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Fireman’s Carry aka Kata Guruma For BJJ

Fireman’s Carry aka Kata Guruma For BJJ


Kata Guruma aka Fireman's Carry For BJJ Overview

The Fireman's Carry is a great takedown for BJJ fighters. Adapted from Wrestling and Judo (Kata Guruma), the fireman's carry works great for gi and no gi. The use of the lapel creates a lot of opportunities for the fireman's carry during gi base competition, and you see many BJJ competitors use variations of this technique.

There are some take downs that BJJ people say won’t work. Some of those people get the idea that those techniques will only work in other competitions such as Sambo or Judo. But that is ignorance. Every single Judo throw can be adapted for BJJ use. But to many BJJ practitioners have a superiority complex, where they won’t admit that another grappling art can be effective along with Jiu Jitsu. One of those techniques that gets scoffed at far too often is the kata guruma, or better known in the US as the fireman’s carry. The fireman’s carry is a take down that is fast and furious and will put an opponent on his back in an instant. Let’s see how Judo legend, Jimmy Pedro shows the fireman’s carry for BJJ use.

Get the step & the correct grips

For the fireman’s carry, you will start with the standard lapel and wrist grabs. It is so that you can somewhat mask what this technique will be. As you see, Jimmy has the right wrist grabbed and his left hand is grabbing the lapel. He will pull his opponent to make him step, and when he does step, he will switch a grip. His left hand will leave the lapel and will reach over the opponent’s arm, grabbing the gi high up on the tricep. This will be for optimal control.

Drop under & lift

So once you have the correct grips, you will be able to move to further the take down. You will almost do a motion similar to a shot as you drop your weight all the way under the opponent’s center of gravity. Your grip on the tricep is still strong and you must use your right hand to grab the opponent’s near side leg while you pull down the tricep. From there, you need to look up and lift him off of the ground. The opponent’s legs should be off of the mat.

Stand up & somersault

When the opponent is no longer touching the mat, it is time to finish. Post one of your legs strong and use that post to stand up. Once you’ve stood up, you need to somersault. This will put a ton of weight on the opponent’s mid section and can definitely knock the wind out of him. You can then either stand up and re-engage or you can turn inward and most likely get side control.

The fireman’s carry is a take down that needs to be drilled slow to start, then fast and then used fast in rolling. If you try to use this in a slow manner in rolling, you could get caught in a crucifix. So when you’re going to use it, use it with authority. Got it? Now if you want to improve your Judo take down skills then you must check out…

Judo style throws are highly effective techniques to be practice and then use in BJJ and other styles of grappling such as submission wrestling. They give you alternative ways of getting your opponent to the ground that is not of the regular variety.


You know who's really good at Judo... Travis Stevens, Judo Olympic Silver Medalist. His coach is Jimmy Pedro, Judo Olympic Bronze Medalist and coach of the USA Olympic team. They've got an incredible DVD / On Demand Series called The Takedown Blueprint. This series is the MUST have takedown series for the modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor. Not only are you going to learn the best judo throws for jiu jitsu, but you're also going to learn the gripping patterns and system that both Travis and Jimmy have used to become some of the best Judo fighters in the world.

Here is a quick summary of what you will learn in the Takedown Blueprint with Travis Stevens and Jimmy Pedro.

  • Osoto Gari – Outer Reaping Throw – One of the first throws every grappler needs to know. It is a powerful judo throw to use against an opponent leaning or pulling backwards while you trip them backwards
  • Knee Osoto Gari – This one is slick!! We've never seen it before and it's guranteed to catch your BJJ training partners of competitors. This is great for people who like to throw to the opposite side of the traditional osoto gari.
  • Drop Seoi Nage – The drop seoi nage is a favorite of many BJJ athletes include João. It's surprisingly low risk, and very powerful. The challenge is in the grip.
  • Ippon Seoi Nage – Very similar to the drop seoi nage, but with the arm. Again, a low risk throw, unless you don't know how to stop your opponent from getting the back. Don't worry Travis will break it down for you.
  • Tomoe Nage – This is one of the favorites of many guard players. If the throw doesn't work, you'll end up in the guard. But, the insights Travis demonstrates will have your opponents THINK you're pulling guard, but instead you're taking them for the ride of their life.
  • Tai Otoshi – The tai otoshi is one of the most powerful throws in judo. It suits those with longer legs, but we find it to be one of the most rewarding judo throws due to the sound people make when they hit the mats.
  • One Handed Tai Otoshi – A Travis Stevens speciality that is a very cool way to do the Tai Otoshi throw, but will catch most jiu jitsu guys sleeping.
  • Ouchi Gari – Inner reap – The ouchi gari is great for BJJ, No gi grappling and MMA. It is relatively safe, and can produce high rewards. Just be careful not to get scissor swept when you finish.
  • Sumi Gaeshi – This is a similar "feel" to the Tomoe Nage since it is another sacrafice throw. This is a GREAT counter to leg attacks from wrestlers or aggressive newbs.
  • Fireman’s Carry – One of the coolest throws in judo / all grappling arts where your opponent is over your shoulders. Their set up for the fireman's carry is beautiful and will definitely put your opponent's ass on the mats.
  • AND MORE - including how to use Judo against aggressive wrestlers.

Take your throwing game for jiu jitsu to new levels by learning from two of the greatest takedown marital artists who have ever lived.




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