Self defense situations, although rare, can be unsettling for anybody regardless of martial arts experience. Of course, if you are ever confronted with such a scenario, the best option is to run away. Needless violence, especially in an unsafe environment, always has the potential for disaster. Having said that, some altercations result in physical contact. As a student of Bjj, your best option is to move the fight to the ground on your own terms. Getting to the ground gives you two options. The first is to get up and run away. The second is to control your aggressor on the ground until help arrives. Below, I outline 4 of the best Bjj-related takedowns for self-defense.

Takedowns for Self-Defense

Guard Pull

The guard pull is one of the most basic techniques in jiu-jitsu. Many wouldn’t consider it advantageous as the ‘puller’ ends up on their back, generally in closed guard. The guard pull is advantageous in self-defense as the opponent is unlikely to know how to react. Closed guard is most student’s first position in Bjj. As a result, most students have a wide repertoire of submissions and sweeps from that guard. Although this may seem basic to many students, those without experience will find themselves lost in the web of techniques you spring on them. 

guard pull in bjj

Collar Trip

The collar trip is another basic takedown taught in many Bjj schools. The action involves gripping the opponent’s collar and sleeve to knock their balance before sweeping their legs with your own legs. Most people end up in side control after they perform the takedown. It is also a straightforward transition into the mount. This takedown is practical in a defensive situation as it requires the use of a shirt or coat collar. The technique also gets you close to your opponent so that they cannot wildly swing in your direction. Finally, the collar trip does not require you to end up on the ground. As a result, it allows you to drop your opponent and run away.

collar trip takedown

Single Leg

A classic technique in all forms of wrestling and grappling. The single leg take down is one of the most effective maneuvers for taking the fight to the ground. The benefits of a single leg Takedowns for Self-Defense is that it will create distance between you and your aggressor once you have their leg. This distance combined with their loss of balance places you in control of the next move. Once in control of a leg, you can move your aggressor and easily trip them if it is required. The act of keeping balance also tires your opponent out. Not only will this make them easier to get to ground, it will also reduce the odds of them inflicting injury on you.

Single Leg takedown in bjj

Hip Toss

A judo technique that has enjoyed success in Bjj, the hip toss is the ultimate transfer of energy. Although it requires you to get close to your aggressor, the hip toss can be a devastating takedown. The throw requires a lot of practice as the technique is far more important than the strength used.

Hip Toss Takedowns for Self-Defense

The hip toss is similar to the collar trip in that, after you have preformed it, you have the option of controlling your opponent or running away. A common situation to use the throw would be in a close contact situation. Once the technique is set up, the execution that follows is very difficult to prevent especially to the untrained.