A Roadmap for Grappling


When an uninitiated person sees grappling in action for the first time it seems very chaotic and confusing. There are limbs and bodies all over the place and then, all of a sudden and for ‘no reason’ someone taps out. This can be a very intimidating activity for beginners to launch themselves into.

Here is the roadmap that I offer beginners interested in learning how to grapple on the ground. While there are many variations of positions, 90% of your time on the mat is going to be spent in one of the following positions:

  1. Mount position,
  2. Rear mount
  3. Sidemount / North-South position
  4. Headlock / Kesa gatame
  5. Closed / Open guard
  6. Turtle position
  7. Knee mount

What I usually tell beginners is that they should first learn the basics of each of these positions. Then should then learn 2 or 3 attacks from each of the positions when they are on top, and 2 or 3 escapes or sweeps from each of the positions when they are on the bottom.

Once they have learned these positions, attacks and escapes they will have a bit of context for whatever position they end up in while training, and roll around without being totally lost all the time. They will have a rudimentary idea of what to do (and not do) in these 7 positions and will be able to relate to what is happening to him on the mat. This is very empowering and is a great way to introduce someone to the sport and art of grappling.

If you want (a lot) more information on this topic I strongly recommend that you pick up a great resource that is also 100% free – my book ‘A Roadmap for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.’  This illustrated book takes these ideas and explores them in a LOT more detail, including tips, strategies and tactics that will immediately help your game.

Go to my other website – www.beginningbjj.com – and enter your name and email address, and I’ll send you the link to download the book to your computer right away.

I get emails every single day from grapplers telling me how much this book has helped them. So I’m sure it’ll help you too. Check it out!

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