5 Basic BJJ Moves Every Beginner Must Know

Mar 13, 2020

Learning a martial art like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can seem daunting at first.

There are an infinite amount of techniques and variations to come to grips with. But the good news is that most of them stem from a few basic moves.

You will accelerate your development by honing in on these basic BJJ moves that can be used for both attacks and defense.

Here are five basic BJJ techniques that will set you on the right course on your journey from white belt to black belt.

#1 Shrimping

Shrimping is one of the most fundamental movements in grappling, and it is a basic move every beginner needs to master in BJJ.

To shrimp, scoot your body across the floor to push your hips away in a “V” shape.

When shrimping, you turn onto your side so your opponent cannot drive your back to the canvas. You then push away and use the gap between your hips and your adversary’s hips to give yourself room to move.

The technique can be used to retain guard, escape from side control and mount, and create space to set up sweeps and submissions.

In the video above, Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon uses shrimping to defend Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki’s pressure from above before landing the bout-ending heel hook submission.

#2 Bridging

The bridge is another basic BJJ move that comes into play in a variety of situations.

It centers around a drive off the ground from your feet that raises your hips in an upward trajectory off the mat.

Bridging is most commonly seen in escapes from mount and side control, but the forward motion of the hips is also employed in various submission and passing attacks.

See how Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon escapes from underneath Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes with a powerful bridge in the video above.

#3 Technical Stand-Up

The technical stand-up – also known as a “get-up” – is a basic BJJ move that helps a grounded grappler to stand back up to his or her feet as safely as possible, and with a strong base.

To do this, you need to post up on one arm and the alternate leg, and use those posts to take the load off the free leg to bring it back underneath your body.

The free hand can also extend out to protect you from strikes and create distance.

Watch above as Pieter “The Archangel” Buist creates space to use the technical stand-up in order to get back to his feet against Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso.

#4 + #5 Forward And Backward Rolls

Far from just a warm-up drill, forward and backward rolls are a key element to any BJJ practitioner’s game.

The ability to roll properly helps to lessen the impact and improve the safety of a thrown or swept competitor. But also, it has other offensive and defensive applications.

The key is to tuck your head and roll over your shoulder, rather than straight over your neck. By doing so, you could escape bad positions, retrieve guard, or even roll into attacking maneuvers.

The video above shows Bokang “Little Giant” Masunyane using his own shoulder rolls to counter the escape attempts of Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada, proving that although it is basic, it is one of the most essential BJJ moves a beginner can have in his or her arsenal.

Read more: 6 Great Reasons To Pick Up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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