Rickson mounted controlling one of bjj's most powerful positions

bjj first 5

 BJJ Basics | Getting started with the 5 basic positions of BJJ 

Its really common as someone new to training in BJJ ( brazilian jiu-jitsu) tto feel the amount of technique , positions and strategies are overwhelming.
To counter that our Mississauga bjj program offers a clear , easy to follow and well structured program that lays it all out in a way that helps it all make sense and become easily applicable.

The five foundational positions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
1-Closed Guard
3-Side Control
4-Back mount
5-Knee on belly

An Important Concept in your Jiu-Jitsu Education 


BJJ 101 = Position Before Submission

A key element of BJJ is mastering positional control. This allows you to dictate the pace and direction of a match / fight, plan your attacks effectively, and prevent your opponent from advancing. Good positional control is so important in the grand scheme as out #1 goal is to keep your opponent under control and set up fight ending situations

jiu-jitsu master Rickson Gracie controlling from full mount

While it is true you can achieve submissions from less dominant positions, It’s much more efficient to do so from a position of control.

Dominating your opponent and what they can do is essential for both self-defense and competition. This skill helps you stay safe and take advantage of opportunities to submit, strike, or pin your opponent. When you’re in a bad position, your options are limited, and the threats from your opponent increase. 
At the end of the day, the way jiu-jitsu is taught in our Mississauga martial arts academy holds to the idea  that throwing up random submission attempts is rarely, if ever, the answer.

Here are five essential  positions in Jiu-jitsu that every practitioner new to the art of jiu-jitsu can focus on to guarantee a complete base.

Key BJJ Position #1: The Closed Guard

The closed guard is one of the first positions you learn in BJJ. It involves the bottom player wrapping their legs around the opponent’s waist as they try to pass the guard. The main goal in closed guard is to break your opponent’s posture, preventing them from attacking effectively. Most offensive moves from this position come from either a broken posture or by destabilizing the opponent.

two grapplers looking for dominant position in the closed guard

While looking passive, the educated closed guard is actually very powerful. Skilled guard players can execute a variety of submissions, including joint locks, sweeps,  chokes, and strikes. The opponent inside the closed guard is stuck trying to focus on passing, which limits their offensive options.

When you break it down, the bottom person has 4 limbs at work (both arms and legs)  and the top person only has two arms to work with so performed at a high level closed guard can be powerful

Key BJJ Position #2: The Full Mount

mounted position is one of the best in mma and grappling

The full mount is a dominant position in BJJ, MMA and combat sports in general . It’s especially bad for the person on the bottom if strikes are allowed, making mount escapes a critical skill taught early. Even without strikes, the mount offers plenty of submission opportunities as the bottom personal legs are totally out of play and both arms exposed along side the neck

Maintaining the full mount requires a good understanding of body positioning. A small mistake will often see a reversal if a grappler to a bottom position if you are too aggressive. This risk results in many intermediate students avoiding the mount for fear of being stuck on the bottom position. Instead of fearing the worst learning to maintain and escape the mount should be just as important as attacking from there and a key focus for students new to the art..


Key BJJ Position #3: Side Control

Side control is when you’ve passed your opponent’s legs but haven’t fully achieved the mount. You control it from a horizontal position. It’s seen as a transitional position useful for moving to more dominant positions or applying powerful techniques.

Beginners often use side control to set up submissions like the Americana, Kimura, and arm triangle choke its also heavily favored in other arts like judo and sambo and a very important position to understand as the opponent under attack is just a few steps away from being back in the fight


Key BJJ Position #4: Back Mount

The back or rear mount is where you control your opponent from behind, with your legs wrapped around their torso  either with a body triangle or controlling them with lower body with open hooks This position offers many submission opportunities, such as the rear naked choke, armbar, and bow and arrow choke in the GI and from a fight perspective, it is a 

Attacking from the back is advantageous, even against larger opponents, because it minimizes threats. When used properly, there isn’t really much someone can do to you as they can barely see you much less attack you. hunting the back positions is a key concept focused on in our Mississauga martial arts academy.

The back mount is hard to escape, allowing you to maintain control for long periods. You can also transition to other dominant positions, like the mount or side control as your opponent tries to escape. and most importantly, the constant pressure you place from there is draining and breaks down lines of defense, making whatever finish you look to apply much easier to complete

Key BJJ Position #5: Knee on Belly

Knee on belly is often overlooked because it creates space, but it’s essential for scenarios beyond sport BJJ and more so self defense / fighting. 

The space created with the knee on belly allows for strikes or transitions against a defensive opponent. Adding knee on belly to your techniques enhances your offensive and self-defense options from the side control but does admitly open you up to leg attacks vs savvy opponents. Still with jiujitsu being a a martial art rooted in self-defense, its value can never be overlooked.


So there you have a it 10’000 foot over view of grappling and bjj’s  primary ground positions, the very same used in the ufc and other mma events like Pfl, all the way to everyday training and self defense applications; it all stems from these. Now this overview shows a bit of what is going on but our next step is to  cover the how and why and we’ll be doing that with a series of beginner-focused videos breaking down these positions a bit more and depth so you can learn the finer details 


Understanding is important but practice is key please take advantage of our introductory program the cover these positions in detail, giving you the best start in your BJJ journey


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