Where to Start? Jiu Jitsu from a newbies perspective.

February 11, 2010

As a  coach it is often easy to forget just how complicated a sport Jiu Jitsu is to learn. There are 6 basic positions and an endless list of techniques and strategies that can be utilised. With so many variations and options no wonder peoples brains get fried

I wake up everyday thanking the little baby Jesus/Buddha/whatever deity floats my readers boat, that the UFC got popular and I do not have to have this conversation:

Me: So this is Guard what I want you to do is wrap your legs round this guys hips and…..

Newbie: Hold on a minute, why the hell would I want to do that.

Me: Well If you dont, he can get past your legs and hips and beat the crap out of you and lets not forgot all those points you will be giving up. Plus from here you can actually win the fight from your back.

Newbie: this all sounds turbo gay. How would I win a fight off my back?

Me: well what I want you to do is wrap your legs round this guys head and ……

*Newbie leaves under a cloud of suppressed homosexuality*

The rise of mma has improved peoples awareness of jiu jitsu but it is still a vast and confusing sport. What I encourage new guys to do is to break there learning up into stages.

Stage 1- Identify the 6 major positions and their postures

The six major positions are:

Guard

Side Control

Mount

Back Mount

Turtle

Half guard

From the perspective of the top guy and the guy on the bottom we need to know what these positions are for. What our aim is from these positions and  what is the posture I want to adopt when I find myself there?

Posture is a big deal and cannot be overestimated. You cannot even begin to do anything effectively if your posture is wrong. Without correct posture everything you do will require a lot more effort and will ultimately not work against experienced players.

Example

Side Control Bottom:

My goal from here is to re-guard or turtle up.

Posture- On my side as much as possible, near arm blocking the cross face, far arm low on stomach to utilise the underhook, body crunched up small.

You will notice that I have added in Half guard and omitted knee ride from the 6 basic positions. This stems from not actually being aware of the jiu jitsu points system and a personal feeling that more shit gets done from half guard.

Once you have identified these 6 positions and determined the basic postures they require, write them down on something. In your head keep thinking

Being mounted = this posture

Guard top = this posture

Half guard = this posture

With experience you can start free styling it a bit but our initial aim when starting out is to limit the individuals options. When you are mounted for the first time you have millions of options you could:

  • Bench press the guy
  • Rollover and give your back
  • throw your legs up in the air
  • push his hips
  • underhook a leg
  • bridge like a mentalist in no paticular direction
  • Cry

Once you have identified the correct posture to adopt the game becomes infinitaly simpler. You only have one option, the right one.

Stay tuned this looks like its going to be a 3 parter.

Advertisements

6 Responses to “Where to Start? Jiu Jitsu from a newbies perspective.”

  1. mark said

    tell me more….

  2. Scotty said

    alright mate. I’m a little confused. I’ve researched the 6 key positions so i know what they are. Just wondering though, when you say identify there postures, does this mean from top or bottom, or just how it should look looking on? And how do i go about identifying what i should be doing once im in these positions, top or bottom?
    Lots of times whilst training i find myself in a position such as side control, not knowing what to do from there, i.e what transition to make etc. is my best bet to research the shit out of you tube to see the various attacks from these 6 positions, and of course the same from the guard positions? its quite a lot to take in. Thanks for doing the article btw mate. scotty

    • maccavelli said

      Just wondering though, when you say identify there postures, does this mean from top or bottom, or just how it should look looking on?

      Both so in actuality its like 12 positions. Saulos book Jiu Jitsu University has a big section on this.

      And how do i go about identifying what i should be doing once im in these positions, top or bottom?

      Speak to your coach, he/she can help you identify the high percentage stuff better than Youtube can.

      Hope this helps.

      • Scotty said

        thanks dude, really appreciate the info on your blog. It’s helping me find my feet much better.

  3. atalla said

    Reblogged this on RIO GRAPPLING CLUB and commented:
    First time I reblog, so not sure how it works well. This is the first part of a very clever article written by Paul McVeigh. Paul is a black belt in BJJ and has collaborated with me and our group since 2003, a very talented MMA fighter and coach and an expert in physical preparation for martial artists. He lives in Glasgow and teaches at the Griphouse, the best MMA, BJJ and Muay Thai gym in Scotland.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: