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How To Defend The Single Leg Takedown

The Single Leg Takedown is one of the most popular and effective takedowns in BJJ, grappling and MMA.  It’s critical that you can defend against Single Leg takedown.  Today, we’re going to look at a simple set of procedures to dismantle your opponent’s takedown attempt.

The very first thing I want to do when I’m defending the Single Leg is to try and get my leg back on the ground.  The Single Leg takedown is called a “Single Leg” because my partner is controlling my one leg and I’m hopping around on just a single leg.

Thus, the immediate way to defend the Single Leg is to stomp my leg back down to the ground. This can be difficult, since my partner is clutching onto my leg with their arms.

In addition to just stomping my leg back to the ground, I can also turn and kick my leg free as I control my partner’s neck.

Now, if I can’t get my leg back down to the ground, the next step is to break down my partner’s posture.  As well, I want to get really heavy on his neck and back.

As I’m leaning hard into my partner’s neck with my chest, I want to ensure that my free leg is as far away as possible.  I don’t want to fall victim to an easy Double Leg from my opponent.

Since my partner’s partner’s posture is broken, I can now transition.  I want to transition to either a Kimura grip or a Cross Sleeve grip.  These grips set up a really strong counter throw for me.

Remember, my partner’s control of my leg is also my control of their hip.  My Hook Sweep from my Kimura grip or my Cross Sleeve grip is an incredibly strong counter in this situation.


Ritchie Yip