BJJ / Grappling tips: How to improve your guard, half guard and every other jiujitsu position by focusing on pit stops

Something I've always enjoyed exploring in grappling / jiujitsu is the use of pit stops. In this context, pit stops to me are points along the path of a roll / grapple / match where you can stop, secure & re-evaluate before you close the deal (submission, new position or even escape).

Over the past few years I have come to really appreciate the value of pit stops. In my opinion they are even more important than submissions. Not only do they slow the game down and allow you to be more cerebral, but the very nature of a BJJ / Grappling pit stop means that they often present you with a few directional choices (e.g. the chance to change submission or switch to a sweep / positional transition)

A few of my favourite ones are:

Penelope, aptly named, after Penelope Pitstop, during a no-gi session on tightening triangles

Spider-web a la Eddie Bravo

Armwrap / Twisted Arm Control from mount, made famous/popular by legendary Rickson Gracie.

The beauty of pit stops is their superior mechanical advantage. We all know how hard it can be to finish a strong, clued-up athlete with, say, a triangle choke even from relatively far into the technique.

Enter Penelope!

It takes more energy to break out of a pit stop, if done correctly than it takes to maintain it. It’s an excellent place to wait and refuel while your opponent burns out, making the triangle that much easier to finish. And the best thing is? There are hundreds of pit stops out there to be explored. We just have to look for them.



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