the takedown and repeat it until you feel comfortable. This is the way of the Judoka and the wrestler. They have repeated these motions thousands of times, and thus it has become instinctual rather than based on thought. By repeating what you fear and what makes you uncomfortable, the end result will always be a complete lack of fear and discomfort! There's no other way around it! You can't "think" your way into becoming courageous all of a sudden. If nothing else, thinking about a thing that makes you scared will only accentuate the control it has over you. Instead, you need to face it.

It's the same thing with takedowns. You're afraid of them now, and that's okay. A lot of Jiujiteiros are. But you can overcome it; just start by practicing them, little by little, every training session.



Yes, that's right! You don't have to "jump "into takedowns all at once! Just choose one or two of them, and practice them slowly and steadily. A great way to do this is by incorporating them into your warm-ups. What's more, the legendary Rousimar "Toquinho "Palhares does this himself.

Let's say that you decided to overcome your fear of the Single Leg and Double Leg takedown. Awesome! If you have a training partner willing to warm up with you, Toquinho advises that you begin with steady level changes and drive into your partner. Start by practicing the takedowns' components that you're least uncomfortable with.

Do as many reps as you possibly can without sacrificing the quality of the movement.

Then, once you feel that you're adequately warmed up and that your mind is clear, it's time to take down your training partner. Do the takedowns slowly. If you can't do a technique slowly, you probably won't be able to do it fast. So, by incorporating takedowns into your warm-ups, you will overcome any obstacle and get comfortable with both the double and the single-leg takedowns for sure.



As you'll notice, this progressive "repetition method "will take care of your fear in no time, and not just of takedowns, but of virtually anything else in Jiu-Jitsu! So, make sure to use repetitions whenever you feel the need to.

Watch Toquinho describe his takedown warm-up in the video above.


Visit the link below for more on Toquinho's takedowns and submissions:


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