High Percentage martial arts takes data from hundreds of fights, competition matches, and self defense situations to answer the question: What's truly high percentage?


We Watched 150 Blue Belt Takedowns, Here's What's Working More Than Anything Else.

We Watched 150 Blue Belt Takedowns, Here's What's Working More Than Anything Else.

I suppose the title of this article tees it all up pretty well. After an extensive study of white belt takedowns, I was itching to see how blue belts compared. For a refresher, here were the big takeaways from our white belt takedown study:

  1. Only 30.77% of white belts completed their takedowns.

  2. Leg trips and single legs had low success rates, and failed single legs tended to be disastrous.

  3. By far the highest percentage takedown group was sacrifice throws, the only takedown that succeed more than half of the time.

  4. Not a single competitor completed a double leg in the one hundred matches I watched.

  5. Guard pulling was high percentage and not any significant indicator of success or failure.


We did this one a little differently than last time. Instead of watching 100 matches and recording tons of data, we watched one hundred and fifty takedowns. This is part of my new strategy to narrow my data points so that I can work faster and write more. These were all at the blue belt level, and half of them were gi and the other half nogi. Because we collected this data differently than white belts, you can’t make a one to one comparison, but you can still compare the percentages pretty accurately.

why one hundred and fifty?

We originally watched one hundred takedowns, but I didn’t feel like the data was quite there, so we did another fifty. Don’t even get me started on sample sizes.

The Big Four

The Big Four

The Big Four

  • Single Legs, Leg Trips, Double Legs, and Sacrific Throws accounted for 86.6% of the attempted takedowns at the blue belt level.

  • Single Leg Attacks are by far the most attempted at 34% of all takedowns

    But What’s High Percentage?

Blue belt takedown success percentages.png
  • The overall success rate of ALL blue belt takedowns was 70%

  • Leg Trips were the highest percentage takedown at 86%, which was 16% higher than the already high average.

  • Double Legs were the second highest takedown at 79%

  • The other takedowns such as hip throws, snap downs, and ankle picks happened too infrequently to get good data about their success rates.

But How Does That Compare To White Belts?

This is where is gets interesting. Rather than a continuation of the trends we saw at white belt, blue belts takedowns changed dramatically.

White vs Blue Belt Takedowns

Literally could not be more opposite
  • White belts miss their takedowns about two thirds of the time. Blue belts finish their takedown two thirds of the time

  • The most high percentage takedown for white belts is the sacrifice throw at 56%. For blue belts, it’s the Leg Trip at 86%

  • Leg Trips, at the white belt level, are average takedowns successful 31% of the time.

Bottom Line:

  • Takedowns are dramatically more dangerous at the blue belt level. Most takedowns are successful and we already know that a takedown is a huge statistical advantage.

  • The high percentage takedowns at the white belt level are not high percentage for blue belts.

  • Single Legs, Leg Trips, Double Legs, and Sacrifice Throws were the most attempted.

  • Leg Trips and Single Legs were the Highest Percentage.

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