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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2014 Can Sönmez

25 October 2006

BJJ Technique Summary

[started 21/05/2007, last update 09/03/2010
The text of this BJJ Technique Summary copyright ©2006-2011 by Can Sönmez. Please do not copy online or in print without permission]

CONTENTS

Submissions -
--Americana: Mount, Side Control
--Armbar: Guard, Mount, Side Control, Standing Guard
--Chokes: RNC, Cross Choke: (Guard) (Mount), Triangle
--
Kimura: From Guard

Escapes -
--Armbar
,
Triangle
--Mount: (1) (2), Side Control: (1) (2)

Passes -
--Half Guard: (1) (2)
--Leg Pin, Stack
--Twisting Guard Break

Positional -
--Side Control to Mount (1) (2)

Sweeps
-
--Ankle Grab, Flower Sweep, Push, Scissor, Sit-Up
--
Half Guard: (1) (2) (3)

Sources

^ Introduction: My descriptions tend to be rather sprawling, so I’m going to try and summarise them more succinctly here. Hopefully over time this will become a useful resource I can refer to when reviewing technique at home. Also, the process of going through everything I've learned so far and consolidating that information should be a handy way of revising.

I'll add in a video (page may load slowly as a result) where I can find one (but be aware they may well vary from the approach in my descriptions), along with a link to the blog entries on which I'm basing the summary. Like the glossary, any comments would be much appreciated - I'm still relatively new at this, so no doubt there will be plenty of detail I've missed, or got completely wrong. ;D

AMERICANA

^ From Mount [Blog Label]

• Grip their wrist with your opposite hand
• Grip their elbow with your other hand
• Keep both of your arms straight
• Use your weight to drive their arm to the ground
• Remove your grip from the elbow
• Slip your arm underneath their elbow
• Grab your own wrist
• Push their knuckles back like a paintbrush

Points to Note

• Do not grip around their wrist with your thumb
• Use your weight rather than relying on arm strength
• Keep their arm tight to their body

Video (Ryron & Rener Gracie)




^ From Side Control [Blog Label]

• Place one arm underneath your opponent’s arm
• Wedge the other arm against their head
• Switch your base, looking towards their head
• Grab their wrist with your free arm
• Switch your base again
• Push their arm to the floor
• Grip your own wrist
• Push their knuckles back like a paintbrush

Points to Note

• Keep your weight pressed down at all times
• Do not grip around their wrist with your thumb
• Use your weight rather than relying on arm strength
• Keep their arm tight to their body

Video (Variation by David Thomas)




ARMBAR

^ From Guard [Blog Label]

• Grip a wrist with the same side hand
• Grab their elbow with your other hand
• Pull the isolated arm down and across into your chest
• Put your same side leg up on their hip
• Use that base to swivel your hips to the opposite direction
• Raise your hips
• Bring the other leg up into their armpit
• Push them off balance
• Swing the same side leg over their head
• Squeeze your knees together and press your feet down
• Raise your hips and pull back on the wrist

Points to Note

• To grip the elbow, bring your arm underneath their free arm
• Don’t forget to use your hips
• Don’t cross your feet
• Make sure their thumb is pointing up

Video (Ryron & Rener Gracie)




^ From Mount [Blog Label]

• Grab an opposite collar
• Drop your elbow and press your forearm into their throat
• This should make them reach for your arm
• Move your same side knee up to their head
• Push their arm across (you now have an arm underneath)
• Press your weight down
• Bring your opposite foot up to their armpit
• Release your grip on their collar
• With the same arm, grab your own collar or shoulder
• Post your other arm by their head
• Use that balance to bring your leg over their head
• Drop back, now grasping their arm with both of yours
• Squeeze your knees together
• Drive your heels into their ribs and curl your feet back
• Pull back on their arm and raise your hips

Points to Note

• Don’t drop back until you’ve got full control
• Stay as close as possible when dropping back
• Make sure their thumb is pointing up

Video (Rowan Cunningham)





^ From Side Control [Blog Label]

• Trap their far arm by pulling into your head
• Grab your own collar to improve grip
• Move round until their head is between your knees
• Using your grip, get them on their side
• Put a shin into their back
• Other leg should be in front of their head
• Lean back for the submission

Points to Note

• Block their hips with your free arm, preventing guard
• Maintain your grip on the arm throughout
• Keep your weight pressed down
• Could also use knee on belly, as demonstrated in the vid

Video (Variation by Some Korean Guy)




^ Standing Guard [Blog Label]

• They've stood up in your guard
• Pull their arm down and across into your chest
• Walk your guard up high on their back
• Push off their same side hip to swivel
• Raise your hips
• Pull down on their arm for the submission

Points to Note

• Make sure your guard is up high
• Keep your knees tight
• Drive your heels down
• If you need help to swivel, grab their leg

Video (Near the start of this fight)





CHOKES

^ Cross Choke from Guard [Blog Label]

• Knock them towards you with your knees
• Slide a hand into their opposite collar, grip
• Pull your opponent down
• Slip your other hand under the first, grip
• Twist your grips, rise up, and squeeze

Points to Note

• Grip with the thumb on top, four fingers under
• Make sure you use your legs to pull them down
• Grip as deeply as you can
• Use the boney part of your forearm to choke

Video (Don Daly)





^ Cross Choke From Mount [Blog Label]

• Feed a hand into their opposite collar
• Grip as deeply as you can
• Slip your other hand under the first
• Again, secure a deep grip
• Twist your grips
• Lean forward over your top arm
• Squeeze and lean to secure the choke

Points to Note

• They may try to upa when you attempt a grip
• Aim to get your knuckles to the floor
• Use the boney part of your forearm to choke

Video (Aaron Fruitstone)



^ Rear Naked Choke [Blog Label]

• Bring one arm around their throat
• Make sure your elbow is under their chin
• Grip your other bicep
• Bring the hand of that arm behind their head
• Press with your palm or the back of your hand
• Squeeze your arms and expand your chest

Points to Note

• Keep your own head tight to theirs
• Don't leave your second arm straight out
• If you do, they can armbar you

^ Triangle From Guard [Blog Label]

• They have one arm in, one arm out
• Raise your hips and kick a leg up by their neck
• Wrap that leg around the back of their neck
• Immediately lock your other leg over that ankle
• Pull your shin down if it isn't on their neck
• You may need to shuffle back on your shoulders
• Push their trapped arm across your body
• Move your torso to a perpendicular angle
• Lift your hips and squeeze with your legs
• Pull on their head if they aren't tapping

Points to Note

• Maintain a hold of their head, or grab your shin
• Try underhooking their free arm for control
• You can also switch to an armbar or omoplata

ESCAPES

^ Armbar Escape [Blog Label]

• Grab the bicep of your free arm
• With your free arm, grip fabric by their knee
• Or better, grip behind their knee
• Stand up, knee by their head, foot by their tailbone
• Stack them
• Gradually jerk your trapped arm out
• Press your weight down
• Sprawl and move round
• Slide into side control

Points to Note

• Time your grab carefully
• Keep your weight pressed down to pass
• Try to trap their leg with your head and arm

Video (Dave Camarillo)




^ Half Guard Escape (1) [Blog Label]

• Grab behind their head and upper arm
• Drive your shoulder into their face
• Push on their shoulder and get the underhook
• Put the elbow of your free arm against their head
• Shift your base to get your trapped foot flat on the floor
• Wrap up their free arm and push it into their cheek
• Post on a knee
• Free your foot

Points to Note

• Your free foot should be perpendicular to their body
• Keep your weight pressed down



^ Half Guard Escape (2) [Blog Label]

• Grab behind their head and upper arm
• Drive your shoulder into their face
• Push on their shoulder and get the underhook
• Put the elbow of your free arm against their head
• Push your knee down
• Use your other leg to push against their knee
• Free your leg

Points to Note

• Keep your weight pressed down

Video (Anselmo Baldin)




^ Mount Escape (Upa) [Blog Label]

• Isolate an arm
• Trap the same side leg with your foot
• Raise your hips up
• Twist to the side
• Drive your elbow into their stomach
• At the same time, roll over on your shoulder
• Come up in their guard

Points to Note

• Pick your moment carefully to conserve energy
• A common set-up for this is when they attempt a choke

Video (Rowan Cunningham)




^ Mount Escape (Shrimp) [Blog Label]

• Straighten one leg, flat on the floor
• Use an elbow to push out their inner thigh
• Use that space to shrimp out
• Bring your knee up and past their's
• Grab an arm to prevent them readjusting
• Shrimp out in the opposite direction
• Repeat until you are in position to recover guard

Points to Note

• Keep your elbows into their thighs, or they'll get high mount
• To shrimp, push your hips back: don't just straighten your legs

Video (Rowan Cunningham)




^ Side Control Escape (Knees) [Blog Label]

• Get one arm into their neck
• The other forearm digs into their ribs
• Use that to make space and bridge them at an angle
• Shrimp out
• Bring your near arm around and grab the back of their gi
• Come to your knees
• Grab round the back of their near knee
• Drive your head into their far side
• Push with your legs and head towards the near side
• Move into side control

Points to Note

• There are two bridging options: for power, use both feet
• Or, off one foot, with the other knee ready by their side
• Can also use the space from bridging to recover guard
• Make sure you clear their leg on your way down

Video (Rowan Cunningham demonstrates the first part)




^ Side Control Escape (Shrimp) [Blog Label]

• Bridge into your opponent
• Your forearms brace against their neck and ribs
• Use the space to shrimp out to one side
• If necessary, then shrimp to the other side
• Keep shrimping until you can get a knee through
• You may need to shrimp yet again
• Recover guard

Points to Note

• Once a knee is through, use your other foot to trap their leg

Video (Anselmo Baldin demonstrates 1 and 2)





^ Triangle Escape [Blog Label]

• Grip their knee with both hands
• Drive it to the floor
• Come up on your legs, bum in the air
• Hold their knee in place
• Push forward, leading with a shoulder
• Break open their legs, slip your other arm in
• Immediately shift to grabbing both legs

Points to Note

• If they grab your hand, often going for kimura/triangle
• Once you grip round both legs, you're set for a stack pass
• Be careful of getting armbarred as you escape



KIMURA

^ Kimura from Guard [Blog Label]

• Raise up to one side
• Grab their wrist
• Bring the other hand under their elbow
• Grip the wrist of your first hand
• Pull them in towards you
• Shrimp out to the side
• Bring your leg over their back to push them down
• Using their elbow as a fulcrum, push for the submission

Points to Note

• Good to try after a failed sit-up sweep
• Also worth attempting any time they post an arm
• When you break their posture, drive their head to the floor
• Grip the lower part of the arm, then slip into position
• Pull their arm in tight to your shoulder
• Your hold should be thumb on top
• Note that they may try to grab onto a gi or a belt to resist

Video (Rowan Cunningham)




PASSES

^ Twisting Guard Break [Blog Label]

• Grab both collars with one hand, keeping your elbow back
• Press your other hand firmly into their same side hip
• Put your collar grip side foot really tight to their hip
• Angle your knee inwards to increase the pressure
• Stand up with your other foot
• As you stand, twist, ending up in a sort of horse stance
• If that doesn't open their legs, push on their knee

Points to Note

• You can pop your hips back for some extra leverage
• If they grab your collar, step your leg to that hip and continue
• Maintain good posture: don't let them pull you forward
• Can slide the arm back to push their knee as you stand


^ Leg Pin Pass [Blog Label]

• Open their guard, keeping hold of one leg
• Drive their other leg to the floor
• Drop your shin across their thigh
• Grab behind their head
• Swing your free leg behind you
• Switch your base
• Move into side control

Points to Note

• Control the other leg to avoid half-guard
• Aim to get your shoulder right in their face
• Keep their shin secured until you switch base

Video (No-gi variation by Rowan Cunningham)




^ Stack Pass [Blog Label]

• Slide both arms underneath their legs
• Bring your hands round and gable grip
• Pull them in and onto your knees
• Stack them, pressing down hard
• Aim to get their knee right into their face
• Grab their collar on the side you want to pass
• Move round whilst maintaining pressure
• Lift their hips
• Push through into side control

Points to Note

• Keep your weight right down
• Avoid lifting your head and giving them space as you transition
• Stay on your toes as you pass, knees off the ground



POSITIONAL

^ Side Control to Mount (1) [Blog Label]

• Grip underneath their head and arm
• Dig your shoulder into their face
• Move sideways towards their head
• Having made space, drive your knee into their belly
• Push your knee across and towards the ground
• At the same time, raise up their trapped elbow
• Continue until you get to mount

Points to Note

• Keep your weight pressed down
• Aim to turn their head to the side



^ Side Control to Mount (2)

• Bring your arm from underneath their head
• Drive your elbow into the opposite side
• Switch base, so you're looking towards their knees
• Get your hips to the floor
• Make space by pushing back
• Grab their leg
• Swing round into mount

Points to Note

• Keep your weight pressed down
• Use your leg to overhook and remove any blocking arm
• If you can't directly swing your leg over, grab your foot
• As you pass, secure your foot by their thigh to stop half guard



SWEEPS

^ Ankle Grab [Blog Label]

• Grab behind their ankles
• Open your guard and drop your hips
• Thrust your hips up and forwards
• Use their falling momentum to come up into mount

Points to Note

• For safety reasons, grab outside their feet, not inside
• Make sure to follow them as they fall back

Video (Rowan Cunningham)



^ Flower Sweep [Blog Label]

• Grab their same side arm
• Grip behind their head
• Post your same side leg on their hip
• Swivel to the other side
• Head arm grabs behind their knee
• Bring one leg up into their armpit
• Point the other leg directly away from them
• Push with the first leg and pull on their knee
• At the same time, drag their arm
• Draw the second leg back in
• Roll into mount

Points to Note

• Can pull them forward to make space for grabbing the knee
• If they free their arm, underhook and trap by their head
• If they get an arm to your neck, push on the elbow and trap
• May take a few bounces to roll them over
• A variation of this sweep applies to when they stand
• Another variation doesn't include grabbing behind the knee
• Alternately, can try it from the armbar setup

Video (Rowan Cunningham)




^ Half Guard Sweep [Blog Label]

• Make space by pushing up with your shoulder
• Get the underhook
• Shrimp to the same side
• Come up on your elbow
• Roll to the same side

Points to Note

• Be sure you have enough space before you shrimp

Video (Variation by Willyboy)




^ Half Guard Sweep (2) [Blog Label]

• Get an underhook
• Shrimp out
• Reach behind their gi
• Slip down to their leg
• Grab hold of their ankle
• Pull it to their bum
• Switch hands and grab their toes
• Bring your leg over, rise up
• Use your free hand to grip their knee
• Get your own knee free
• Roll them over

Points to Note

• Make sure they haven't got their knee past
• Get low on their body to faciliate grabbing their ankle



^ Half Guard Sweep (3) [Blog Label]

• Get an underhook
• Shrimp out
• Underhook their lower leg
• Wrap your arm round and grip your own collar
• Secure their arm into your side
• Roll them over

Points to Note

• They need to step forward first for this to work



^ Push Sweep [Blog Label]

• Grab their opposite collar
• Grip above the elbow on the same side arm
• Post a foot, rise up on your elbow
• Shrimp away from the arm you're holding
• Put your shin into their stomach
• Hook your foot round their side
• Put your other foot
• Pull them towards you, sit up
• Push on the collar, pull on their sleeve
• At the same time, push with your shin
• Also at the same time, drive their knee back and out
• Roll over into mount

Points to Note

• Make certain you've got plenty of space to shrimp
• Aim to pull them in high, getting their weight off the floor
• Push on the inside of their knee
• Keep hold as you sweep to faciliate mount



^ Scissor Sweep [Blog Label]

• Grab their opposite collar
• Grip above the elbow on the same side arm
• Post a foot, rise up on your elbow
• Shrimp away from the arm you're holding
• Put your shin into their stomach
• Hook your foot round their side
• Drop your other leg down next to them
• Pull them towards you, sit up
• Push on the collar, pull on their sleeve
• At the same time, push with your shin
• Also at the same time, chop their leg with yours
• Roll over into mount

Points to Note

• Make certain you've got plenty of space to shrimp
• Aim to pull them in high, getting their weight off the floor
• Chop right through with your leg
• Keep hold as you sweep to faciliate mount
• If you mess up, try a Push Sweep instead

Video (Rowan Cunningham)




^ Sit-Up Sweep [Blog Label]

• Open your guard
• Come up on one hand, or an elbow
• Reach over their opposite shoulder
• Grab their upper arm
• Bring it tight to your stomach
• At the same time, bring your leg right over
• Drive with your hips, swivel in place
• Roll into mount

Points to Note

• Good sweep to try if they're leaning back
• Alternately, bump them forward so they give you an arm
• Go for a kimura if you mess up

Video (Rowan Cunningham)




^ Sources: Anselmo Baldin, Rowan Cunningham, Don Daly & Aaron Fruitstone, RGA, Ryron & Rener Gracie, David Thomas

5 comments:

Gir said...

I just started BJJ (Sylvio Behring self-defense) about half a year ago. I’m about 8-10 inches shorter than everyone else and since I’m also only one of two girls in the class (and the other has her black belt in another art), I had a lot of trouble keeping grips in the collar, on the sleeve, whatever. Trouble as in my opponent didn’t even have to use technique at all. I still have occasional trouble with it, but I can keep a decent grip in my opponent’s collar even if they are that much bigger than me. I’m saying all this because it’s counter-intuitive and can mean tapping or jamming a finger or two if you use it incorrectly, but I still think it’s worth learning and that it would be good to put up. I’ve only ever hear it called ‘iron-grip.’ I don’t know if you’ve hear it under that name. I’ve heard different terms for the same thing within one style so if you haven’t I'll try my best to explain.

P.S. I think that this blog is amazing and it's helped me put a lot of things together. Thank you very much. :3

slideyfoot said...

Thanks for the kind words: glad the blog has been of use to you!

If you haven't already, take a look at the entry on female BJJ in the FAQ, and also be sure to check out BJJ Grrl's awesome resource page for women.

In terms of grips, I'd be interested to hear it. Grips aren't something I've given much thought to, although I did have some good advice from purple belt Simon Gill when I was at Nova Força. He recommended this grip.

Personally, I like to get an overhook, reaching through for their collar: if I can secure it, saves bashing up my fingers quite so much, and has loads of attacking options (cross choke, triangle, armbar, omoplata, etc).

Last month, David Onuma put up a cool vid featuring a different configuration, but again with multiple attacks.

Gir said...

I did read your entry on female BJJ and I think it's great advice to join a stand-up art to complement BJJ. I actually did the opposite. Join BJJ to complement my stand-up.

Back to the grips, the one Simon Gill told you about was a different one then what I'm talking about. I use the one he’s talking about all the time as well and it’s a really good grip. The grip I'm talking about actually has the thumb on the inside, which is why it doesn't work all the time.

Anyways, the first step is to start out with four fingers inside their gi and the thumb outside. Place your thumb over their lapel so it makes half of an x on your palm. Move your hand in the same direction your thumb is pointing while you’re doing this. Then curl your four fingers over your thumb, gripping their lapel. Move your hand in the same direction your fingers are pointing while you’re doing this.

If your opponent can reach your hand, it's really easy for them to do the small joint manipulation, but it doesn't take nearly as much effort to have a grip that's just as strong. It's one of those things that you have to know when to use it. It was the grip on the tag that really gave me trouble and it’s perfect for that so that’s really why I think it’s so great. Plus there’s really a time to use every grip. The only reason I haven’t broken my thumb a million times is because they actually bend to my wrist. For someone who doesn’t bend like that, this becomes a bit of an issue. Because of this and how important grips and hooks can be to posture and how important posture is, I think a mini-section on those would be a good thing (if you don’t mind me saying so).

slideyfoot said...

Cool - thanks for that!

This page is basically just a way for me to summarise techniques I've seen in class, so I don't have to type them out over and over when I'm shown the same technique more than once.

So, if I ever get shown some grips, the kind of mini-section you're suggesting does sound like a good plan. I could add that overhook grip, for example.

I need to do a big update of this page at some point anyway, as it's still a bit sparse. Of course, I've been saying that for months now. ;)

Gir said...

Hey. It's nowhere near as sparse as my jiujitsu is. Besides, I think everyone with a blog and a life leaves the blog pretty neglected. :3