BJJ doesn’t mess around and it’s important to make sure that finding your way to the floor is always a priority. BJJ uses takedowns, submissions, and grappling to make that happen. There are many different types and varieties of these skills, so here are some of the fundamentals that you can always use - newbie or BJJ vet. Along with strength, mobility, and mental toughness, making sure that your technique is on point is the point. It’s time to get strategic and learn about different takedowns, submissions and grappling.
Take Down Techniques
In the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the importance of getting good at a handful of different types of takedown is crucial to the level of success. Takedowns require both physical and mental strength. To be honest.
Double Leg Take-Down
You’ve gotta hit the double leg take-down hard. It’s a highly technical maneuver - be warned. It is important to have the confidence to take your opponent to the mat. If you find yourself in a turtle position bottom with a grip, this is a great move. Double Leg is also perhaps known as the King of Take-Downs and as one of the most reliable techniques in grappling martial arts in general. When done correctly, you can see a high return on the low risk move. Key phrase: when done correctly. Be mindful that this technique takes years to master and that it’s not a football tackle, either.
Make sure to focus on good posture, chest and shoulder penetration, and the position of the lead leg. Takedowns require power and that once you shoot, there is no going back. Make sure you’re committed before executing this move.
Ankle Pinch Takedown
The Ankle Pinch Takedown is probably one of the most effective techniques that has been adapted to BJJ. It is a relatively simple technique and is often taught to beginner BJJ athletes. This takedown is executed by pushing the opponent’s head over one of his knees, making the leg immobile. Since the leg is unable to move or at least it is very difficult to move the leg, the takedown can be completed by stepping in to block the target foot before reaching down to grab the ankle. Next move is to lift the foot into the air, causing the opponent to fall.
O-Goshi Hip Throw
More or less translated to “big hip throw”, O-Goshi is one of the first techniques taught to those just starting their BJJ journey. It is one of the best BJJ techniques to prioritize when first learning to help build good habits and understanding. There are a whole slew of ways to initiate this taken down, but it is completed by pulling the opponent up and onto your hips, and then pulling your opponent over. The BJJ takedown technique is all about the mechanical movement of making the throw. It is a great way to learn about balance and control. Eliminate the need for the “big slam”. This takedown doesn’t require one.
Submission techniques are vital to your overall BJJ technique toolkit that can range from beginner to advanced in technique / expertise level. Please remember that BJJ submission techniques should only be practiced with the supervision of a trained professor to ensure that proper technique is utilized and prevent injury. Submissions are used mainly to control one’s opponent. Just how many submissions are there in BJJ? Not entirely sure - a lot is probably a good place to start. Plus, they have some fun names, too. It is also important to keep in mind that not all submissions are equal in their effectiveness.
Notoriously known as one of the most versatile BJJ submissions because it can be hit from so many different positions (guard, side mount, back control, north south, mount, - pretty much anywhere!). It is a basic technique, but keep in mind that its versatility adds layers of difficulty that perhaps weren’t expected. The armbar is usually used to end a match and force the opponent to tap out. It is a lock that works by hyperextending the elbow joint.
Want to talk about iconic? That’s the triangle choke. The Triangle Choke is one of the most iconic submission holds. It is usually seen used from the guard but it still is versatile (don’t worry!). The attacker wraps their legs around the opponent’s neck, usually leaving one of the opponent’s target arms inside this “leg wrap” and the other arm out. The pressure of the thigh across the neck then causes blow flow to be disrupted leading the opponent to tap out. The triangle choke has been used as a BJJ technique since the very beginning.
The Kimura lock or the double wristlock, or chicken wing is a BJJ submission technique that relies on isolating the shoulder and elbow joints by using a double wrist grip, allowing the attacker to apply leverage against both of these joints. The Kimura can be applied from a number of different positions and can be used as a method of sweeping and controlling one’s opponent. The painful pressure on the opponent’s shoulder makes it difficult to escape.
Grappling & Ground Fighting Position Techniques
There are endless BJJ techniques and variations on positions in BJJ. In order to have a necessary base for grappling, there are some positions that are critical to know to build a solid foundation.
Guard is such an important concept in grappling and it has so many variations that it can be difficult to figure out which one to use. The guard positions range from closed guard, open guard, half guard, butterfly, X guard and more to be learned at another time. Closed guard is often the first type of guard that a BJJ beginner or white belt will learn. The opponent is locked in between the attacker's legs, with the attacker’s feet crossed behind their back. It is a good place to set up a sweep or submission while breaking down the opponent’s posture. Remember that there is no single superior method of guard and that not all guards are created equal for every environment.
The Mount is a powerful and complex position that needs to be properly understood in order to be utilized for its full potential. Sometimes, the mount can be seen as overrated but once reaching a more advanced level of BJJ, the mount makes more sense. The technical mount is usually used as a counter BJJ technique that allows maintaining a reasonably good attacking position with the opponent on their side.
It’s simple - the headlock is a grappling control technique that is always available and extremely effective. It requires the opponent to have an incredible defensive reaction. Please be mindful that this headlock is the stereotypical headlock seen when someone is giving another person a noogie - it’s the real deal. Headlock escapes become deeply ingrained in any BJJ athlete. The headlock is gaining control of the opponent’s head and neck, making breathing and concentration more difficult. It is great to use when the biggest goal is to gain control or to tire out the opponent.
Are you ready to keep learning?
At TBC, we offer the best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) classes in San Diego. We have a full understanding of the power and stamina of grasping flexibility, core strength, grappling, and advancing your mental game. Jiu-Jitsu combines combat arts, strength training, and self-defense into one. Our classes are designed to give white belts a new place to learn and those who are on a winning streak a place to keep learning. Learn from the best with our award-winning coaches that pride themselves on bringing the most valuable instruction to students. Learning BJJ is practical, fun, and a great skill to have.
October 15, 2020