Travis Stevens teaches three takedowns

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[First published in 2014. Scroll all the way down for plain text.]

tomoe nage

It’s important to step to the outside
with the left foot and very important
that you bring your right
foot to your crotch, and when you
lie down on your side make sure your
head lands close to your opponent’s
foot. Make sure that you do not place
your right foot onto your opponent’s
hip. You want to keep your leg as
bent as possible and use your hands
to pull your opponent forward so that
they are drawn onto your foot. Once
you feel their weight on your leg, you
extend it as fast as possible and, as
you extend your leg, bring your hand
holding the sleeve to your butt, keeping
your hand close to the mat.

ura nage

Gripping is very important. I want to make sure my
hand is holding the gi and not the belt. The belt
tends to spin and you can fall off the side. Only grab
the belt when the gi is all the way pulled out. Make
sure the shoulder or the hand around the back is in front. I don’t
want my shoulder on the side of his. I want to try and pin my
shoulder to his bicep if I can be sure that the planted foot (in the
photo that’s my right) is facing parallel to my opponents’ feet.
My left foot never touches the mat. This is not a lifting throw.
I want to drag him to the ground and pull him by me. Make
sure that, as you go down to the floor, your arms don’t extent
once you’re holding him tight to your body you lock your arms
in place and they never move after that. Make sure that you
use your head for the throw once your belt touches the mat
you want to start looking over your right shoulder. This will help
with the rotation needed to finish the takedown.

kouchi gare

Facing your opponent, with a
grip on their shoulder and the
other on their arm, wrap your leg
around their front leg and lift it off
the ground while you throw your weight
forward to unbalance the opponent. Follow
the opponent’s fall controlling the
grips and keep them on the ground to
score the takedown points.


Travis Stevens is a two-time USA Olympic Team
member and a Jiu-Jitsu black-belt under Renzo Gracie.
Stevens competed in the 2008 and 2012 Games;
in London, he went all the way to the semifinals of the
81kg division.

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