9 Essential Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Techniques for Beginners

by Charlie Threlfall
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Imagine stepping onto the mat, the canvas beneath your feet, as you prepare to embark on the journey of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. As a beginner, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the vast array of techniques to learn. But fear not, for this discussion is here to guide you through the 9 essential Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques that will lay the groundwork for your progress.

From guard replacement with hip escape to submissions from dominant positions, each technique is carefully selected to equip you with the foundational skills necessary to navigate the intricate world of BJJ.

So, let’s unravel the secrets of these techniques together, as we uncover the path to mastery in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Guard Replacement With Hip Escape

To effectively replace your guard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one essential technique you must master is the hip escape. This foundational move is crucial for maintaining control and transitioning between guards. When you find yourself on the bottom, the hip escape allows you to create space and regain control of the situation. It’s an important skill for beginners to learn as it forms the basis of a strong ground game in BJJ.

When executing the hip escape, start by lying on your back with your opponent in your guard. With your arms protecting your face and your feet flat on the ground, bridge your hips off the mat. As you do this, pivot on your shoulder and slide your hips away, creating space between you and your opponent. This movement generates the momentum needed to escape and replace your guard.

Practicing the hip escape regularly will improve your technique and fluidity in BJJ. It will allow you to move seamlessly between positions and maintain control over your opponent. Remember, the hip escape is just one of many techniques that you must master as a beginner in BJJ. Develop a strong understanding of guard replacement and build a solid foundation for your ground game.

Triangle Choke From Guard

The Triangle Choke from Guard is a highly effective submission technique that allows you to immobilize and submit your opponent using your legs. This technique is a staple in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is a must-learn for beginners like yourself.

Here’s how it works:

  • To set up the Triangle Choke from Guard, you first need to establish the closed guard position. This means wrapping your legs around your opponent’s waist and controlling their posture.
  • From there, you create angles by using your hips and legs to off-balance your opponent. This allows you to isolate one of their arms and bring it across their body.
  • Once you have their arm across, you quickly slide your leg over their shoulder and lock your ankles together. This forms the triangle shape, hence the name of the technique.
  • With the triangle locked in, you can now apply pressure by squeezing your legs together and pulling down on your opponent’s head. This cuts off their circulation and causes them to tap out.

Mastering the Triangle Choke from Guard gives you a powerful submission option from the bottom position. It can be used to finish fights or as a threat to set up other attacks, such as the guard pass or the rear naked choke. With practice, you’ll become proficient in this fundamental BJJ technique and gain the freedom to control and submit your opponents from the guard position.

Cross Collar Choke From Guard

Grip your opponent’s collar firmly, positioning your hands strategically to execute the Cross Collar Choke from Guard with precision and control. This technique is a fundamental move in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and is essential for beginners to know.

In the guard position, where you’re on your back and your opponent is between your legs, the Cross Collar Choke can be a powerful self-defense tool.

To begin, secure a deep grip on your opponent’s collar, placing one hand on the inside and the other on the outside. This grip allows you to control your opponent’s posture and apply pressure to their neck using the gi. Once you have a strong grip, pull your opponent down towards you, using your legs and core to create tension and further restrict their movement.

Maintaining strong hip control is crucial when setting up the Cross Collar Choke from Guard. By keeping your legs active and your hips engaged, you can effectively control your opponent and prevent them from passing your guard. This technique not only provides a submission opportunity but also helps with guard retention and allows you to transition to other positions.

Incorporating the Cross Collar Choke into your BJJ program will enhance your understanding of basic BJJ positions and techniques. By mastering this choke, you’ll gain confidence in your ability to defend yourself while on your back and increase your overall proficiency in BJJ.

Upa / Bridge and Roll Escape Vs Mount

When facing the mounted position in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the Upa, also known as the Bridge and Roll Escape, is a fundamental technique that allows you to create space, unbalance your opponent, and roll them off to escape the mount. This technique is essential for BJJ beginners and is used to regain control and transition from the bottom of the mount to a more advantageous position.

To execute the Upa escape effectively, follow these steps:

  • Bridge and roll: Start by bridging your hips off the ground, using the power of your legs and core. This creates the initial space needed to disrupt your opponent’s balance.
  • Trap and control: As you bridge, use your arms to trap your opponent’s arm on the side you’re rolling towards. This prevents them from posting their arm and maintaining balance.
  • Roll and escape: With your opponent off balance and their arm trapped, roll over your shoulder towards the trapped arm. This allows you to escape the mount and potentially end up in a dominant position, such as side control.

Mastering the Upa escape is crucial for escaping from the bottom of the mount in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. By practicing this technique regularly, you’ll develop strong bridging skills, create space, and be able to escape from the full mount position with ease.

Elbow to Knee Escape Vs Mount

To execute the Elbow to Knee Escape Vs Mount in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, focus on precise hip movement and timing to create the necessary space for transitioning from the bottom mount to guard. This escape technique is essential for freeing yourself from the dominant position of your opponent and regaining control.

To begin the escape, your opponent will have you mounted, with their knees straddling your torso. As they apply pressure and attempt to maintain control, you must act swiftly. Bring the elbow of the side your opponent is attacking towards your knee on the same side. This creates space by extending your arm and pushing against their leg.

It is crucial to maintain control of your opponent’s hips and posture throughout the escape. This prevents them from easily transitioning to a higher, more dominant position or attempting submissions such as the armbar.

Once you have created enough space, you can transition to guard. From there, you have various options to further neutralize your opponent’s attacks and initiate your own offense. Techniques such as the scissor sweep or open guard can be utilized depending on whether you’re training in gi or no-gi.

Straight Armlock From Mount

With the knowledge of the Elbow to Knee Escape Vs Mount, you can now move on to mastering the devastating Straight Armlock From Mount technique in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This technique allows you to maintain dominant position and control while setting up a highly effective submission.

Here’s how to execute the Straight Armlock From Mount with precision:

  • Maintain position: Keep your mount control and pressure on your opponent, ensuring that they’re unable to escape or regain control.
  • Secure the arm: Grab your opponent’s arm and keep it straight and controlled. This will prevent them from defending or escaping the submission.
  • Apply pressure: Utilize proper hip positioning and body mechanics to apply pressure and leverage on your opponent’s elbow, hyperextending it and forcing the tap.
  • Balance and base: Maintain your balance and base throughout the technique, ensuring that you stay in control and avoid being swept or countered.

Americana Lock (Ude Garami) From Side Control

The Americana Lock (Ude Garami) from Side Control is a highly effective submission technique that applies pressure to the opponent’s shoulder joint, causing immense discomfort and potentially forcing a tap. When you find yourself in side control, a dominant control position in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the Americana Lock becomes an essential technique to add to your arsenal.

As a BJJ black belt, I can attest to the importance of learning this technique, especially when in the top position.

To execute the Americana Lock from Side Control, start by securing control over your opponent’s far arm. With your knees tight against their side, use your chest to pin their shoulder to the mat, leaving their elbow exposed. Place your hand on their wrist and grip it firmly, trapping their arm. This grip will allow you to apply leverage and torquing pressure on their shoulder joint.

To increase the effectiveness of the Americana Lock, it’s crucial to maintain a strong base and control over your opponent. Keep your weight centered and your hips low, preventing them from escaping or turning into you. Proper positioning and angle are key to maximizing the pressure on your opponent’s shoulder.

Remember, the Americana Lock can also be set up from other positions, such as when your opponent is attempting an armbar from the guard. By controlling their arm and transitioning to side control, you can easily secure the Americana Lock and force them to tap.

Learning BJJ is a journey of discovering effective techniques, and the Americana Lock from Side Control is undoubtedly one of the most important submissions to add to your repertoire. Mastering this technique will enhance your control and dominance on the mat, providing you with the freedom to dictate the outcome of your matches.

Rear Naked Choke

From the dominant position of side control, where you have just secured control over your opponent’s far arm with the Americana Lock, you can seamlessly transition into the highly effective Rear Naked Choke. This choke is a technique that can quickly render your opponents unconscious if applied correctly.

Let’s explore the mechanics and principles of the Rear Naked Choke, so you can understand how to control and apply pressure in this technique.

  • To execute the Rear Naked Choke, start by establishing a strong seatbelt grip around your opponent’s upper body. This grip involves wrapping one arm over your opponent’s shoulder and placing your hand on the opposite side of their neck.
  • With your other arm, reach underneath your opponent’s chin and secure a grip on your bicep. This creates a tight lock around their neck, with your forearm applying pressure to the sides of their neck.
  • As you apply the choke, focus on maintaining control over your opponent’s upper body. Keep your chest connected to their back and use your legs to establish hooks, preventing them from escaping or rolling out of the position.

Over-Under Guard Pass

Executing the Over-Under Guard Pass requires precise control of your opponent’s hips and torso, utilizing a combination of arm position and pressure to navigate their guard effectively. This technique is one of the first building blocks of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is essential for beginners to learn.

To start, join us on the ground, with you in your opponent’s guard. Begin by establishing a strong posture, keeping your back straight and head up. With one arm, reach over your opponent’s leg and grip their opposite shoulder, while simultaneously sliding your other arm under their leg and grabbing their opposite hip. This grip allows you to control your opponent’s movements and restrict their ability to defend.

Now, apply pressure by pressing your shoulder into their chest, and driving your head towards their opposite shoulder. This will help you maintain stability and control. As you drive forward, use your over-under pass to transition to side control, where you can further control your opponent and set up submission opportunities.

Remember to keep constant pressure and stay tight to your opponent throughout the entire process. With practice, the Over-Under Guard Pass will become a valuable tool in your arsenal, allowing you to control your opponents and dictate the pace of the fight.