Never underestimate the BJJ basics! HAve you ever heard the phrase “advanced basics”? As conflicting as it may sound it is how high-level BJJ works. Fancy innovative moves and positions are by all means very effective. However, one thing they have in common is an expiry date. As soon as people figure out how to shut something new down, it becomes pretty much useless, unless it evolves into a meaningful system. BJJ basics, on the other hand, are evergreens. They never get old, and the more you look into them, the more you’ll learn during each occasion. The advanced part comes in when you mix in one basic position with another, or a few of them. This is exactly what we’ll cover today.
With all the craziness that engulfs the BJJ world lately, people rarely turn to the stuff that made it popular back in the day. Contrary to popular belief, the basic stuff still works just as good, if not better than before. Yes, we need innovation to keep Jiu-Jitsu growing as a sport but that doesn’t mean abandoning the foundational principles. The closed guard is a great example of positions that people underestimate until they get caught in it. Yes, closed guard variations like the Williams or Rubber guard have their merit, but they are still miles from what the closed guard offers. The only thing about BJJ basics from the closed guard that they might not look fancy enough for people involved in modern Jiu-Jitsu. Do not be one of those people.
Closed Guard BJJ Basics
What is the first BJJ sweep you ever learned? Most likely it is a closed guard one, and one of two main choices – the scissor or the hip bum sweep. Both are very simple, very effective and not complicated for beginners to learn. Out of the two, the hip bump comes a bit more naturally, since it doesn’t involve sport-specific movements like hip escapes. It is, to this day, one of the best ways to attack from the closed guard. However, simply ending up on top is far from the only thing you can do once you initiate a hip bum sweep.
The reason people of all levels use the hip bump sweep is because of its simplicity. The hip bump sweep works by forcing your opponent towards the back. This happens due to all your weight pressing onto their hips. It is a sweep that people usually do not expect, a common practice has people pulling from the closed guard. This is where another key trait of the hip bump sweep comes into play.
The main thing people from closed guard look to achieve is to break the opponent’s posture down. Since this is the main thing the opponent’s trying to prevent, this is very often where the main closed guard battle takes place. The hip bump sweep removes posture breaking from the equation by taking you up towards the opponent. In fact, this is essential for the hip bump’s success.
One reason why people choose to abandon such effective BJJ basics after the white belt is that they stop having success with the most obvious option – the sweep, usually after the blue belt. However, there’s a lot more than the hip bump has to offer, even as far up the ladder as the black belt.
Hip Bump Sweep Attacks Combination
The hip bump sweep works by off-balancing your opponent into the direction they’re not defending – backward. Since the position of the legs, doesn’t allow you to push directly backward, you need to finish the sweep in a twisting manner. To do so, you want to anchor yourself with one arm across the opponent’s opposite shoulder. You do see the opportunities here, right? I mean, apart from the sweep?
In terms of BJJ basics, even the submission follow-ups from the hip bump are fundamental. “The powerful four” of closed guard submissions are all easy to get – the triangle, armbar, Kimura, and guillotine. Actually, training with the Gi offers one more opportunity which we’ll go over later. It’s a killer though!
The sweep works quite easy, as long as you know how to deal with the grips. If you’re looking into BJJ basics, all you need to do is make sure one of the opponent’s palms touches the mat. That’s’ the sie you’re’ going to sweep to. If you’re more of an advanced fundamentals grappler than you can play with posture breaks as threats to set the hip bump up. These are just examples of what you can do.
The sweep itself has only one main rule – stay connected. The closer your upper body is to the opponent’s the better the sweep will be. Remember to turn your hips to the side of the shoulder under your control. Also, the power for this sweep comes from the hips, so do make sure to do a strong bump!
The triangle is one option here that is not really obvious but is effective nonetheless. One of my personal favorite ways to set u pa triangle, if I’m being honest. If you do not have particularly long limbs, you also might want to look into this option.
Submissions off the hip bump sweep work when opponents react to your initial sweep attempt. If they don’t, just go to mount, get the points and then finish from there. For the triangle though, you’re waiting for the most instinctive and basic reaction they have – posting the arm. Once they do, you have an open route for a triangle. Since your legs are under the armpits now you can extract one leg and throw it over the shoulder. At this point, you’ll need to use your own arm as a post to offer stability while you transition. While in most cases you’ll finish off your back, you can still use the triangle to sweep and finish mounted.
The armbar from the hip bum sweep is another one of the BJJ basics which transcends belt levels or experience. As long as you time it right, you’ll get a deep armbar. Once again, the setup is off of a reaction from your opponent. This time, though, instead of posting with their arm, they’ll try to push on your chest to get you back to the ground.
As that happens, make sure you throw an arm over the elbow, and cusp it with your palm. Elbow control is essential to end up in an armbar position. As you get back to the ground, you once again get a free leg from under the arm you’re controlling. This leg then swings over the opponent’s head for a classical, basic armbar finish.
The Kimura is the most obvious attacking option from a failed hip bump sweep. It is so intertwined with it, that you may do it to set u pa hip bump sweep or off of it. The Kimura and the hip bump are a match made in heaven when it comes to closed guard BJJ basics.
Once again, the arm post is your signal to pounce. You may try it off the same post as the triangle, however, for the Kimura, you’re better off doing it when the posting arm is nearer to the opponent’s upper body. The moment you feel your opponent’s hips pushing back, you should look to transition out of the hip bump sweep. At such a point the Kimura is already half in. Simply thread the arm inside and use your other arm to establish the figure four as you’re going to your back.
Guillotine / Loop Choke
Our final move from the hip bump sweep is a nasty choke that has plenty of variations. Out of all the BJJ basics, we went through today, this one is by far my favorite. In No-gi, you have the option of hitting the regular, high elbow or arm-In guillotine from the position. In Gi Jiu-Jitsu, you have the added benefit of the loop choke as a potent threat.
A guillotine is a great option when you do your best to sweep but your opponent ends up retaining base at the very last moment. Since you’re already high up their body, you might as well make something of the position. Once again, the arm that is over the shoulder is going to be the attacking one. Just wrap it around your opponent’s head and pull back towards the guard. Depending on how you set your grips up, you’ll have one of three guillotine variations ready to go. Moreover, you can interchange between them all to ensure a finish.
The loop choke is a sort of a shortened guillotine and by far the best Gi option. All you need is a shallow lapel grip from a guillotine setup. Once down, you can get your second arm behind their head and finish with next to no effort!