Knees Or Feet? Where Do You Start?

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When you train, where do you start?

Most schools either start their training on the knees or on the feet.

In competition, of course, we start standing, but how often should we do this in the academy? Surly there will be many people who advocate we roll every round from the feet, and that’s fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but in reality, there are a few issues with this.

The main issue with starting standing is the increased injury liability. That’s what I plan to focus this argument around.  I have trained at schools where you start every round on the feet and schools that only start from the knees. I believe, while it is important to start standing, it shouldn’t be done every round and certainly not every day.

The main idea of standing is to generate awareness and practice takedowns, but as mentioned earlier, takedowns create impacts and scrambles, which are more likely to cause injury. In general, this causes more wear and tear on the body and over time takes a toll. I believe takedowns should be trained on days that are in between days where practitioners start from their knees.

One way to make daily takedown training more feasible is to train with people who are within 20 or so pounds of yourself.  If you train with giants and you’re a small guy like me, you are almost forced to pull guard, which doesn’t help you develop a takedown game. You also risk injury. This can be a problem if you don’t train at a super large school, and even then it can be hard to find many training partners under or over a certain weight.

The last thing I believe we need to consider is who we train takedowns with. In many cases, training with someone who has a similar goal can be beneficial. If you are a competition guy, try to find other competition guys. If you are an older practitioner, maybe avoid the young guns. This can make the training more safer and more beneficial.

I know this post may get some hate, but I think everyone knows at least a few people who have been injured and put out by training takedowns. I am NOT advocating avoidance; I am advocating smarter training.

What do you think about training takedowns?

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