BJJ Combinations And Why You Need Them

April 11, 2016
3 minutes read
BJJ Combinations And Why You Need Them

You can’t defend two things at the same time.

It’s just not possible for the human attention span.

Particularly in times of high stress when we are super focused on the problem at hand.

Attacking different combinations and angles has always been the goal of the superior striker, as it is the case for the grappler.

You know personally, that your team mates get wise to your favourite moves and putting their hand up or a quick YouTube trip can get them an escape to mess up your whole gameplan.

You need another attack from their defense.


Good players have combos from all the most common defenses for that initial setup.

What here as BlackBelt Marcio Cruz grabs a leg to then pull guard and sets up a sweep before switching to armbar.



Examples of combinations:

Single leg switch to double.

Double leg switch to single.

Triangle armbar.

Keylock/kimura/straight armbar from side control (The MouseTrap)

Ko Uchi Gari to Seoi nage.

Fake guard pull to Anklepick.

Mounted Americana defence gives you the other arm to armlock.

Mounted Armbar defence gives you a cutting armbar on the far arm.

Back choke defense to armbar from the back.


Sean Sherk taught us in a seminar, “If you keep switching between low and high attacks, it’s IMPOSSIBLE for them to defend their head and midsection in rapid succession.”

His takedown success was largely due to striking low, striking high again and then shooting.


What actually works really well, is having a Yang movement (expanding, forceful) that has an opposing Yin movement (contracting, sacrifice throw).


Shooting a Double (forward pressure) get sprawled on: jump Butterfly guard and throw him backwards over your head.

A push-forward tripping throw such as Osoto Gari or O Uchi Gari combined with a pulling Uchi Mata / Ogoshi.

Escapes where you bridge into them and then roll them back the other way.


This applies really obviously in passing open guard, where the ‘energies’ are very apparent and you have to push-pull and run around the opposing forces.


So play with the “push-pull” of your favourite positions.

What could lie in the opposite direction? Think with your body and ask questions.


“The quality of decision is like the well-timed swoop of a falcon which enables it to strike and destroy its victim.” – Sun Tzu



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Michael Zoupa
Michael Zoupa

Michael is a “certified badass” with a heart of gold. Passionate about making people feel safe and educating them to be confident. In his youth -a little troubled- Michael often got into fights with the bullies in his school. After identifying with this, he began a lifelong pursuit of the martial arts and in educating others how to protect themselves and use "fighting without fighting" to deter aggressors from choosing them as victims. Michael specializes in leverage for little people, grappling for control and self defense, footwork to generate more power and head movement/evasive technique for counter fighting.

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