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An Easy NOGI Takedown

bjj | 09/18/2018

When it comes to simple and effective takedowns, arm dragging is probably ranked among the highest on that list. Especially when it comes to players who might not have as much experience on their feet. The arm drag is easy to do and even easier to learn (which is no small feat for BJJ takedowns). And the best part? It’s pretty risk-free if done properly. The only real counter for an arm drag is getting re-dragged by your opponent. This takes a lot of anticipation, knowledge, and skill on your opponent’s part. Meaning, getting re-dragged by your opponent is unlikely at lower belts, but definitely something you’ll encounter as you move up belts. Without further ado, we present the Arm Drag to Kouchi Gari.
Kouchi Gari

Arm drags by themselves set you up for some really incredible opportunities to score. A super effective combination is the arm drag to Kouchi Gari, which will be presented here. The basic concepts are pretty simple, as soon as you’ve gained control of your opponent’s arm, sweep to underhook on the backside, and step in between their legs. Make sure you don’t stomp to the floor with the leg you step with, you want to hook under your opponent’s leg so you can drive them to the floor. Once they’ve hit the floor, quickly tuck your elbow to avoid the Omoplatas. Then pin their knee to protect your lead leg and help create the pressure to ensure you’re fully in control.

The technique is broken down step by step. We want to make sure you know exactly what you're doing here. The video will also help, but make sure you watch it once all the way through and then break it down into bite size chunks. And, above all, once you start drilling it, start slow and then add speed. As you gain confidence in the technique, your ability to execute it properly will improve drastically.


With how simple the arm drag is, the basic steps of it don’t take a lot to learn, but they could be a game changer for you. Take a look at our step by step guidelines for the Arm Drag to Kouchi Gari and make sure to let us know if you have any questions after!

Arm Drag to Kouchi Gari Step 1:

You want to make sure you control the wrist of your opponent. This is first and foremost and will ultimately make or break you when using this technique. Without that initial wrist control, there's zero chance this turns out well for you. So control the wrist. Got it? Good.

Arm Drag to Kouchi Gari Step 2:

As you feel comfortable bring your free hand to your opponents tricep. Don’t pull it too hard, you just want to sell the motion and gain a reaction. Remember, everything you do will be retaliated with an equal and opposite reaction. That means you just need to make your opponent take the bait, no need to over act (or they'll overreact).

Arm Drag to Kouchi Gari Step 3:

After your opponent reacts, make sure you get your far side in the under hook position. This will set up the rest of the technique exceptionally well if done right. Also, this is far and away easier to do when wearing proper and comfortable gear. 

Arm Drag to Kouchi Gari Step 4:

Don’t make the mistake of placing your foot on the floor. This move does require a full commitment from the offensive player. Make sure you don't stomp or (again) try to over-sell something. Just do what is necessary to get your opponent to fully commit and you'll be in great shape for what comes next. Without them taking the bait, this gets way harder to execute well. 

Arm Drag to Kouchi Gari Step 5:

Once you hit the floor you have to make sure you tuck your under hook to avoid your partner attacking your arm during the takedown. This will prevent any counter dragging or any attempts at a counter, so finish strong with step 5 and you'll be on your way to the podium!

Once you get good at this basic arm drag combination, the world is your oyster! There are endless options from that arm drag. You can build an entire system of attacks off of that one simple move. Arm drags even work well into offensive guard pulls. Don’t be afraid to play around with different combinations and really find what works well for you. Also always remember that the best BJJ you can do is the best BJJ for you. Meaning don't try to be anyone else, just work within your strengths (and weaknesses) in order to execute in the best possible way you can. And when you find what works for you, execute it like an animal! Once you find what’s comfortable, you can build on it more and more and capitalize when the right time comes.


Arm drags have endless possibilities and are an easy, efficient, and fast way to get your opponent to the ground and gain control of the situation. Once you’ve mastered the basics, don’t be afraid to play around with different combinations and find out what works for you. Add your own spin and personal touch and execute with confidence every time you hit the mats.

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