Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a highly technical grappling martial art that involves various positions. Being a grappler, it is crucial to understand the essential BJJ positions and their mechanics.
Regardless of your level, mastering these positions will help you establish control over your opponent and give you a significant advantage during a match.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top five must-know positions in BJJ for grapplers, their significance, and how to execute them correctly. So, let’s dive in!
1) The Guard Position
The Guard Position is one of the most fundamental and widely-used positions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This position involves lying on your back with your legs wrapped around your opponent, trapping them between your thighs.
From here, you have a wide range of attacks and sweeps you can use to control and submit your opponent.
There are two types of guards: the Closed Guard and the Open Guard. In the Closed Guard, you have your opponent tightly wrapped up with your legs and can use your hips to control their posture and movements. This position is ideal for setting up submissions like armbars, triangles, and chokes.
On the other hand, the Open Guard involves creating space between you and your opponent and using your feet and legs to control their movements. The Open Guard allows you to attack with sweeps, leg locks, and submissions from a variety of angles.
To master the Guard Position, it’s important to focus on your hip movements and the positioning of your legs. You also need to learn how to react and counter your opponent’s movements to maintain control.
The Guard Position is an essential part of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and mastering it can open up a world of attacking opportunities.
2) Mount Position
The mount position is one of the most dominant positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It is where the top player straddles the bottom player, placing their hips on the opponent’s torso and legs. This position is often used to transition to submissions or to control the opponent’s movements.
From the mount position, the top player has a variety of attacks they can use to finish the match. These include chokes, armlocks, and shoulder locks. Because of the superior position, the top player can put a lot of pressure on the opponent, making it difficult for them to escape or defend themselves effectively.
To maintain the mount position, the top player should focus on staying balanced and preventing the bottom player from rolling them over.
They can use their hips and legs to maintain control, while also applying pressure to their upper body. It’s important to be patient in this position, as rushing to attack can lead to giving up the mount.
The bottom player’s goal in the mount position is to escape or create space to defend themselves.
They can use hip movement and shrimping techniques to create space and try to escape the position. It’s also important to keep their elbows tucked in to defend against armlocks and chokes.
The mount position is a powerful position that all grapplers must know how to use effectively.
It can lead to numerous submission opportunities and can put the top player in a dominant position to control the match. However, it’s also important to know how to defend and escape from this position, as it can quickly turn into a disadvantage if not properly managed.
3) Back Control
Back control is arguably one of the most dominant positions in BJJ.
This position gives the top grappler full control of their opponent’s back, which opens up a plethora of submission opportunities.
To achieve back control, the top grappler must first secure the back of their opponent.
This can be done by transitioning from another dominant position such as a mount or side control, or by taking advantage of a failed submission attempt by their opponent.
Once the back is secured, the top grappler will often use their legs to “hook” their opponent’s legs, effectively preventing them from escaping or rolling out of the position. They will also use their arms to wrap around their opponent’s neck and shoulders, effectively trapping them in the position.
From here, the top grappler can begin to work on submissions such as the rear naked choke or the collar choke. They can also work on setting up other submissions such as armlocks and triangles.
Back control also gives the top grappler the ability to control their opponent’s movements and transitions. This can be a huge advantage in a competition setting, as it allows the top grappler to dictate the pace and flow of the match.
Back control is a position that all grapplers should be familiar with. It is a position that offers a high degree of control and a multitude of submission opportunities, making it an essential part of any BJJ practitioner’s game.
4) Side Control
Side control is one of the most dominant positions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is commonly used by grapplers of all levels. When you are in side control, you have a lot of control over your opponent’s movements and can apply a wide range of submissions, transitions, and ground-and-pound attacks.
To establish side control, you need to be on top of your opponent and have your torso perpendicular to theirs. You should have your knees on the mat and your hips on top of their ribcage. Your top arm should be wrapped around your head, and your bottom arm should be around their hip or controlling their arm.
From this position, you can apply a wide range of submissions, including the kimura, armbar, Americana, and many others. You can also transition to the mount position or take your opponent’s back.
In addition, you can control your opponent’s movements by shifting your weight and applying pressure with your hips and knees.
One of the main benefits of side control is that it allows you to maintain a dominant position while conserving energy. This is because you can control your opponent’s movements and prevent them from escaping without expending a lot of energy yourself.
Side control is a crucial position for all grapplers to know and understand. It provides a lot of control over your opponent’s movements and can lead to a wide range of submission and transition opportunities. Make sure to practice your side control techniques regularly to master this fundamental position in BJJ.
5) Knee on Belly Position
The knee on belly position is a very dynamic and versatile position that can be used both for offence and defense. In this position, the top grappler places their knee on the belly of the bottom grappler while controlling their upper body with their arms.
From this position, the top grappler has many attacking options available, such as arm bars, chokes, and transitions to other dominant positions. They can also use their weight and leverage to apply pressure to the bottom grappler, making it difficult for them to escape or counter.
However, the knee-on-belly position requires a good sense of balance and control, as well as the ability to anticipate the bottom grappler’s movements. The top grappler needs to keep their weight centred and their base stable to avoid being swept or submitted.
On the other hand, the bottom grappler can also use the knee-on-belly position to their advantage by creating space and regaining guard or escaping to another position. They can use their hips to shrimp or bridge and create enough space to move their hips and legs, making it difficult for the top grappler to maintain control.
The knee on belly position is a great addition to any grappler’s arsenal, whether you prefer offensive or defensive strategies. By mastering this position, you can become a more well-rounded and effective grappler.
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