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Don't Be An Awkward Turtle!
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Don't Be An Awkward Turtle!

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Turtle position is often a forgotten option in Jiu Jitsu, and is sometimes only thought of as a last resort defense when being attacked.

You can use it for so much more! Today we will cover both defense from turtle and ways to attack someone that is in the turtle position. 

Since turtle is more often thought of as a defensive position, we’ll start with going over ways to actively defend and escape from there. If you find yourself with your opponent getting you into turtle position via taking your back then follow these steps: Rise to a combat base, with the knee closest to them down and your chest facing away from them. Push back and use their body as a pivot point to keep a better balance. 

NEW and IMPROVED Turtle Guard Techniques! Click Learn More below!

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From there, grab your opponents over hand with both of yours and stand up like you would rising out of a wall sit. Duck under the hand that you have a hold on and then continue to your takedown of preference, such as a single leg. You can also use the same starting point and instead of turning away from your opponent after going into combat base, you reach across and grab their tricep with your far hand. With your other hand, grab around their leg and roll to end up on top of them, then continue your escape. 

Another way you can find yourself in a turtle-like position is when someone is catching you in a guillotine. If your opponent is attempting to choke you, then you can go into a turtle position with your chin close and shoulders up toward your ears. Remember to keep your elbows tight in this scenario to avoid other submissions! From there, grab your partners wrists or grips in your preferred fashion and either come to a guard you have a preference for or rise to a standing position. 

Now we will go over two ways you can put someone into turtle position as an attack or offensive move. If you are the person that is now on your opponents back, with them in a very tight turtle position that is hard to break, then you can attempt an ezekiel choke from that position. The concept is that you are not trying to grab at their neck, hands or elbows, but rather their collar to pull them over and onto their back. This is a very useful technique when someone is using turtle as a resting position or you are able to get onto their back but unable to insert any hooks to pull them into a choking position. 

Alternatively, if you prefer to set up a body triangle from turtle that is also a great option. Similar to how we set up the ezekiel choke, you will grab the cross collar while your opponent is 

in a turtle position. Securing this grip will usually end up with them rolling into you so you are able to throw in your hook and close the body triangle. 

Learn From The Best Turtle Player In The Game! Click Learn More below!

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As you can see, turtle isn’t just for when you’ve found yourself between a rock and a hard place during a match, you can use it to your advantage! On that same note, if you are forced into the position by your opponent then it isn’t the end of the road, use these escapes to keep the match going and get back to submission hunting! 

Learn the REVISITED Turtle guard with Eduardo Telles. Check it out here!

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