Takedown set-ups in MMA (diary entry)




My client reached the two and a half hour point of his scheduled second 10 hour course in Mixed Martial Arts. Today’s lesson was a complete run-through of all ranges with less time concerned with the ground. We looked at mainly punching entries – but later added on kicks and defended kicks – into takedowns.


We began with mirror foot-work. This progressed to changing levels, upper body movement (slips and rolling), range finding and cues to sprawl. We then drilled over-hook/under-hook pummelling, takedown entries and one-for-one plum clinch-work. Next we did some progressive grip-fighting sparring and then layered in knee-strikes and takedowns.


The focus mitts then came out and we worked on jab/double leg takedown and jab/cross/single-leg takedown. We discussed and drilled different tactics for the takedown set-up. The double-leg, although a very popular takedown, can go disastrously wrong in MMA if the set-up is not right. An opponent has a wider array of weapons to use when you shoot in for this takedown. We looked at what was the best to do in accordance with an opponent’s stance. We also looked at how certain moves bear similarities across disciplines. This is a great method to ingrain technique-switching in Mixed Martial Arts and Martial Arts Cross Training.  The way a leg can be hooked for a single-leg takedown, for example, share a lot in common with a shovel hook.


Moving into kickboxing combinations, we looked at using a shin-check to set up for a single-leg takedown, catching a mid-section kick for a double-leg takedown and mixing in a low kick to set up for an ankle pick. Strikes from different ranges within a combination were a great way to mix up an attack effectively, keeping the opponent on the defensive and landing the eventual takedown. We finished all our takedowns with ground work. This included ground ‘n pound to stacking position in guard and striking in side-control into a submission, both of which followed over from our previous course on MMA ground-work.


The lesson finished a five minute round of MMA sparring.


Some good observations on the double-leg takedown in Wrestling and MMA in this piece.

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