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Takedowns are similar to throws in the sense of taking someone to the ground. However while throws require more usage of strength to apply the technique, Takedowns require much less.
Majority but not all Takedowns use Joint-Locks to take aggressors to the ground.
An example is a wrist-lock takedown, which forces the wrist and by extension the elbow out of it’s range of movement, giving the aggressor the choice of resisting and risk damaging the joints or go to the ground to relieve the pressure.
Here is a list of some of the Takedowns used: