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Stand-Up Strategies For BJJ Fighters

By | BJJ

Stand-up Strategies For BJJ Fighters

Many BJJ fighters have only one thought when it comes to their stand-up: how to get on the mat as fast as possible.

While this may work in competition, I consider it a very narrow approach since you are not giving up a large advantage by trying to take down your opponent by getting on top of him but also take away from the realistic part of Jiu-Jitsu.

After all, how can you teach BJJ to your students and tell them how realistic it is, yet the first thing you do when things turn serious outside the gym is to lay on the floor?

I think this Simpson sketch says it all:


The good news is that we do not have to become wrestlers or Judokas to stand and fight, but we have to be able to integrate 2-3 simple go-to takedown combinations that give us the chance to set up our favourite ground game.

Focusing on the basic throws and takedowns and developing a stand-up strategy that fits us will allow us to stand up if we ever find ourselves in a self-defence situation and on the mat to play the Jiu-Jitsu game we want to play.

In my view, every BJJ practitioner should also seriously study BJJ-specific takedowns that consider a realistic scenario while allowing us to work on our strengths.

To start, we need to figure out how not to be taken down ourselves if we ever want to have a chance to take down our opponent. While I respect wrestling and Judo as awesome Martial Arts, BJJ poses different challenges and needs different answers.

So, in the next video, I am talking about the challenges BJJ fighters face and how to overcome them:


The start off, we have to work on our ability to defend the Takedown first. Often BJJ fighters are way too willing to give up the takedown in the hope of a quick submission like the Guillotine or Kimura, but unless you planned these submissions way in advance you will simply get rushed and end up down on points when the fight has hardly started.

So make sure you spend the time and develop a solid takedown defence by paying close attention to your stance, hand position and the basic take-down defences shown above, and you will be able to implement your game with the confidence that you will not be taken down easily.

See you on the mat!

Don Whitefield
West Coast Martial Arts

West Coast Martial Arts

Call us at 778-836-7473
Visit us at 22760 Lougheed Hwy, Maple Ridge, BC (Across from London Drugs)