Making your climb up the Jiu-Jitsu ladder can feel daunting at times, especially when you first start out. That is why we are going to cover a few BJJ strategies that you should keep in mind if you are a white or blue belt. Note that these BJJ strategies also work well for more experienced grapplers as well, since it’s always ideal to get back to the basics whenever possible.

BJJ Strategies

BJJ Strategies from Guard Position (Top)

Never keep one arm in and one arm out. Never. Good grapplers will capitalize on this right away. Either keep both of your arms in, or keep both of them out. Master at least two different techniques for passing the guard. Practice them every day.

The reason we recommend two is because if your first one fails, you can always rely on the second one to make the pass. Finally, don’t just sit in the guard. If you do, you are asking to be submitted or swept. Here are a few more tips to consider:

– Don’t place your hands on the ground- keep them on your opponent.
– Don’t place your elbows past your opponent’s centerline- keep each arm close to your own body.
– Keep your weight low and your knees spread out. This will help you avoid getting swept.
– Keep your back straight. Otherwise, your posture will get broken.

Now, let’s move to talk about some BJJ strategies to keep in mind for when you are in the guard on the bottom.

BJJ Strategies from Guard Position (Bottom)

If you are a shorter grappler, utilize the butterfly guard, half-guard, or open guard. Instead of lying flat on your back, move around on your side. Never sit while in the guard. Your opponent can quickly capitalize on this by passing. Always be searching for an opportunity to sweep or submit your opponent. Break your opponent’s posture by pulling them forward.


BJJ Strategies from Side Control (Top)

When you are on top and in side control, stay as heavy as possible. One of the best BJJ strategies that you can utilize is the cross-face to exert an additional amount of pressure and control. Be sure to keep your hips glued to your opponent’s hips. Block their hips with either your knee or your arms. From here, simply wait for an opportunity to either submit your opponent or take a more dominant position.

BJJ Strategies from Side Control (Bottom)

Never allow your opponent to cross-face your when you are on the bottom in side control. If they can control your head then they will control your body. Using your elbows to make more room for escapes (this will also allow you to breathe). Using shrimping and bridging techniques to create space and attempt an escape.


Portland Jiu Jitsu Technique: Mount to Kimura


BJJ Strategies from Mount Position (Top)

When you are on top in mount position, squeeze your knees tighter but don’t keep yourself too tight towards your opponent. If possible, touch your toes together, and roll your hips forward as if you were a cowboy riding a bull.

BJJ Strategies from Mount Position (Bottom)

Keep your elbows in tight to your body. This will provide you with more breathing room as well as prevent you from getting caught in an arm bar. Avoid being flat. Stay on one hip and use proper defensive posture to hip out and escape. Despite what most BJJ strategies say, you aren’t lost in the mount position and can easily reverse the situation by utilizing some effective techniques.