Bjj Principle : The Death Grip

As humans, we have certain instinctive behaviours that actually work AGAINST us in jiu-jitsu.

An example is when the opponent pushes us, it is automatic to respond by opposing that force and push back.

This strategy works great if you can push harder than the opponent. But, if your opponent is larger and stronger, your push-back strategy is doomed to failure!

We have to train jiu-jitsu to overcome those instincts and learn how to deal with and actually take advantage of our opponents’ instinctive reactions.

An example of this would be when an opponent takes a powerful grip on our kimono. Our first instinct is to fight the grip (which can in fact be a good solution) and engage our strength against theirs.

But pause a moment and ask “How would Helio Gracie deal with this situation?”. By straining and struggling against a stronger opponent?

When the opponent takes a “death grip” on your gi, you KNOW where his hand and arm is going to be. He is 100% committed to that grip and will leave his arm there even when it might be wiser to withdraw his arm.

Let’s take a look at a specific situation: an ude gatame armlock: when your opponent takes a grip on your pants to bullfighter pass. By refusing to let go of your pants, the opponent is unwittingly exposing and straightening his arm…perfect for attacking the arm lock!

You KNOW that arm will remain there as you position yourself to attack the armlock. The opponent’s stubborn grip actually GIVES you the straight arm! This is far easier than struggling to break their grip.

A second, simple way to apply this is when your opponents strongly defend the choke or armlock. Just change to the other attack while they take a death grip on the opposite attack.
Use their strength and stubbornness to your tactical advantage.

Jiu-jitsu Times – Bjj Principle : Action Reaction


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