Jiu Jitsu Takedowns: There are many styles of grappling, each has a rule set that encourages certain types of behavior and discourages others. In Judo, primacy is given to takedowns and throws above all else. A well executed throw can end the match at any time. In international styles of wrestling, throws and takedowns are graded by their AMPLITUDE. The bigger the throw, the more points it scores. There is a definite sense then, that in Judo and wrestling, amplitude is the desiderata of throws. Moreover, it is possible to win Judo and Wrestling mostly on the ground, it is very difficult to envision a great champion in either sport who completely lacked skills in throws or takedowns. Jiu Jitsu on the other hand, looks at takedowns very differently. They score relatively low points and never end a match. Moreover there are many who went their entire career with virtually no takedown skills. Even for those who do study takedowns, the spirit in which they are trained and applied is very different from other sports. In jiu jitsu, the key idea behind takedown is not AMPLITUDE, since all takedowns get the same score regardless of how high or low the amplitude exhibited; rather, in jiu jitsu THE WORTH OF A TAKEDOWN IS ALWAYS ASSESSED BY ITS AFTERMATH. The question is always, WHERE DID YOU END UP AFTER THE TAKEDOWN? Takedowns in jiu jitsu are never seen as and end in themselves, but only as a precursor to ground grappling – so the END RESULT of the takedown is a bigger concern than the takedown itself. It is no good applying a beautiful drop seoi nage throw if it results in your immediately taking your back once you land. Your takedown can score a maximum of two points, while his back control scores four and now your are fighting for survival. As such the spirit of training takedowns in jiu jitsu needs considerable modifications from other arts. Here, former US Judo National champion and double Judo/Jiu Jitsu blackbelt, Garry St-Leger @gstleger shows the Judo ideal of an ippon throw with projection and amplitude in competition. Learning to adapt these skills into a jiu jitsu context is a fascinating study.

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