John Danaher is one of the greatest minds and coaches in the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and he’s shared what he believes are the best takedowns for BJJ. While he’s primarily known as a no gi coach, Danaher also has extensive experience both training and coaching athletes in the gi as well. In fact, elite BJJ competitor Nicholas Meregali has had incredibly positive things to say about his time training in the gi under Danaher. For that reason, if Danaher is willing to teach techniques that he believes to be the most effective at achieving a certain goal then it’s probably best to listen.
What Are The Best Takedowns For BJJ?
As John Danaher explains, there are a huge number of takedowns that are perfect for either wrestling or Judo but may not be the best choices for BJJ. One of the reasons behind this is back-exposure. In other takedown-focused grappling sports there aren’t many problems with exposing your back to your opponent but in BJJ, it can be the close to the end of the match. He also explains that there’s the potential to expose your neck with certain takedowns as well, particularly those that are prevalent in wrestling like double-legs and single-legs.
He does make a point of explaining that it doesn’t mean you should avoid these takedowns, but it’s definitely something to consider when choosing which takedowns to employ. He explains another aspect of evaluating what makes a good takedown in BJJ, which is whether or not it leads to exposing your belt because this is a great way of controlling someone’s centre of gravity. The final criteria he details is whether or not a takedown could potentially lead to your opponent being able to drop his bodyweight on top of you, something that happens frequently when an opponent sprawls on a shot for example.
Danaher also explains the idea of being rolled-through, where a takedown is successful but the opponent counters by using the momentum of the throw to finish in top position. Not just that, but it’s worth taking into account how easy certain takedowns are to use. Some can be learned to a decent level over the course of just a few months, while others may take years to actually get comfortable with to any real level of proficiency. Obviously John Danaher doesn’t think that anyone should ignore them, but it also means that they may not be the best takedowns for new starters in BJJ to learn.
The full video instructional where John Danaher teaches the best takedowns for BJJ was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of BJJ Fanatics: