In this article I’m going to give you my BJJ techniques checklist.
This is the list of BJJ fundamental techniques I put together to:
Identify gaps in my knowledge.
Prioritise which instructionals I’d watch.
Focus the things I’m drilling.
Most importantly, it helped me to make the most of limited training time on mat…
…and provide a foundation to start learning how to apply concepts, rather than collecting 1,001 individual techniques
So what are the foundation techniques?
Here they are:
Click here to download My BJJ Techniques Checklist pdf
My BJJ Techniques Checklist – White Belt to Blue Belt
I combined the content from the course The Most Important Techniques of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Stephan Kesting’s article The 16 Most Important Techniques for the BJJ Beginner.
I listed these techniques based on the hierarchy of positions to help prioritise what I should focus on:
Rear Mounted or Back Control (Bottom)
Weak side back-to-mat escape, strong side baseball bat grip escape, butt scoop escape
Upa / bridge and roll escape, elbow-knee escape
Side Control (Bottom)
Hip escape guard replacement, backdoor escape
Over-under guard pass, knee slice, bullfighter guard pass (Toreando)
Half Guard (Bottom)
Under-hook back take, foot sweep
Half Guard (Top)
Foot-wedge guard pass, hip-switch guard pass
Arm-drag back take, scissor sweep. hip bump sweep, cross collar choke, arm bar, triangle choke, kimura, guillotine
Knee slice to mount, kimura, americana, head-arm triangle choke
Back take, cross collar choke, americana, arm bar
Back Control (Rear Mount)
Rear naked choke, doorbell choke, bow and arrow choke, arm bar
Why is the BJJ techniques checklist grouped from worst-to-best in the hierarchy of positions?
Being rear mounted is the worst place I could possibly be…
…so I figured back escapes should be the first thing to focus on.
(And, as a beginner, I’d probably end up being there more than I cared for)
Once I got that sorted?
Then mounted is the next worse position.
So should fix that too.
I COULD have worked on arm bar from mount first…
…but what point would there be if I never got there?
What are good resources to learn the fundamental BJJ techniques?
I think the best BJJ 101 course is The Most Important Techniques of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
(for less than $20, you can’t go wrong)
It’s a one-stop-shop video collection of most of the techniques you should be focusing on…
… with details on how to make them work.
Next, I would check out The Ace of Escapes by MMA Leech.
Solid instruction on back, mount, and side control escapes.
(My top 3 training priorities have been sorted with just this one resource)
Even though it’s “just escapes”, it’ll improve the whole game because they lead to more dominant positions.
Is this list so you don’t have to go to BJJ training?
Not at all.
It’s supposed to supplement it.
I can’t get to training as much as I’d like…
…so it could be over a year between sessions working on a position or specific technique.
I might as well continue training BJJ at home and on the road.
This way I can make the most of my training when I am on the mat.
Has focusing on these specific techniques limited your BJJ learning?
I feel like having a list like this would make anyone more well-rounded
(when I put this together, I realised I had NO guillotine).
Also, rather than vaguely knowing 100 techniques, I have a set of things that I know I’m decent at
These are techniques to express concepts:
Base, Posture, Levers, Frames, and Alignment.
Once there’s a handle on a good number of these foundations, my next step is quickly moving over to The BJJ Formula by Grapplearts
Is this an official list of BJJ techniques to get to from white belt to blue belt?
Not at all.
It’s just what I saw as a solid list for me and where I was in my journey.
[You’ll see there’s no posture, submission defence, knee ride, turtle, or takedowns]
To be honest, I put it together AFTER I already had a blue belt…
…it was what I felt I should have already known
It may not be right for you or where you train (or at all!)
What BJJ techniques should beginners focus on?
Anything I’m missing?