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Get the Turtle Before the Turtle Gets You
A video surfaced recently of Rafa Mendes instructing at a seminar in Oregon. It’s an outstanding block of material. In the 8 minutes or so of footage Rafa explains in great detail, a very intelligent method of opening up the turtle position to gain control of the back and launches a few slick attacks.
The turtle can be a tough nut to crack so to speak. BJJ greats such as Eduardo Telles have transformed the turtle from a previously more defensive position into functioning more as a position in which to launch attacks from, and with much success. The turtle is becoming more popular and dynamic all the time.
In the video Rafa uses his knee, hips and legs to open the turtle, before committing to an attack or seat belt grip. Often times we’ll see students try to awkwardly place a hook into the space between the elbow and the knee before making any room to do so. This tends to compromise our balance, and aid in our partners ability to make a clean getaway. Beginning with the knee to open the turtle allows us to maintain pressure and keep the space we’ve taken away from our opponent. Once Rafa opens the space between the knee and elbow he uses the power of his hips to further spread the knee and elbow in opposite directions. This sets him up to take the back in a variety of ways, which he then demonstrates, and they are very cool! Take a look at the video here. Enjoy!
Don’t get caught slipping with your turtle game. Gain a fundamental understanding of it’s ins and outs so you can use it to your advantage!
Take a look at Mike Palladino's Killer Turtle Attacks available here at BJJ Fanatics and get those turtle players before they get you!