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8 Easy Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Moves Everyone Should Know for Self Defense

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You need to know these eight Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques to feel safe. Jiu Jitsu has self defense techniques that will make you safe on the streets.

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8. The Rear Naked Choke

The rear naked choke is, while not a fundamental – self defense move, a move that is very effective. Even if you just need some self defense tips, everyone needs an effective finishing move so if things get hairy, you can get yourself out of the situation without endangering yourself. The rear naked choke is effective because it’s very difficult to defend. The problem is that most people apply it incorrectly, and if applied incorrectly, it takes ages to finish.

Here’s the rundown: Beginning behind the opponent, snake your right arm in front of the neck, positioning your elbow directly in front of the throat, bend your arm and grab his shoulder. Now feed your left arm, palm facing up, under your right hand until your hand can grab onto your bicep. Secure the position by combing the hair of your opponent with your left hand until you can grab their neck. Finish the choke by breathing in, expanding your chest, and flexing your biceps.

7. Mount

Mount is a very dominant position. It leaves your opponent vulnerable, and relatively defenseless, to punches and many attacks. The key mistake most people make is losing the position due to poor posture.

Here’s the rundown: Mount is achieved when you straddle the lower torso of your opponent so that both of your knees touch the ground. The key to maintaining is keeping pressure on your opponent. You can help assure this by straddling your legs wide and keeping hip pressure into his belly.


6. Pulling Guard

When in danger versus and opponent that has superior standup ability compared to yours. In this situation your best option is to take the fight to the ground. Pulling guard should be a last resort, as it gives your opponent the option to slam you: on concrete this can be a dangerous move, but as a last resort, it can give you an advantage that can save your life.

Here’s the rundown: use any means you can to get inside of your opponent. That is: get close enough so that you can grab the back of his neck or around his body. Immediately after you do this wrap your legs around your opponent at his torso, locking your feet behind his back, and throw your weight back. Ideally you will land safely on the ground dude to his resistance to falling.

5. Taking the Back - Hooks

The back is an extremely vulnerable part of an opponent. It’s hard to defend because you can’t easily move your arms behind you, and you can’t easily hide it. The step most people miss is securing the position, most people assume that by grabbing the neck from the back they have control, but this allows the opponent a lot of space to move.

Here’s the rundown: after moving into a position where the opponents back is facing you, the first step is to hook in your arms. The easiest thing to do is feed your arms under his armpits and bend them at a right angle upwards to grab their shoulders, or clasp your hands in front of their chest. Next your goal is to hook your feet. You do this by bringing your calves in front of their legs and “hooking” your feet onto the inside of their thighs.

4. Side Control Escape

Side control is a dominant position that many inexperienced people employ incorrectly. Whether employed correctly or incorrectly, it is necessary to know how to get out of this position into a position where you have more control.

Here’s the rundown: you want your opponent to take his weight off of your body so you have a chance to get away. The most basic way to do this is to control the opponents head. First you snake your arm under the opponent’s body and then move it so that your forearm is against his neck. Now you can’t take your other hand and place it on your wrist. With the combined strength of both arms you push straight up, forcing your opponent to look up and take his weight off of you.

3. Mount Escape

Because mount is such a dominant position, it’s important to know how to get out of it. The dangers of having an opponent on top of you are obvious: they have all the control and you have none. Your first priority should be reversing or advancing your position so you have the ability to defend yourself.

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Here’s the rundown: the quickest way to escape the mount is to roll someone off of you. The first step is to break their posture. First: sit up and grab their head with one hand and the back of their arm with the other. As you lean back, pull them with you. Now you can focus on setting up the roll. While keeping your grip on the back of their arm, release your grip on their head and grab their wrist. Now move your foot to the outside of the leg on the side of the arm you have trapped, trapping their leg as well. To roll him, simply extend your hips upwards and follow them over.

2. Closed Guard

Closed guard is a basic defensive position that most people don’t know. It gives you the control to stop people’s punches and control the person’s posture, giving you the chance to figure out a way out of trouble.

Here’s the rundown: You are lying on you back with your legs wrapped around the person’s torso and you feet locked in the back. By crunching you can pull them closer, and by arching you can push them away, helping you stop their punches or other attacks.


1. Standing Up in Base

A technique encouraged by the Gracie family, standing up in base gives you the ability to fend off an oncoming attack after being knocked down, or give you the upper hand in a scramble. I feel the Gracie family give the best instruction on this move:


Nathan Bernardo from California, United States of America on June 08, 2013:

Valuable information and broken down well; especially like the break-down of how to escape the mount, a very necessary technique to learn.

Shaun on May 19, 2012:

Where can i download all the ju-jitsu moves, i have started ju-jitsu and would like to study the moves in detail, to learn the ancient art of ju-jitsu

rich_hayles on January 03, 2011:

Fantastic read. I love watching MMA and this is a brilliant guide to the art of Jiu Jitsu for anyone wishing to learn the basics.

I look forward to more guides when you get a chance to write them.

sbarring (author) on December 30, 2010:

Thank you very much!

rickyrt44 from LOGAN, WEST VIRGINIA on December 30, 2010:

That's what I am talking about. Great workouts and moves that could potentially, save your life. Great, GREAT HUB my friend

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