Single Leg Takedowns

Snatch Single Leg

Drop you level, step forward (if you’re both in orthodox stance) and grab his leg:


Some coaches teach you to have your head on the outside (as above), whilst others will say you must have it on the inside, for extra leverage.

Keep your grip of the leg as tight as possible, and pin the leg to your chest.

Have no gaps between the leg and your chest, and your elbows must be tucked on, otherwise your opponent will defend with over and underhooks on your arm(s).

Shooting for a Single Leg Takedown

You can step to the outside of the opponent’s lead leg:

Or you can shoot a normal double leg and attach the lead leg instead of both legs.

You can establish a single leg takedown position from the over/under clinch by sidestepping towards the leg furthest from your underhook
i.e. if you have a right underhook, sidestep to the left, reach for the guy’s right leg with your left hand
Then shotput with your underhook


Finishing the Single Leg

Once you have secured the leg, there are various ways to finish the takedown. “Run the Pipe” is possibly the easiest and most common:

Run the Pipe

This is not a throw! People try and throw their opponent/partner to the side, but this is incorrect.
– Secure the leg, keep it as tight to your body as possible with your head against your opponent’s chest or ribs.
– Step to the side – away from your opponent’s remaining standing leg
– Bow down – like your passing an American football between your legs

Run the pipe into High Crotch

A very athletic finish to the single leg, which requires a lot of power.
You move your grip so that your at the very top of the opponent’s leg
Then you basically do an Olympic Lift / Hang Clean with your opponent:

Daniel Cormier Slamon Josh Barnett


Single Leg Takedown into a Double Leg Takedown

If the ‘run the pipe’ takedown doesn’t work, I’d go straight into a double leg afterwards.
And vice versa – If I’ve attempted a double leg takedown and it doesn’t work, go straight into the run the pipe. It’s important to chain techniques in all grappling styles.


Defending The Single Leg

– Push the guy’s head down and away
– Establish underhooks
– Put all your weight through your captured leg and drive it back like you’re starting a motor bike

– Establish an overhook, push the head, and take your leg out to the outside of his

– You can step in between your opponent’s legs and backward roll (or similar). Watch your training partner’s neck. This is banned in BJJ as people could grab over the back and lock onto the belt and roll back onto the opponent’s head

– If the guys head is on the outside, you can look for a choke, or you can try and reach and grab inside his far leg with your hands.