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Can't Get A Grip?

Can't Get A Grip?


Have you ever encountered someone with grips so secure it feels like they somehow super glued themselves to you? It can be so frustrating! Where a Jiu Jitsu match begins is different according to who you ask, but the majority of people completely forget about the grip fight. Giving up the initial grip advantage can be detrimental, so learning how to quickly grasp and hold tightly allows a grappler to start with an advantage and opens up so many more positions both standing and on the ground. Strength is not the biggest factor here; Understanding the where, when, why and how to grip can provide you with the ability to grip smart and use less energy. 

Travis stevens is a grip master, and can guide you through the different types of holds as well as when to use them. Certain positions call for certain hand placement to set up for ideal passes, sweeps or submissions. Once you separate these concepts from other techniques and start to think of them as their own skill to master you will be more functional in grip fights and hand placement throughout the entire grappling match. Grips can be broken up into two very broad categories, guiding grips and control grips (learn more in Judo Gripping Systems For BJJ by Fernando Yamasaki). 

An example of a guiding grip is the C Grip; which is used to set up a reaction or panic response by moving your partner’s hands around. The best application for these grips is during scrambles, quick escapes or when performing non engaged counter attacks. They are not good applications for a holding grip; instead, they are best used in a moving setup such as going for an arm drag or guillotine. 

Alternatively, a grip that can be categorized as a holding or control grip is the cross collar grip. This hold is very effective and can be performed both at a slower speed to set up immediate attack options, or in a quick snatch motion to get your opponent off balance. Using a cross collar grip slowly is a great way to induce concern in your partner, causing them to start to hunt for defensive moves and abandon offense. In this situation, your grip should go high up their lapel, with your wrist touching their shoulder and your forearm framing across their chest.

Judo AND BJJ Black Belt Travis Stevens can get your girp game sorted out! Click Learn More!


Keeping this position will disallow a back attack and any other movement circling around your body, since your elbow will be blocking them. Consequently, you will be able to search for ankle picks, double legs or arm drags. In order to use a cross collar grip quickly, you will grab the same area of the lapel but your elbow will be raised and the wrist will be near the neck. A high elbow here will help block their vision of your attack, and also set you up for a quick snatch up to pull your partner off balance. Once they are off kilter you will be set up your sweep. If you opt for this version, make sure to remember the high elbow! Don’t allow your opponent to grip your arm around the elbow before you are able to perform the snatch motion, or the element of surprise will be lost and they end up in a more dominant position. 

Understanding the techniques of grips and when to apply them is a huge aspect of becoming better at being able to use them effectively, the other is grip strength. How do we get our hands used to the pressure and tactile motion of holding onto fabric?

Ready To get SCIENTIFIC with your Grips? Click Learn More!


There are a few ways to enable you to perform precise grip movements without much effort. Initially, learning how to work your fingers as individual units is incredibly beneficial. Instead of using your entire hand as one hook, practice being able to work your hands into small spaces by almost walking your fingers through the holes. This motion can be helpful when trying to get an underhook on someone with tight elbows, or attempting to set up your frames. You can gain hand strength in a very common position in Jiu Jitsu; practice having your partner sit with your forearm between their hamstrings and calf while you open and close your fist. This motion will help establish stronger hand grips due to being used to opening and closing in the presence of pressure, which is bound to happen in grappling! Check also The Effective Pressure Passing System by Celso Venicius.

Try working these concepts and skills into your grappling and drilling and frustrate your partners with your master grip strength! 

Scientific Gripping Systems For Jiu Jitsu by Travis Stevens

Gripping can MAKE or BREAK you. Travis Stevens has a Scientific approach to Gripping that can totally revitalize your game. Win the first exchange by Winning the Grip Battle! With Scientific Gripping Gripping Systems For Jiu-Jitsu By Travis Stevens You’ll Gripping like a champ in NO TIME!



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