Learn To Defend Illegal Techniques!

Whether you realize it or not, when we are doing BJJ with our training partners at the academy, we are adhering to many rules. These rules (some unwritten) make rolling safer for all involved and allow us to train hard without injuring each other.

Sport BJJ competitors can be especially focused on only those techniques that are legal in the rule set of their preferred competition. Guys who love to compete in IBJJF tournaments often don’t train all of the different leg attacks, as many are restricted or prohibited in different belt classes.

And then there are certain moves that are considered “douchebag” moves that good training partners don’t do – like spiking you to escape an arm lock from the guard.

But it is a mistake to completely ignore these situations and not learn how to defend them. We may not do it to each other when having a fun roll, but that doesn’t mean someone else in different circumstances might not try it. In the event of a street confrontation, you had better believe that these things can and will be attempted!

Let’s take a look at two examples of illegal techniques that you should learn how to defend.


A powerful opponent can lift you up out of a triangle, closed guard, or arm lock and slam you to the ground. In this video, slams were legal, and you can witness the result of not preventing a slam in guard.

Ryron Gracie vs Cameron Earle (Slam KO’d)

Neck Cranks

Neck cranks are banned in many grappling competitions, but this doesn’t stop a big, strong “roid head” from grabbing your neck and pulling, causing painful pressure on your cervical spine.

You need to learn how to deal with attacks that non experienced BJJ guys may attempt.

Remember: protect yourself at all times.

Can opener 101 with Luis Heredia

Read also on Jiu-jitsu Times: Why Does Jiu-jitsu Work Against A Bigger Opponent?


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