Alan Belcher and David Avellan: Takedown Setups for MMA (Immunity Course Open)

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Properly Setting Up the Takedown


For my BJJ players out there that have been keeping tabs on my Belcher articles, this one can be useful, but this one in particular goes out to my MMA competitors out there reading this.

This video is a pure gold mine of information.  After watching it, I feel like jumping right on the mat and teaching some of these little nuggets of knowledge to some of my students!  Yeah, it’s that insightful.


Have you ever been in a situation where you just can’t score the takedown, no matter what?  If you have, allow me to introduce you to this brilliant clip from Alan Belcher and David Avellan.  Two well known names in the MMA world, both David and Alan share fantastic insight on proper training for the takedown. Recently, Alan also taught a cool Flying Heel Hook to his fans as well.

A major flaw that some fighters posses is that they train their various art forms separate from one another.  This can cause a disconnect while fighting; say you knock someone down, you have to flip the switch from boxer to wrestler, which gives your opponent a split second to recover, thus losing out on your chance to finish the fight.

Avellan shares a technique of his that he loves to us, called “MMA pads.”  While holding pads for a fighter, David will call out various MMA based moves; takedowns, clinch, etc.  To help train their brain and engrain in their memory how to react, he will fall down to the mat at random after a combination has been thrown to help train the fighter to react and attack.

Mentally Train Your Opponent

This is a key aspect.  We always here to setup the takedown with strikes, but the fighter on the offensive doesn’t always do it effectively.  In the video, they stressed how to setup with the jab, but not just setup the jab; LAND IT!

If they are pre-occupied with leather in their face, it will take away from any thought concerning their legs as they are too focused on the jab.  After successfully landing the jab a few times, POUNCE!  This will open up the takedown beautifully.

“If you’re using striking,” Avellan says, “make sure you’ve sold what you’re doing.”

Another nice tool David displays is called the ‘hook pull.’  This is where you setup the hook, assuming your opponent blocks it, and then on the third hook aggressively pull them into a modified clinch.  This allows various strikes, takedowns and submissions.

The video teaches you a lot about striking and setting up the takedown for my MMA fighters out there.  After watching this, it may seem obvious that this stuff works, but once you see it in action, it opens your mind to a band new world.

-Dan "Micro" Faggella

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