Level Up Your BJJ Game With These 4 Easy To Learn Moves
BJJ Fanatics know there is never an end to what you can learn in this amazing sport...
One day you might hop on the mats and feel like a king, smashing every lower belt that dares to take you on, and the next day you are getting crushed by moves you have never even seen before. Let’s face it, in the world of grappling there is no end to what you can learn no matter what your focus is, be it BJJ, submission grappling, wrestling, SAMBO, Judo… the list goes on and on. There are so many tips, tricks, and techniques that you could spend a whole life time practicing jiu jitsu and never truly see or experience it all. It is no wonder why so many high level athletes out there travel around the world to seek out the best in their craft, learning new and secrets tools of the trade that they can pull out in a make or break moment when the entire tournament is on the line.
Bernardo Faria is known for his fundamental jiu jitsu concepts that just make sense. That is why guys like Dan McCarthy are so solid and tough at the gym... even at 50 years old!
I am sure you have heard of the “KISS” (keep it simple stupid) principle before. You will hear it over and over again, focus on the fundamentals. Some of the greatest grapplers of all time use the most basic techniques. There is a reason a kimura or an arm bar is taught all over the world. No matter where you go, whatever school or instructor you seek out, the fundamentals are simply what work, and so that is the knowledge passed on from one generation to the next. If you are new to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you may be eager to learn how the most complicated tricks are done. The reality is high level grappling takes years, if not decades to learn. But even more advanced techniques are built on fundamental concepts and principles, so why not keep it simple? Here are 4 easy to learn moves that you can start using in your BJJ game today!
#1: Chael Sonnen Head and Arm choke
The head and arm choke is one of the most basic submissions you can learn. The reason for this is simple: it is easy to understand, but incredibly effective. The head and arm choke also teaches you some fundamental concepts that you see used in other instances such as the triangle choke. In the video below, UFC color commentator and MMA veteran Chael Sonnen breaks down the head and arm choke with 5 Time World Champion Bernardo Faria and Worlds Masters Champ Fabiano Scherner. Check it out now and then we will break down the technique!
Chael Sonnen starts of this technique from side control. Typically in UFC when you are in top side control you are blocking punches and elbows so Chael is trapping his training partner’s arm with his chin as well as wrap around the arm to keep his opponent pinned to the ground. The guy on bottom will have the natural instinct to start pushing up against your chin to try and force you away. Chael uses this momentum to pop the arm across his shoulder and trap it. It’s critical to keep the arm trapped, you do not want to let your opponent pull it back, otherwise you will lose your position. So as soon as you pass the arm you want to drop your head, putting a lot of pressure on your opponent’s shoulder as you find your lock. Make sure you get your opposite arm across as far as possible before securing your grip. Once you grasp, it is just a matter of passing to the other side of your opponent. There are different techniques you can use to get to the other side but the key is to switch to the other side while keeping focus on where your head is positioned (to create pressure on the shoulder). Once you get to the other side of your training partner you want to lock tight, and drop your hips. Now you can take your time finishing the choke.
#2: 10 Finger Guillotine by Lachlan Giles
The Ten finger guillotine is a technique that will have you submitting your training partners and opponents in no time. In the video below, preeminent Australian black belt competitor Lachlan Giles demonstrates how you can hit this choke on a turtled opponent. This is a very easy choke to learn and incredibly hard to escape when done correctly. Check out the video below and then we will break down the technique!
The 10 Finger Guillotine is useful for when your training partner’s head is stuck in the middle of your body. In this case, you are simply boxing the head in to contain your opponent. By using your arms and elbows to block his head, your training partner will not be able to escape to either side. You want to get your belly over the top of your opponent’s head. You will use your stomach to push down on the back of the head while you pull up with your hands. Lachlan comes up to his feet in a deep squat position once he has his training partner secure. The choke his right here, simply pull up with your hands.
#3: Side Control Escape Against A Bigger Opponent by Fabio Gurgel
If you have spent any time on the mats at all you will have experienced the frustration of being pinned to the mat under a bigger guy playing side control. Often times you will see wrestlers able to generate tremendous amounts of pressure from side control, especially when paired up with a bigger guy. It is one of the first positions you try to problem solve your way out of, and there is no end to the amount of side control escapes out there, but here is one from the co founder of the Alliance Team, Fabio Gurgel, that will work on an opponent of any size or experience. Check out the video below and then we will break down the technique!
Fabio Gurgel starts this technique in the standard bottom side control position. In this sitation when your opponent is heavy you will have no space to recompose your guard because your training partner’s hips are on the ground. So what you want to do is first protect yourself grapping the inside of your training partner’s lapel. Next you need to use the strong leg of your body to get up on your hip and bump your opponent away from you. At the same time you bump you want to stretch your arm to create the leverage you need to make some distance. Now, no matter how much your opponent weighs he cannot use his pressure against you effectively because you are now up on your side and no longer directly underneath him. Now it is time for you to escape your hip and pull your opponent in to recover your guard.
#4: Knee on Belly Escape by Bernardo Faria
Knee on belly is one of those positions you use to demoralize your opponent. When you are just starting out as a white belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the knee on belly is probably your first real exposure to how uncomfortable jiu jitsu can be at times. We have all been there before, gasping for breathing and struggling to find a way to escape the ungodly amount of discomfort that comes from an aggressive knee on belly. Let’s take a look at how to escape the knee on belly from Bernardo Faria. Bernardo Faria is a 5x World Champion and an amazing teacher. Watch the video below and then we will break down his technique. Check it out!
Mastery of the basics is what makes guys like Bernardo Faria, Tom DeBlass, Craig Jones, Lachlan Giles, Fabiano Scherner and many, many others into World Champions! You too can have tons of success as long as you focus making your basics as precise as possible. Don’t neglect the simple techniques; they can greatly improve your game. If you are looking for more easy to learn tips and tricks that you can start using today then check out Bernardo Faria’s amazing instructional series Foundations of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu available exclusively on BJJFanatics.com! We recommend you to check Elite Judo Basics by Nick Tritton for some helpful information about basics.