Your cart
Total: $0.00

BJJ Instructional Videos
John Danaher Leglocks
John Danaher Back Attacks BJJ
Down
Half Guard BJJ Instructional Video
JIU JITSU PRINCIPLES
articles/unnamed_15_441ac6c7-adf1-4cc7-837c-13eff15d8f00.jpg

JIU JITSU PRINCIPLES

,

The art of brazilian jiu jitsu is an extremely complex combat sport that involves a series of techniques that are guided by a number of different concepts. The overall art is a highly intense grappling sport that utilises aspects from Judo and Wrestling, to secure a takedown from the standing position. Once the fight hits the mat practitioners will use a strategic method of positional control to dominate and subdue their opponents. In competition the fight will end with the competitor that has the most points at the end of the time limit, or they can win by securing a submission on their opponent.

What This Article Covers:

ARE YOU A BJJ FANATICS INSIDER? IF NOT, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!

Take a deep dive on one specific skill per month with the top instructors in the BJJ Fanatics family.

With your subscription you’ll get:

  • Private Lesson (Masterclass)
  • Preview of our Upcoming Daily Deals to better plan your purchases
  • Rolling breakdowns & more.

You’ll also get At Home Drills to work on, a Preview of our Upcoming Launches More!

FREE FOR 7 DAYS TRIAL

Learn More

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND PRINCIPLES IN BJJ

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a long and complicated Martial Art, as it can take quite a long time to master the techniques. With such a complicated art it has to be broken down into smaller concepts, making it easier to understand. New students will tend to struggle grasping an initial understanding so bjj terms for beginners is fundamentally important, so they can start to build a good learning pathway. Even higher level practitioners need to break down the learning into smaller principles  this will make it much easier to understand more complicated or advanced movements.

World renowned BJJ and combat coach John Danaher has the prescription to boost your takedown knowledge.  Check it out at BJJFanatics.com!

principles of jiu jitsu

Once a student can learn all the relevant principles involved with BJJ, they will begin to see Jiu Jitsu through a different scope. Techniques will become easier to learn and then the application of those techniques will become more natural, as a student will build up muscle memory. This process of learning will also give a student a greater sense of how to improvise more effectively. At the higher levels of BJJ it becomes more about how to adapt their game style to different game styles that they will encounter. So learning these principles earlier in their journey will give a practitioner a more solid foundation that they can rely upon.

IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES IN BJJ

If a potential student has ever wondered why is brazilian jiu jitsu so effective, it is clearly because the art has a series of high percentage movements involved. There are a multitude of principles involved with grappling that all practitioners need to master. Some of the most important principles are;

Posture - the principle behind posturing is that a practitioner needs to be in a strong and uncompromised position in order to achieve certain moves. If a practitioner can keep their head in line with their spine and keep their back straight it makes it exceedingly hard for their opponent to gain any sort of control. Framing - the bjj philosophy of framing is about conserving energy and increasing leverage by using the body’s frame system rather than the muscles. A practitioner will use forearms, elbows, shins and knees to create space out of an uncomfortable position. Connection - the art of connection is an extremely important concept, as a practitioner must keep in constant connection with their opponent so they can control or predict their opponent's next movements.

Isolation - it is extremely important to secure a certain body part of an opponent, so they can achieve the submission. For example, if a practitioner attacks the triangle too quickly without first securing a strong mix position, they will often find their opponent will use the submission attempt to pass their guard, the same goes for attacking an armbar, if a practitioner does not properly secure the arm first then their opponent will easy stack and pass their guard. Centreline - in this principle it is about taking control of an opponent's centreline, if a practitioner can stay in this position then it is easier to stay safe from submission. It will also make it easier to subdue an opponent and then attack them for a submission. Controlling the centreline makes it easier to stay postured and isolate an opponent's appendages.

Head Control - controlling an opponent's head is one of the most important aspects, as the body goes where the head goes. Head control is important in the stand up game and with many variations of maneuvers from the guard. Redirection - this principle is all about catching an incoming force and using redirection to change the trajectory of the attack. This can be an important element in helping a practitioner achieve a surprising outcome. Changing Angles - this concept is one of the most important, as it involves maneuvering a practitioner's body to increase their chances of achieving their goal. A good example of this in brazilian jiu jitsu terms is having the ability to execute a basic hip shrimp. 

Accepting the Outcome - this is a basic concept and is utilised by most high level practitioners. A practitioner must know when they are losing the battle in the moment, so they can alter their movements to gain the control back. One prime example is when a practitioner attempts to secure a triangle and there is a point where they can let go and achieve the full guard or they risk having their guard passed. The Bait - a high level practitioner will use a series of traps in order to secure a submission or a sweep. This involves tricking their opponent into defending a certain way or moving into a certain position, then the practitioner can execute their planned maneuver. Distance - the principles behind distance are important from both sides, as a practitioner needs to be able to keep distance from certain attacks, but must also be able to close the distance in order to defend or attack.

Falsely Surrendering - this technique is used more comprehensively by women in jiu jitsu and more predominantly in a self defense aspect, and it involves pretending to give up. This will give an attacker a false sense of security as they let their guard down, and open up the opportunity for the practitioner to mount a counter-attack. Momentum - using momentum in a grappling match is how a practitioner can execute maneuvers like a pendulum sweep. It is the act of creating a force of movement with one limb, followed by the other to create a momentum shift. Disengagement - this is another extremely important aspect of the BJJ game, as a practitioner will learn when to disengage from their opponent. This can happen when they realise they are using too much energy squeezing a submission, or simply disengaging from mount to side control 

Breaking the Balance - this concept is important to utilise from the guard. The term is called Kuzushi in Japanese, and the art of disrupting an opponent's balance makes it easier to execute sweeps or submissions. Using Anchors - this principle involves stapling an opponent to the mat, this happens when a practitioner wants to use a knee slide pass and they will use their knee as an anchor to grind their way through the guard. This will also be useful in using a heavy shin to pin an opponent's arm to the mat. Mobility - a practitioner needs to be mobile, this means if they are struggling to move an opponent then being mobile means to move themself instead. All practitioners should be extremely versatile and able to move quickly from a sitting position to an attacking position.

Sacrifice - using this concept a practitioner will often give up a certain position to try an advance in another. A good example of this is when a practitioner has an opponent in a triangle the opponent can throw their arm out in an attempt to convince the attacker to go for an armbar or an omoplata, which can create enough space to escape the triangle and pass the guard. Take Away Their Energy - this is a fundamental principle in BJJ, and it involves using heavy pressure or fast transitions in order to wear down an opponent. The idea is that once an opponent has spent a lot of energy, they will give up positions or submissions easier.

There are a number of other principles in BJJ that have significant importance, as the Gracie clan use a 32 principle guideline in their teachings. All academies have different standards and philosophies, but in essence they all have the same ideology. Many of the principles are the same, with some academies offering slightly different variations.

HOW TO MAXIMISE YOUR BJJ TRAINING

Finding the right mix of training balance becomes significantly more important as a practitioner rises through the ranks. The average hobbyist can basically just float in and out of an academy as they slowly chip away at their progression. A higher level athlete or just a more serious competitor needs to find the right balance in their training, otherwise they can burn out quite easily. Maximising training is extremely important and comes down to a few aspects. Training in a sport that can cater to all people in life is why jiu jitsu is the best Martial Art you will find.

Gi and No Gi - it is extremely important to train in both disciplines of BJJ, as there are benefits from both sides of the art. These benefits are seen not only in a sporting sense, but from a real life self defense situation. Left and Right - always practise movements and techniques on both sides of your body, otherwise a practitioner will become one dimensional. A student that can utilise techniques from both of their dominant and non dominant sides will have a considerable advantage over an opponent that doesn't. Don't Waste Time - make sure to use all your minutes on the mat wisely, as every time you practise a technique a practitioner will get closer to mastering it. Some students will practise a technique with their partner only a couple of times, and then just sit there for 5 minutes waiting for the next technique. If you watch the higher belts they don't waste a second, and that is because they know every second counts in the grand scheme of BJJ.

Don't be Shy - when it comes time to roll don't sit on the sidelines watching everyone else sparring, get involved and ask members to roll. The rolling time is when a practitioner will battle test all their techniques they are learning, this is vital to understanding how to incorporate technical movements into real life scenarios. Roll with a Purpose - it can be a good idea to set goals when a practitioner dives into the rolling sessions. Rolling to submission is not always the best use of a student's time. Take the opportunity to practise guard retention, positional escapes, guard passing or many of the other aspects in BJJ. It can also be a good idea to start a roll in a bad position, this will help fast track a student's resilience and their ability to make the right decisions to escape.

Ask Questions - it is imperative that a practitioner asks questions, don't be that student that is too scared to put their hand up and question their coach. All coaches are happy to answer questions and considering how complex the art is, students need to find out information that is relevant to their game style. Coaches can't always cover every aspect within a technique, it is just not possible because of the vast amount of variables within each movement. Focus - above all else a student needs to focus, learning BJJ takes a considerable amount of hard work and continuity. Focusing on all aspects of the learning process is important and necessary if a practitioner is to achieve.

ARE YOU A BJJ FANATICS INSIDER? IF NOT, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!

Take a deep dive on one specific skill per month with the top instructors in the BJJ Fanatics family.

With your subscription you’ll get:

  • Private Lesson (Masterclass)
  • Preview of our Upcoming Daily Deals to better plan your purchases
  • Rolling breakdowns & more.

You’ll also get At Home Drills to work on, a Preview of our Upcoming Launches More!

FREE FOR 7 DAYS TRIAL

Learn More

APPLYING PRINCIPLES TO A PRACTITIONER'S GAME PLAN

Learning the art of applying principles to a practitioner's game comes by continuity in their training. First of all a student must understand what their strengths are, and then start to build a game plan. It is important to enter competition with a game plan and contingency plans. Usually a student will weigh up whether they like utilising the guard or staying on top. Once a student can work out which game plan suits them better they can begin to add concepts to the mix. It is quite common to see practitioners learn principles one at a time, as they will need time to master each aspect. There are a multitude of relevant principles that practitioners need to work through, and applying these to their game plans can take a long time. 

World renowned BJJ and combat coach John Danaher has the prescription to boost your takedown knowledge.  Check it out at BJJFanatics.com!

important jiu jitsu principles

Once a student begins to advance their Jiu Jitsu with a series of relevant principles, they will be able to evolve their game styles beyond their initial training. BJJ in essence is a concept, which means a practitioner can evolve their own game styles using their own creativity. The art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has many layers, and students have a long but excitable journey through the ranks of the sport. 

If you enjoyed this piece, consider checking:

Half Domination by Tom DeBlass DVD Cover
Catch Wrestling Formula by Neil Melanson
Butterfly Guard Re-Discovered Adam Wardzinski DVD Wrap
Judo Academy Jimmy Pedro Travis Stevens