What are the Fundamental Techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

If you are considering learning a martial art like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or you are serious about improving your current skills, it may seem like there’s an infinite amount of techniques and variations to learn and understand, however, most of them stem from just a few basic moves. At ICC, we are the leading academy for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Sydney, where people of all ages and abilities come together to learn, train and grow through a variety of martial arts. Here are a few movements and techniques that represent the core of BJJ training and mastering these will set you on the right track for your BJJ journey.

Shrimping and Bridging

Two important words in the language of BJJ, shrimping and bridging are essential BJJ movements that are woven into many techniques and are used to bind all your moves together. No matter if you are just starting out or have been training for years, you need to continually practice these movements to ensure you are always improving and refining your technique. Both movements come with several variations, so even when you think you have mastered them, there’s another way of shrimping and bridging for you to perfect.


Gripping correctly is an essential part of BJJ training, and knowing how and when to grip is crucial in executing many BJJ techniques. Effective gripping has three components:

  • The strength of your hands – As a beginner, you may not have the same iron grip possessed by advanced students, however your fingers and hands will naturally become stronger over time. You can also speed up the process by specifically working on your grip with supplemental exercises and training.
  • Efficiency – It’s not about holding on to things as tight as you can, rather gripping things tight enough so that your opponent cannot get away from you. Gripping with all your strength will mean eventually your forearms will fatigue and your grip will weaken.
  • Knowing where to grip – Even if you have the strongest and most efficient gripping technique, if you grab the wrong body part of your opponent you may not have enough leverage to control them.

Passing the Guard

An effective technique even at the more advanced levels, passing the guard is one often considered one of the most difficult aspects to learn in BJJ. The aim is to force your opponent to open up or ‘break open’ their guard by standing up, you then proceed by pinning one of your opponent’s legs with your shin. If you know how to pass the guard, then you will be able to win many BJJ matches just by this movement alone.

The Armbar

One of the first complex moves you learn as a BJJ practitioner, this technique can be executed from a multitude of positions and is a common grappling submission hold used to force the opponent to quit (tapout), ending a match. The number of armbar repetitions that the average BJJ practitioner will do throughout their training will likely be enough to allow them to develop a decent armbar, however to perfect the technique, further dedication is necessary. Learning how to execute an armbar also makes learning other BJJ techniques a lot easier.

Breath control

Breath control is everything in martial arts, and understanding BJJ breathing will help your overall game. Your ability to learn, perform and succeed on the mat is linked to your state of mind, which is in turn linked to your breathing. The greater your ability to control your breath, the better your grappling performances will be and you’ll also learn how to recognize when your opponent is breathing erratically, and how to use that to your advantage.

These are just some of the basic BJJ techniques all students should continually practice and perfect and mastering these will help to make more complex techniques a little easier to learn. If you are interested in learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Sydney, book a free trial with ICC today. Learning a martial art allows you to develop whole body strength, learn new skills, get fit, have fun and make lifelong friendships. Call us today on (02) 8221 8899, visit our centres in Peakhurst and Canterbury or enquire online now.

Give our BJJ program a go and experience the improvements to all of these fields. It is considered to be an excellent first style where the skills are easily transferable.


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