BJJ for Dummies: Basic Positions

Now, I don’t actually think that people who don’t train Jiu-Jitsu are “dummies” (I just feel bad for them, because they have no idea what they’re missing!), but I know I have a few readers who don’t train, and I realized that sometimes they probably don’t understand what I’m talking about, so I wanted to provide a simple tutorial. Mr. Incredible, SpongeBob SquarePants, and a dinosaur have offered to help me with demonstrating the techniques. Mr. Incredible is the defender.

Guard

Guard

Guard: The attacker is on the bottom, with their legs around the defender. There are many, many variations, but the basic is closed guard (where the attacker’s legs are closed). Dino was unable to close his legs around Mr. Incredible (I feel ya, bro!), so this picture demonstrates an “open” guard. Guard is the position that’s probably the most closely associated with BJJ, but just because we know how to fight from our back, that doesn’t mean it’s always our preferred place to be.

Side control

Side control

Knee on belly

Knee on belly

Side control: The attacker is on the top, controlling the defender from the side of their body. Again there are variations, but this picture demonstrates the basic.

Knee on belly: Variation of side control, where the attacker has their knee on defender’s belly, or solar plexus. SpongeBob asked me if he could demo this one, because it’s his favorite.

Mount

Mount

Back mount

Back mount

Mount: Attacker is on top, with legs around the defender. Often seen in schoolyard fights, and known in some circles as “ground and pound”.

Back mount: Attacker is on defender’s back, with their legs wrapped around (“hooks in”). Dino should have an underhook on Mr. Incredible’s arm, and the other arm around his neck, but again, his limbs are too short.

Commonly heard phrase- “Passing the guard”: This means that the defender is in the attacker’s guard, and they are trying to get out, or “pass”, by going around, or over, the legs, most commonly to side control. If the defender gets around one leg, but the attacker traps the other leg, then they are now in “half guard”.

This ends our lesson on basic positions for today. Maybe in the future I’ll do another post explaining common submissions and other frequently heard phrases, but for now I wanted to keep it short (so you won’t have too much to study for the upcoming quiz ;).

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4 comments on “BJJ for Dummies: Basic Positions

  1. Just took up mma and I’m a boob to bjj, they keep saying things I dont understand, I think you just saved me a lot of embarrassment :P thanks!

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