Basic Jiu Jitsu Drills You Can Do Alone - MMA Life

Basic Jiu Jitsu Drills You Can Do Alone

(Last Updated On: November 26, 2017)

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) puts a big emphasis on the importance of drilling techniques. This practice of repeating a technique over and over again is a great way to refine the technique, be more efficient, and to build muscle memory. This article list different BJJ drills you can practice before class or at home. In additions to the instructions for completing these drills, the practicality of each for BJJ are also mentioned. Make sure you practice the following drills  equally on both sides of your body!  

Bridging Side to Side

Bridging and rolling is a fundamental mount escape technique taught to all beginners. Here we are simply detailing the movement of bridging side to side to help perfect and make this technique more effective.

  1. Lie down with your back and feet flat to the ground.
  2. Tuck both arms in like a “T-Rex.”
    1. This will help remove the habit of extending your arms and encouraging your opponents to armbar you.
  3. Bring both feet as close as you can to your butt.
  4. Pick a side to bridge towards. In this example, you will be bridging to your left.
  5. Tilt your head towards the right shoulder so that the right ear makes contact with it.
    1. This is a minor part of the bridge and roll technique that is frequently left out.
  6. Bridge towards the gap between your shoulder and your neck with your hips shooting high up and towards the ceiling.
    1. Your weight should be supported with both feet and upper back/trapezius area during this motion. Additionally, you should be turning your head and looking towards the direction of your bridge.
  7. Return back to the initial position and now bridge to your right.

Bridge and Shrimp

Bridging to leverage and create space between your opponent’s legs and then immediately shrimping out is another great combination for escaping from the bottom of mount position. Do the following steps while visualizing your escape from an actual opponent.

  1. Lie down with your back and feet flat to the ground.
  2. Tuck both arms in like a “T-Rex.”
  3. Bring both feet as close as you can to your butt.
  4. Bridge towards the ceiling.
  5. Frame with two hands on either side of the imaginary opponent’s hip.
  6. Collapse your hips towards the ground. At the same time, immediately push off with both feet and shoot your hips backward and away from the hip you were framing against.

Make sure to switch back and forth on the direction of your shrimping motion. In a real sparring situation, multiple shrimping actions in a row would most likely be needed to successfully escape from being mounted.

Sit Out

A valuable wrestling move to escape from the bottom of the turtle position is the sit out. This technique is applicable to the scenario where you are turtled up and have an opponent positioned on top that is holding on with a body lock.

  1. Start out in the turtle position with both knees and hands touching the ground and supporting your weight. Both arms should be fully extended.
  2. Pick a side you want to sit out towards. We will start out to the left for the following sequence of events.
  3. Lift up your left leg and then plant it outwards to the left.
  4. As you post your weight on your right hand and this left leg, take your right leg and kick it out between these two limbs.
  5. As you are sliding the right knee and shin forward, throw your left elbow back.
    1. This action should rotate your torso towards the ceiling.
  6. Retract the the left arm and right leg back and recover your starting position.   

Forward and Backward Rolls

Forward and backward rolls are normally implemented in each Judo warmup. These rolling motions are essential for rolling yourself out of harm’s way or to create scrambles right after getting thrown. However, these movements are also effective tools for grappling on the ground. The forward rolls are handy in situations such as escaping an omoplata attempt. If an opponent attempts to pass your guard by stacking you with the double-under pass, the backwards roll will let you roll out of immediate danger and proceed to quickly counter by shooting for double legs.

  1. Position yourself on your knees as you would at the start of a closed guard sparring session.
    1. To start off, we will be rolling over the left shoulder.
  2. Extend your right arm forward and place your right hand on the ground. This hand placement should be slightly forward and to the right.
  3. As you shoot your left arm between your legs, roll your body forward over the trapezius section between your left shoulder and head.
  4. Once you are about to finish the rolling motion, extend and plant your left foot forward and roll onto your right leg.
    1. The right leg’s shinbone should be resting on the ground as this occurs.
  5. Proceed to push your hips forward and posture up to finish the forward roll.
  6. Afterwards, lean back and roll backwards over the same trapezius area.
  7. Return back to position 1 and repeat these movements to the opposite side of your body.

Tactical Standup

In addition to its application in a Jiu Jitsu sparring match, this technique is beneficial in real life scenarios as well. Imagine if you are simply hanging out and someone decides to aggressively push you over. The following will minimize the impact taken and help you get up while guarding you from harm.

  1. Stand straight with your feet placed shoulder widths apart.
  2. Pin your chin to your chest.
    1. This step prevents your head from bouncing off the ground when you land.
  3. Bend down and start falling backwards.
  4. Do a backwards breakfall by slapping the ground with both hands extended at a 45 degrees angle from your body.
  5. As soon as you land, rock yourself forward to a sitting guard position.
  6. Extend your right arm as a frame in case someone decides to attack.
  7. Have your left leg slightly curled towards you with the left side of this leg touching the ground.
  8. Support your weight with your left arm and right foot to lift your hips off the ground.
  9. Bring your left leg back.
  10. Rotate the left foot to be trailing behind your body.
  11. Place the left knee on the ground.
  12. Proceed to stand up from this position.
  13. Repeat this drill on the opposite side of your body.

Hip Up Triangle

The triangle from closed guard is a popular technique used by BJJ practitioners at all levels. This drill will increase the explosiveness in shooting your legs upwards to capture and secure your opponent in the triangle.

  1. Start in a sitting guard position.
  2. Roll yourself backward.
  3. Pop your hips and leg in the air while balancing yourself on your shoulder and trapezius.
  4. Throw your legs into a triangle submission.
  5. Roll yourself forward with the legs kept in the triangle hold.
  6. Continue these steps to practice shooting for triangle submission attempts while actively switching your leg positions.

Once you have become proficient with this drill, add the twisting of your body during the triangle submission attempt. This addition gives you the habit of changing your angle and tightening each triangle attempt.

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