I’ve never advocated that every fight go to the ground; sometimes it’s the right decision and sometimes it’s not. The fact is that street situations are far too variable to have a one-size-fits-all approach.
That being said, taking a fight to the ground is an important tool to have in your toolbox. For example that option could prevent someone from running away, or if your ground skills are pretty good then it’s undoubtedly the safest way to dominate a bigger, stronger opponent so long as you’re not in a multiple attacker scenario.
So you need to have a few reliable takedowns, and in the past month this topic has come up quite a bit. I’ve been asked what the best takedowns for self defense are, and also what the first takedowns a non-wrestler should learn are.
There are hundreds of throws and takedowns to choose from in Judo, Sambo, Greco Roman Wrestling and Freestyle Wrestling. And high level competitors in those sports literally spend thousands of hours practising their favourite moves and combinations.
I don’t think that’s practical for most people. For self defense you’ve got to be a jack of all trades, so stripping down your options to a few simple and highly effective moves is a great idea.
You want techniques that are fairly simple, effective against a wide range of opponents, and is practical for your body type.
In the video below I talk about the aspects of the takedown game you need to learn first. Enjoy!
If you found this useful did you know that I’ve written a book called “The 5 Most Important Self Defense Lessons from Jiu-Jitsu“?
It’s a look at the self defense lessons and applications of BJJ. This is a very popular sport right now, but people are forgetting that, at it’s core, it’s a martial art designed to defend yourself and then control, hurt, or even incapacitate people.
You can download that book for free (as well as two other self defense books) by going to our self defense library download page here.
Hope you find it useful!