US Army Combatives

3-1 Throws and Takedowns

3-1. THROWS AND TAKEDOWNS

Throws and takedowns enable a hand-to-hand fighter to take an opponent to the ground where he can be controlled or disabled with further techniques. Throws and takedowns make use of the principles involved in taking the opponent’s balance. The fighter uses his momentum against the attacker; he also uses leverage or body position to gain an opportunity to throw the attacker.

  • a. It is important for a fighter to control his opponent throughout a throw to the ground to keep the opponent from countering the throw or escaping after he is thrown to the ground. One way to do this is to control the opponent’s fall so that he lands on his head. It is also imperative that a fighter maintain control of his own balance when executing throws and takedowns.
  • b. After executing a throw or takedown and while the opponent is on the ground, the fighter must control the opponent by any means available. He can drop his weight onto exposed areas of the opponent’s body, using his elbows and knees. He can control the downed opponent’s limbs by stepping on them or by placing his knees and body weight on them. Joint locks, chokes, and kicks to vital areas are also good control measures. Without endangering himself, the fighter must maintain the advantage and disable his opponent after throwing him (Figures 3-1 through 3-5).

NOTE: Although the five techniques shown in Figures 3-1 through 3-5 may be done while wearing LCE—for training purposes, it is safer to conduct all throws and takedowns without any equipment.

(1) Hip throw. The opponent throws a right punch. The defender steps in with his left foot; at the same time, he blocks the punch with his left forearm and delivers a reverse punch to the face, throat, or other vulnerable area (Figure 3-1, Step 1). (For training, deliver punches to the solar plexus.)

The defender pivots 180 degrees on the ball of his lead foot, wraps his right arm around his opponent’s waist, and grasps his belt or pants (Figure 3-1, Step 2) . (If opponent is wearing LCE, grasp by the pistol belt or webbing.)

The defender thrusts his hips into his opponent and maintains a grip on his opponent’s right elbow. He keeps his knees shoulder-width apart and slightly bent (Figure 3-1, Step 3). He locks his knees, pulls his opponent well over his right hip, and slams him to the ground. (For training, soldier being thrown should land in a good side fall.)

By maintaining control of his opponent’s arm, the defender now has the option of kicking or stomping him in the neck, face, or ribs (Figure 3-1, Step 4).

(2) Over-the-shoulder throw. The opponent lunges at the defender with a straight punch (Figure 3-2, Step 1).

The defender blocks the punch with his left forearm, pivots 180 degrees on the ball of his lead foot (Figure 3-2, Step 2) , and gets well inside his opponent’s right armpit with his right shoulder.

He reaches well back under his opponent’s right armpit and grasps him by the collar or hair (Figure 3-2, Step 3).

The defender maintains good back-to-chest, buttock-to-groin contact, keeping his knees slightly bent and shoulder-width apart. He maintains control of his opponent’s right arm by grasping the wrist or sleeve (Figure 3-2, Step 4) .

The defender bends forward at the waist and holds his opponent tightly against his body. He locks his knees, thrusts his opponent over his shoulder, and slams him to the ground (Figure 3-2, Step 5) . He then has the option of disabling his opponent with kicks or stomps to vital areas.

(3) Throw from rear choke. The opponent attacks the defender with a rear strangle choke. The defender quickly bends his knees and spreads his feet shoulder-width apart (Figure 3-3, Step 1). (Knees are bent quickly to put distance between you and your opponent.)

The defender reaches as far back as possible and uses his right hand to grab his opponent by the collar or hair. He then forces his chin into the vee of the opponent’s arm that is around his neck. With his left hand, he grasps the opponent’s clothing at the tricep and bends forward at the waist (Figure 3-3, Step 2) .

The defender locks his knees and, at the same time, pulls his opponent over his shoulder and slams him to the ground (Figure 3-3, Step 3).

He then has the option of spinning around and straddling his opponent or disabling him with punches to vital areas (Figure 3-3, Step 4) . (It is important to grip the opponent tightly when executing this move.)

(4) Head butt. The head butt can be applied from the front or the rear. It is repeated until the opponent either releases his grip or becomes unconscious.

(a) The opponent grabs the defender in a bear hug from the front

(A,Figure 3-4, Step 1). The defender uses his forehead to smash into his opponent’s nose or cheek (A,Figure 3-4, Step 2) and stuns him.

The opponent releases the defender who then follows up with a kick or knee strike to the groin (A, Figure 3-4, Step 3) .

(b) The opponent grabs the defender in a bear hug from the rear (B, Figure 3-4, Step 1).

The defender cocks his head forward and smashes the back of his head into the opponent’s nose or cheek area (B, Figure 3-4, Step 2).

The defender turns to face his opponent and follows up with a spinning elbow strike to the head (B, Figure 3-4, Step 3) .

(5) Rear strangle takedown. The defender strikes the opponent from the rear with a forearm strike to the neck (carotid artery) (Figure 3-5, Step 1) .

The defender wraps his right arm around his opponent’s neck, making sure he locks the throat and windpipe in the vee formed by the his elbow. He grasps his left bicep and wraps his left hand around the back of the opponent’s head. He pulls his right arm in and flexes it, pushing his opponent’s head forward (Figure 3-5, Step 2).

The defender kicks his legs out and back, maintains a choke on his opponent’s neck, and pulls his opponent backward until his neck breaks (Figure 3-5, Step 3) .


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