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Posted on April 19, 2021
When you first start Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it’s easy to feel completely overwhelmed by the number of techniques and positions.
It’s certainly true that the list of ‘must know’ BJJ moves can get pretty long and will take some effort to learn them all.
Nevertheless, starting with one move at a time is the only tried and true method for successfully learning an arsenal of effective techniques.
Luckily, you can now learn many of these moves on your own and begin implementing them during rolls.
With the JiuJitsu.com instructional series “20 Jiu Jitsu Moves You Need to Know,” 3rd Degree BJJ black belt Josh Griffiths breaks down the key moves you should learn as a beginner to quickly level up your game and have some good options from many of the common positions.
If you have some time on the mats already, you probably realize how foundational these techniques are.
Note: we will describe these techniques by specifying left and right arms so you can get the combinations correct. If attacking the opposite side, the left and right descriptions are simply reversed.
Whether you are a beginner or have years on the mat, closed guard is a foundational position that you will frequently be battling from.
The arm drag from closed guard is a great attack option from the position advance to the back mount and progress towards the submission.
To perform the arm drag from closed guard:
Your ability to pull this move off depends on the proper timing of bringing your legs towards you as you drag your opponent’s arm across.
You must maintain the tight connection to avoid having your opponent square right back up to you.
Head and arm chokes are a class of submission that utilizes pressure your opponent’s shoulder to cut off blood on one side and your arm or other body part to cut off blood on the far side.
Josh Griffith’s head and arm choke from mount is a great attack option once you have secured top mount.
A key detail for racking up tremendous pressure is the chin tuck over your own wrists and hands. From there, relaxing and sinking your weight down will cause immense choking force without much effort on your part – which is the main goal of great BJJ.
The Americana is a foundational shoulder lock attack you can hit from several positions, including the full mount. The Americana becomes available when your opponent defends the mounted choke by placing their hands in front of their face and neck.
To attack the Americana from mount:
The mounted choke attacks work well with the Americana from mount because defending the choke often opens up the Americana submission.
Ultimately, you will almost always need to chain your submissions to successfully tap out skilled BJJ players.
While there are a nearly endless number of techniques in BJJ, you need to focus on the basic moves rather than constantly chasing the latest variation.
Most highly successful BJJ players have a few moves they have completely mastered and can pull off on other high level players. Legends like Roger Gracie for won all of his world championships with fundamental techniques.
The Josh Griffith’s 20 BJJ Moves You Need to Know covers some of the most fundamental techniques you should know for grappling (notice we did not say *basic techniques*).
For complete access to all of these Josh Griffiths techniques, click here!
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