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3 Basic Techniques That Will Help Improve Your Game

3 Basic Techniques That Will Help Improve Your Game


The foundation of a great grappler comes from his knowledge and mastery of basic principles and fundamentals. In your early years of jiu jitsu this is where most of your time will be spent. New students are often eager to move onto more advanced techniques. But students who have mastered the art of grappling will spend their entire careers training fundamental techniques. Why? Simple. Because they work. For example, closed guard is one of the most fundamental you could possibly learn. But it is such a common position that you will almost always face it in a roll, and spend many years learning its concepts.

There is a science to escaping bad positions in jiu jitsu. If you don't have the tools or the concepts to escape, you will waste all your energy and not get anywhere.


Other fundamentals such as sweeps, chokes, guard passing, side control, mount, hip escapes, half guard, open guard, and grips are easy to learn and hard to master. Having mastery of simple principles like how to grip a collar can be the minute details that determine whether a match is won or lost. There are many fundamentals and concepts that will change your game, and lead developing more advanced techniques. Black bet level martial artists and competitors will devote a large percentage training, focusing, and teaching very basic concepts, such as creating angles, escaping hips, tucking elbows, and the importance of maintaining contact. When listening to an experienced grappler explaining more advanced techniques, they will often use these concepts to break down the fundamental movement patterns.

So wherever you are in your BJJ journey, why not take a step back and focus on the basics? It will definitely improve your game. Today we are going to look at 3 basic techniques that every grappler should focus on. We will be instructed by 5 Time World Champion, Bernarda Faria. Bernardo Faria has now taken on the mission to share some of the lessons, techniques, experiences and more that he has learned along in his 16 years and counting as a BJJ student, teacher and world class competitor.

Let’s get started! Here are 3 basic techniques that will help improve your game.

#1: The omoplata

The omoplata is a shoulder lock technique in which you utilize your own legs and hips to force the shoulder joint of your opponent to extend past its natural degree of motion. The omoplata is widely used in competition since the early 1990’s as it has a high level of efficacy. It is a highly versatile submission that can be hit from a many different positions. The omoplata continues to evolve even to this day. Check out the video below and then we will break down Bernardo Faria’s technique for hitting the omoplata.

One of the most important details Bernardo gives us is his foot placement and how he lifts his hip. Pay attention to the way Faria places one foot on his opponent’s shoulder and lifts his hip incredibly high in to the air. Doing this allows him to break down his opponent’s posture and create the angle needed to get in to the omoplata position. Bernardo starts out using an under hook on his training partner’s leg while maintaining sleeve control. Grab your training partner’s belt to prevent your training partner from rolling. From here it only takes straightening your legs to flatten your opponent but placing weight on his shoulder. Ultimately the goal here is to flat your opponent by bringing their chest to the floor.

#2: Knee On Belly Escape

Knee on belly is probably one of the most uncomfortable positions, and one you face all the time. For a beginner, the knee on belly can be demoralizing. I am sure you have been there before: struggling under the immense pressure, trying to get the knee off of you. It is a situation that a lot of BJJ players panic in and end up tapping. So prevent this from happening to you with a proper knee on belly escape. Check out the video below and then we will break down the technique!

The biggest mistake people make when faced against knee on belly is to place their hand on the knee to try and push it away. When you do this you are giving you training partner an easy opportunity to submit you with an arm bar. Another common mistake is when people try to push their training partner’s shoulder. This is very bad technique because it requires a lot of effort with very little pay off. The proper way to escape is to place your forearm, rather than your hand, against your training partner’s knee. This takes away space from your opponent. From here you want to put your other hand on your training partner’s shin and bridge as you transition into deep half. Transitioning into deep half from knee on belly puts you in a much better position to start attacking.

#3: Pull Half Guard

If there is one thing Bernardo Faria is known for it is playing half guard. How you set up the half guard can be crucial to taking an advantage over your opponent. It is often over looked how important this is, but today Bernardo is going to show us how he hits successfully in competition every time! Check it out now!

It is important to remember when pulling guard that you want to end up in the best possible position to start attacking on the ground. You should have control over your opponent’s lapel and arm, there are a few different ways you can establish your grip, but as long as you have both of these you are set. No matter how you set your grips you want to lift one leg and throw yourself underneath your partner. Bernardo pulls his training partner into his half guard, not even giving him a chance to counter with a stack pass or under hook. At this time you are able to work the Z guard, or to go to single leg, or even deep half guard.

Mastery of the basics is what makes guys like Bernardo Faria, Tom DeBlass, Craig Jones, and Cyborg World Champions! You too can have tons of success as long as you focus making your basics as precise as possible.

Bernardo is a 5 time Black Belt World Champion - think about that for a second.. He’s won five.. - America has only ever won two. So it is safe to say that his escapes are very solid. He knows how to get out of anything and pretty much always does.



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