Technique is the backbone of Jiu-Jitsu. Here at Gracie Barra Santa Barbara, we understand that your practice is stronger when you’ve mastered the fundamentals. If you’re new to the sport, or looking to return to the basics, we’ve outlined four essential Jiu-Jitsu techniques for white belts.

The Bridge

The bridge is the tool you use to make space for yourself or temporarily move your opponent off of you. The bridge is one of the most important movements in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), and it is one of the first skills we teach beginners. It’s a versatile move that can be used to escape almost every bad position you find yourself in when grappling!

The bridge involves lifting the pelvis off the ground so that your weight is in the shoulders and feet. We use the bridge to dislodge an opponent who is in the mount, or straddling your body. The mount, as you can imagine, is one of the best places from which to attack. Knowing how to make room for an escape is an invaluable skill, so practice those bridges white belts!

Correct Grip

Grip control is a key component in any grappling exchange. If you can’t hold on to your opponent they’ll always slip away from you! White belts train in a gi — a lightweight, two-piece training uniform — which offers a lot of different places to hold on: collars, belt, pants, sleeves, etc. You can also grip your opponents’ wrists or hands to prevent them from moving and holding on to you! Here are a few of the most common grips:

  • Ball and Socket Grip
  • Gable Grip
  • S Grip
  • Butterfly Grip

If you come to a class in our fundamentals program, you’re bound to come away with a strong working knowledge of a few of these grips, which not only helps you on the mat, but also in self-defense.

Cross Collar Choke

Gi chokes — manipulating the gi to choke your opponent — are a fundamental strategy in BJJ. The cross collar choke has been used in submissions at the highest levels of competition. Because it is one of the first chokes students learn, they often wrench at the opponent’s collar, applying the move with bad form.

Proper cross collar choke form involves a deep grip in the collar at the back of the neck. Your wrists should be crossed over one another, and after you have a solid hold you’ll pull your hands towards yourself until your opponent taps out! The deeper and tighter the hold, the more likely you are to submit your opponent

The Guard

The guard is a ground grappling position in which the person on their back attempts to control their opponent using their legs. Although it might look like the person on top has the advantage, the guard is actually one of the best positions you can be in. You can attack with jointloks and chokeholds, while the person on top is focused on transitioning to a better position (known as passing the guard).

Gracie Barra Brazilian Jui-Jitsu In Santa Barbara

The main martial arts in our studio are Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Kickboxing. All our classes are taught by trained professionals who will watch closely and ensure that you’re using the correct techniques and form! Our gym is a clean, safe, and friendly environment. Come train with us today!