Tips and Tricks: The Single Leg

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The single leg takedown is one of the most commonly used takedowns in the fight game. At every mixed martial art event I attend I see at least some variation of the single leg takedown.

Today I am going to go over some of the finer points of the takedown. I will be aided by my good friend and training partner Daniel Chionuma. Daniel was a collegiate wrestler at Lindenwood University, and has been wrestling for over a decade.

The single leg starts by first slightly lowering your elevation. The change in levels allows for quicker access to the legs. It also allows you to keep your back straight when performing the takedown.

Next, you take your penetration step. The penetration step brings you closer to your opponent, allowing for you to reach their legs. The penetration step may be achieved by either merely taking an extra step towards your opponent, or by taking a drop step (stepping forward and bringing your front knee to the ground.)

After lowering your elevation, and taking your penetration step, you reach across, with your opposite side hand, to the inside of your opponents knee. Then you drive into your opponent while picking up the leg.

In the version Daniel Shows, he hikes the leg up high into his armpit and stands straight up. This is a better way to perform the single leg than is traditionally seen, because it gives your opponent less counters and options to escape. Your opponent will be unable to sprawl his leg back, or attack with front chokes. After you hike up the leg you can sweep your opponents other leg while driving into them.

In the video bellow Daniel gives an in depth explanation of how to perform the single leg takedown. For more information on Daniel or myself visit or follow me on Twitter at

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Andrew Ebers