Health & Fitness

The Basic Fundamentals of Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu

Like with anything, before you get fully stuck into practising this type of martial art, you have to master the basics. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a full contact combat sport and self-defence martial art that was first developed in the 1920s in Brazil. If you’re looking to take part in a class of BJJ Thomastown and beyond, you’ll find many academies offering a variety of classes for you to sign up to. 

There are so many different techniques and variations to learn that it might seem daunting at first, and taking on the practice of a martial art like BJJ is certainly not for the faint-hearted. However, you’ll be pleased to learn a lot of these variations and techniques, even the more complex ones, actually stem from a few basic moves. These moves represent the core of BJJ training and are a crucial part of many techniques used within the sport. We are going to run through the five basic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques so that you can get down on the mat to practice.


If you don’t understand the most fundamental of techniques in BJJ, you aren’t going to get very far. There are numerous grip techniques that all work differently, where it is also key to learn how to strengthen your grip. Knowing how and where on your opponent to grip is also going to be helpful when it comes to developing strategy. Some common grip movements include bullfight, the collar grip and same side lapel.


This is an essential move that will come into play in a variety of different situations in BJJ, and centres around a drive off the ground from your feet which raises your hips in an upward movement from the mat. It’s a popular move where the upward trajectory is utilised as a way to escape from mount and side control moves. However, the forward motion of the hips is also used in multiple passing and submission attacks. Both bridging and shrimping will feature in a warm up but it’s important that you properly practice both moves in order to build on your form.


One of the first movements you’ll learn in BJJ, the fundamental purpose of shrimping is to create space. In order to do this basic move, you scoot your body across the floor in order to push your hips away in a “V” shape. You turn on your side in order to prevent your opponent from driving you back to the canvas. By pushing away, you’re able to use the gap between you and your opponent’s hips to allow yourself space to move. This technique is handy for multiple reasons: you can escape side control and mount, create space in order to set up other moves and also to retain guard.

Passing the guard

Guard passing is a multi-stage process and technique and a guard movement is a primary defence of one’s opponent. For example, your opponent will try to prevent you from moving by crossing their ankles behind your back in a closed guard. To counter this, first you must open their legs. Once you have achieved this, you need to establish control over their legs and hips in some way before you finally are able to pass under, over or around their legs. It might take multiple tries and lessons before you even master the basics behind this concept but once you have, passing the guard will be easy peasy.


Most importantly, make sure you are regulating your breathing and using breathing techniques during your practice. Knowing how to do this properly on the mat is essential as it assists with smooth transitions and movements and ensures you don’t run out of breath. It is good to get into a meditative state that can in turn help you concentrate better.

We hope these basic techniques help with your practice. As a beginner, once you have dedicated time to perfecting these moves, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a pro in no time.

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