Takedowns Should Not Just Be Your Warm-Up

Our opinion here at Horsetooth…if you want to be a complete grappler, you should spend at least 60 percent of your practice (read–slight majority) focused on standing, i.e., neutral position, wrestling, and without wearing a gi,.

Saturday’s UFC 288 offered a stark reminder of the consequences of what happens when submission specialists can’t take an opponent from feet to back.

But consider that just training takedowns through repetitions is not enough to build necessary skills to employ against a resisting opponent. Drilling double-legs over and over with a partner doesn’t build skill in the appropriate combat context.

Instead, be sure to focus on set-up tactics and chain wrestling. The concept of a setup is practiced in other sports as well, so here’s a relevant analogy…a boxer must use a jab with the lead hand to set-up a blitzing cross, where his or her power lies. This concept can be applied to getting to an adversary’s hips.

Think of set-ups as an ‘if, then, else’ statement. The opponent usually starts the engagement in a great position and moving well, so we must do something to counteract that. ‘If’ the defender doesn’t react, ‘then’ the attacker tries something ‘else’.

Ask yourself, given the single and double-legs are the two most scoring takedowns, what other skills do I use to set-up these attacks and what do I chain to them if they fail? If you don’t have a definitive answer, start working towards one!!!

Of course, in wrestling our opponent is working through the same decision tree in real time and stress while trying to block our own set-ups–and BTW, I believe its this environment, i.e., two athletes working through ‘if, then, else’ scenarios against one another, is what has helped wrestlers reach such unparalleled success in MMA.

#focograppling #focowrestling #horsetoothgrappling

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