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пятница, 15 мая 2009 г.

Positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has a fundamentals block but once you go beyond it there is a whole array of other positions that keep coming up with no end in sight really. Eddy Bravo at his 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu school has been one notable proponent of continued development of jiu jitsu with his unorthodox no-gi style. One of his most well-known developments that have had a lot of success is the Rubber Guard.

The very fact that jiu jitsu keeps evolving makes it such an interesting art. People keep coming up with new moves. As Saulo said in his Jiu Jitsu Revolution DVD set, jiu jitsu keeps evolving. Roger Gracie has been of course a phenomenon because he has been able to successfully apply very basic techniques and submit champions and this is beautiful but I think the fact that this sport is still evolving after so many years is beautiful.


Closed Guard

The closed guard is a fundamental position in brazilian jiu jitsu. The player lies on his back with legs hooked around the back of his opponent, totally in control. This position can vary from the opponent either on his knees, on one knee or totally standing. The jiu jitsu player has a range of techniques he can apply like sweeps and submissions. The opponent tries to prevent submission attempts and pass the guard and gain a more advantageous position such as the mount.

Open Guard

This is another classic position from which jiu jitsu players try to work their sweeps and submissions. It differs only in that the jiu jitsu player on his back does not lock his legs. Several variations exist of the open guard such as placing the feet on the opponents his and maintaining full control.

Butterfly Guard

This is another fundamental position learnt early on and very popular with higher grade jiu jitsu players. The legs in this position are hooked with the ankles inside between the opponents legs, against the inside of the opponents thighs. (just like a butterfly). Good control of the opponent is maintained by also securing a confortable grip for example under the arms. This position enables to carry out effective sweeps and transitions, however tends to be difficult to maintain for a longer period of time compared to the closed guard for example.

Spider Guard

The spider guard is particularly effective in gi bjj, when long sleeves enable the jiu jitsu player to exercise good control of his/her opponent. The jiu jitsu player is on his back pressing the soles of his feet against the biceps of the opponent. Submissions such as for example the omoplata and triangle choke as well as a whole range of sweeps make this position another good option to be included in the game of a jiu jitsu practitioner.

Sitting Guard

A position where the jiu jitsu player controls his opponents only with his arms but sitting up with legs in front prepared for an exchange.

Half Guard

A fundamental position in brazilian jiu jitsu and is very common and arises very often when the opponent attempts to pass the jiu jitsu players guard but gets one leg entangled by the jiu jitsu player. This position opens up another whole chapter in jiu jitsu with a range of sweeps and submissions that can be done from the bottom and submissions and passes that can be done from the top. From a vale-tudo perspective of course the top position is advantageous but from sports jiu jitsu perspective a skillful half-guard player can do very well here.

Knee-on the belly

Also known as the knee-mount, this is a dominant grappling position with the opponent placing a knee at the bottom of the jiu jitsu players torso and the other leg extended for balance. This position is most commonly attained from side-control (cross-body).


This is another dominant grappling position typically achieved once the opponent is successful in passing the guard. The top player lies perpendicular to the player on the bottom with his legs free exerting full control.


This is a position achieved as a transition from side-control and is well-known in judo and translated as "scarf-hold". Two variations of this pin exist with one arm under the head and the other under the arm of the player on the bottom.

Another slight variation of this hold is known as kata-gatame whe the arm of the opponent on the bottom is placed around his head allowing the top opponent to execute the arm-triangle choke if needed.


This a dominant ground grappling position where one player is supine, with the other player invertedly lying prone on top, normally with his or her head over the bottom opponents's chest.


A dominant grappling position with the player on top sitting on the bottom player's torso. The bottom player is unable to exercise any submissions from this position and focuses on escaping while the top player tries to maintain this position and execute chokes and locks.


Another very dominant position where one player is behind the other controlling him. The defending player facing down is considered to be in an inferior position. The player that achieved this position attempts to hook his legs around in order to maintain good control and the proceed to execute a submission.

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