Basic Jiu-Jitsu Positions You Need To Master: 13 Important Techniques

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What are the positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, one of the most fundamental pillars of the sport is a strong understanding of different positions. These positions are typically arranged in a loosely hierarchical fashion, with each position building on the one that came before it. At the top of this hierarchy is what’s known as the “mount” position, in which one competitor sits on top of their opponent while they are pinned underneath them. The mount is often regarded as being extremely advantageous, as it allows for greater control over an opponent and more opportunities to transition to other positions.

Fundamental Positions

Rear Mount

The rear mount is the most dominant position from which you can attack your opponent with chokes and submissions while staying out of their reach. In a self-defense situation, the mount allows you to rain down fists or elbows while your weight is heavy upon your opponent’s hips, belly or chest. Positioning is key to maintaining control from the mount; if you are too low on your opponent’s hips, they can bridge to roll you over, but if you are too high, they can sneak out from underneath you. Your opponent will have to work hard to escape the mount. Thus, the mount is a powerful position in both BJJ and self-defense situations.

Back Mount

The position known as back mount is one of the most dominant and powerful positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. When you’re behind your opponent, you have a tremendous amount of control; not only can you hit or choke them, but you can also defend against their possible retaliatory strikes or attacks. What’s more, since your opponent cannot see what is coming at them, it is much easier to launch an effective attack when they are in this vulnerable position. In a self-defense situation, if your adversary tries to punch you, it will be almost impossible for them to reach you due to the proximity and power of back control. Thus, if you find yourself in a dangerous situation with an attacker who is trying to incapacitate or harm you, using back control will give you the advantage that you need to stay safe and escape unscathed.

Side Control

Side control is a highly effective position for controlling your opponent. Whether you are in a sport or self-defense situation, having your hips and shoulders positioned above your opponent’s allows you to exert maximum power and pressure. Additionally, this position enables you to maintain a tight grip on your opponent’s head, which can further hinder their efforts to escape. If needed, it is also relatively easy to transition from side control into other positions that allow for more aggressive attacks such as submissions or strikes. Given its many advantages, it is clear that side control is a powerful position that should not be overlooked by any serious martial artists or self-defense practitioners.

Knee on Belly

The knee on belly is one of the strongest grappling positions, both in terms of control and the ability to transition to other positions. From this position, you can use your knee to push into the opponent’s stomach or chest, targeting vital areas such as the solar plexus. To make this position even more uncomfortable for your opponent, you can pull their clothing near your knee to further force your knee in deeper. This position is ideal for transitioning into the full mount, as it quickly exhausts the opponent and leaves them feeling very uncomfortable. In addition, from knee on belly, you have tremendous mobility, allowing you to easily move around your opponent’s body and strike them from different angles. As such, this position provides a great deal of dominance and control over the opponent, making it an essential part of any grappler’s arsenal.

Closed Guard

From the closed guard, there are a variety of different submissions and sweeps that can be performed. One common submission is the armbar, which can be achieved by wrapping your legs tightly around your opponent’s waist and trapping their arm between your legs. Another submission is the Triangle choke, which can be done by trapping one of your opponent’s arms with your legs and placing your other arm across their throat. For sweeps, a common technique is to use your legs to push your opponent off balance and then sweep them onto their back. A closed guard is a versatile position that can be used to control and submit an opponent.

Open Guard

The open guard is an essential element of Jiu-Jitsu, as it allows practitioners to control and defend against their opponent’s attacks. When the person in closed guard is locked in by their opponent’s legs, the guard becomes “open” and the fight can take on a whole new dynamic. This is a crucial moment in the match, as whoever can initiate successful techniques at this moment will likely gain the upper hand. Whether by sweeping or submitting their opponent, those who can make use of open guard effectively have a significant advantage over their opponents. Thus, mastering open guard is key to becoming a successful grappler. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced fighter, learning how to utilize open guard effectively will elevate your game to the next level. With dedication and practice, anyone can become proficient at utilizing open guard in combat. So go out there and dominate the mats with your skills!

Half Guard

The half guard position is a variation of the closed guard. In the half guard, the person on the mat has only one leg around the opponent, while the opponent has the other leg pinned in between their legs. The person on top has the advantage in this position if they know how to pass or replace effectively and can execute counters better than their opponent. The half guard is a versatile position that can be used to offensive or defensive ends, depending on the skill of the person using it. When used correctly, the half guard can be a powerful tool for controlling an opponent and setting up submissions or sweeps.

Basic Positions

Neutral Position

The neutral position is the most basic grappling position and is used to start many different types of moves. In this position, both fighters are on their knees and are in a position to attack or defend. From the neutral position, competitors can transition into different positions quickly and easily.

Turtle Position

The turtle position is a defensive posture where the fighter rolls on their stomach and uses their arms and legs to protect themselves from attack.

Standing Position

From the standing position, fighters can shoot for takedowns, clinch with their opponent, or use a wide range of different strikes.

More Advanced Positions

Lasso Guard

The lasso guard is a type of guard that uses one of the fighter’s legs to control their opponent. This position can be used to sweep or

Spider Guard

The spider guard is a type of guard that uses the fighter’s legs to control their opponent. This position can be used to sweep or submit an opponent.

Worm Guard

This position can be used to sweep or submit an opponent.

Sitting Guard

The sitting guard is a type of guard used from the bottom position. It allows fighters to use their hips to move and sweep their opponent.

Scarf Hold

In the scarf hold, one fighter has a leg locked in between their opponent’s legs and is using it to control them. This position can be used to sweep or submit an opponent.

Guard Passing

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the goal is to get your opponent into a position where you can submit them. To do this, you need to be able to get past their guard. There are a number of different techniques that can be used for passing the guard, ranging from simple and basic to complex and advanced. The most important thing is to find a method that works for you and practice it until you have perfected it.

Kimura Lock

The kimura lock is a type of armlock that uses your opponent’s own arm to control and submit them. This technique can be difficult to execute and requires a great deal of strength, but with enough practice, it can be used to quickly force an opponent to tap out.

Butterfly Guard

The butterfly guard is a type of position where the fighter uses their legs to control and sweep their opponent. This position requires agility and balance, but it can be a very effective tool for taking down an opponent.

Rear Naked Choke

The rear naked choke is a type of chokehold that uses your opponent’s own guard to control and submit them. This submission hold is one of the most powerful in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and if applied correctly, it can force your opponent to tap out in seconds.

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About the Author

I am a huge fan of both BJJ and MMA. Jiu-jitsu is my biggest passion, and I’ve been training it for more than 5 years. I have recently been promoted to a purple belt. In this blog, I will be giving you tips on how to improve and how to choose the best BJJ equipment! Learn More