Takedown defense starts well before the shot. It starts with posture, positioning, and grip fighting.
Let me say that again - Takedown defense starts well before the shot. It starts with posture, positioning, and grip fighting.
|A little extreme on the posture guys.|
You might notice Judo guys taking a fairly high stance compared to the description above. This is because the current competition Judo rule set encourages "throws" and essentially gives no points to "wrestling" single and double leg takedowns (although they are traditional techniques - Kata Garuma anyone?). So, they don't need to defend the legs the same way. As a BJJ competitor you still need to know how to defend throws (also mainly with your hips) but you will see a lot more attacks on your legs.
|I like the stance on the right.|
Everybody focuses on the collar grip but the collar is more defensive (it allows you to keep your opponent away from you). You want the sleeve. Most throws use the sleeve grip to initiate execution of the throw, but even more important I want control of his power hand. You can grab his same side sleeve directly, cross grip it and deliver it to your same side hand, or wait for him to reach and intercept it. (and there are a ton of setups that are too detailed to include here)
If your opponent gets a grip first, don't panic, work on breaking the grip. Once you break his grip make sure you keep control of that hand/sleeve and secure your own grip on that arm.
To break a collar grip, grab his gripping sleeve with your same side hand at the wrist rotate your palm down and pull down to take out the slack - your other hand comes across and aggressively pops/pushes his hand off the collar at the base of his palm/wrist while your same side hand pops/pulls his sleeve at about a 45 degree angle from your body. You don't have to yank your body and shoulder way back - this takes you out of stance and leaves you vulnerable.
To break a sleeve grip, point your thumb toward your chest/head and raise your elbow toward your opponents face (this takes the slack out) and then explosively pull your elbow back down and past your hip. Again, you don't have to pull that side of your body way back - keep your stance and a balanced posture.
(Next up in this series - The Sprawl)