All the Basic BJJ Positions and Techniques a Beginner Needs to Know

Your first few months in BJJ can be quite confusing and frustrating, as you quickly learn that even the much smaller blue (and even) belts can easily get you to the ground and choke you out cold.  There is just so much to take in! This is why the instructors at the ICC take special care to teach beginners the fundamentals and make sure they master the most efficient techniques as soon as possible.

So, what are the basic BJJ positions and techniques that every beginner has to learn to become an effective grappler? Keep reading to find out.

1. Double Leg Takedown

It’s easy to forget that all fights start standing up when you get caught up in ground work, but every beginner needs to have this highly effective takedown in their arsenal.

2. The Mount

The mount is a dominant position, and one from which you can work towards a variety of submissions, or end the fight with strikes in an MMA or self defence context. You should work on maintaining this position and setting up different moves from it.

3. The Guard

This is your primary base of defence when an opponent gets the better of you in the initial seconds of an altercation and you can’t control how things go to the ground, which is why it is incredibly important. There are a number of escapes and interesting transitions into attacks from this position, so it’s a good idea to get comfortable working from it.

4. Side Control

A versatile position that allows you to transition to full mount, work on different submissions, or get into position to deliver potent strikes. You’ll often end up here during transitions, or in MMA style bouts, so make sure you are comfortable in this position.

5. Bridging

An important concept in in grappling arts from wrestling to BJJ, bridging allows you to create space, put your opponent off balance and work towards escaping from the bottom. It should be drilled religiously, as it is one of the core moves that everyone uses in BJJ.

6. Hip escape

Often used in combination with bridging in an escape that some like to call shrimping, the hip escape is another one of those fundamental BJJ moves on which you can later build a solid ground game. Make sure you practice it over and over, and on opponents of different body types and sizes.

7. Guillotine and Headlock Escapes

As any self defence professional will tell you, headlocks and guillotine chokes are the most common grappling techniques you will encounter on the streets and schoolyards of this great city. This is why it is important to learn how to effectively escape headlocks, both standing and on the ground.

8. Standing Guard Pass

Since we’ve covered the defensive side of things, it’s time to look at passing the opponent’s guard when you are in top position. The standing guard pass is a relatively intuitive move that works well for both bigger and smaller people, which is why most BJJ Sydney based gyms will have their white belts focus on it.

9. Over-Under Guard Pass

The over-under is a staple move in BJJ and a good way to move into a more advantageous position and start working on your submissions. It is a highly effective technique when done right, and it is commonly used by everyone from beginners to high level competitors.

10. Cross Collar Choke

Moving on to attacks, the cross collar choke is one of the first things you should learn as a BJJ beginner, as it can be used from the bottom or the top, on the ground or standing. It is also a good self defence technique, as it allows a much smaller person to quickly choke out a much larger assailant, even from a disadvantageous position.

11. Rear Naked Choke

The go-to move for grapplers and MMA fighters alike, the rear naked choke is a highly versatile, high percentage move that ends fights quickly. It is also a favorite of doormen working in clubs and bars, which is a testament to its effectiveness as a self-defense technique – a lot of people can take hard punches and keep coming, but everyone can be choked out by a quick and tight rear naked choke.

12. Triangle Choke from Guard

This is the move that has turned the tides in many MMA fights and it has rightfully earned its place as one of the most effective fight stoppers out there. It is also quite comforting for a beginner to know that they have a powerful weapon at their disposal, even when the opponent is bearing down on them from top position and raining punches, like we saw in the first Silva vs Sonnen fight.

13. Straight Armbar

Give our BJJ program a go and experience the improvements to all of these fields. It is considered to be an excellent first style where the skills are easily transferable.

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