Question about someone in the turtle position


Brown Belt
Aug 31, 2003
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I been going to class now for 3 weeks, and i do pretty good, but heres a question thats been eating at me, when we roll we start on our knees and whenever i roll with my instructor he leads with his right hand out to the side of me, i figured he does that to distract me so i lose concentration, then as soon as we make contact he goes to the turtle position.

Now when this occurs i do a few different things, first off i wrap one arm threw his neck ala headlock, then i grab my other arms bicep and try for the anaconda, he always blocks it, but that doesnt bother me soo much cuz i get him outta the turtle position then. i also try to sink in my hooks by mounting his back, but usually i get one in, then when i have his wrist i try to squeeze in the other and he bucks me off. The last thing i do is grab his ankle and wrist when im in a sidemount while hes in turtle and try to stretch him out...Im new so sorry if this is a dumb question, I know the smart thing would be just to ask him, but i kinda like the element of surprise when i roll in my class, like i wont go for the moves we just learned that day cuz it seems like that would be the obvious thing to do, so any help would be much appreciated. thanks guys
so first he's on all his fours facing you, as if he shot in and you sprawled? and then you take his back?

from the sprawl position yeah, anaconda is a cool thing. i have a nice move on how to get the side from being in sprawl though. here it is: you take your left hand and grip it on the lower back of his head (don't try tearing it off or anything, just make sure you sort of hold it). now take your right hand and go under his left armpit with it, reaching for your left wrist. then grab it and roll to your left. you're pushing down with your left arm and sort of lifting with the overhook you have with your right. you roll not only to your back but all the way through and you end up in side control.
right now im sure you cant visualise it properly, you have to try it out. it feels kinda wierd but it worked for me so far.

when getting the hooks in and he keeps throwing you off, you could try locking your hands around his waist before getting that second hook in. that way no matter howmuch he jumps around you most likely won't slide off. ofcourse the best thing to do is getting one arm around his neck (like going for the rnc) and locking it with the other one going under his armpit. it's a bitch getting someone off of you like that and you're like 2 milliseconds away from a rnc.

im no rickson, but i've played with that position. the above may turn out to be completely useless, but it also might help a bit.

good luck.
Thanks so much for the advice man, i love this class, i can understand how people get discouraged cuz i have yet to tap anyone, but if we went by points well i woulda won 1 match at least heh, and i told myself i would try to decrease my taps every class and learn something new, i started at 8 and am down to 3 or 4 a class, with the exception of the instructor, cuz he goes easy on me. I would recommend everyone try BJJ or any kinda grappling class, it is just too much fun.
If he is any good as an instructor, you should ask him how to counter it.
I used to always get anxious when somebody is in turtle (my instructor always pulls it on me) so now I just wait. I will put my knees really low on his hips (so if he rolls or moves, I can kind of "ride the wave") and I just wait for him to open up. Sometimes he tries to roll forward for guard and I just pass to side other times he tries to reach back and that opens up his neck. I quit getting so anxious and worrying about boring him.
if you're in front of him, there are a number of chokes and turnovers you can do, but they're kind of advanced.

just work on methodically taking his back: try getting a double under hook grip, but instead of clasping your hands, grab his lapels - one in each hand, same side so you could pull his gi open. this is a good grip for control. you always want to be off to the side a little bit to prevent him from throwing you over his head if he gets up to his feet quickly, but keep your weight on him obviously to stop him from standing. then work on putting your foot on his thigh, lifting up his lapel with your hand on the same side, and forcing your hook into the space you've just created. then work on the other hook/rnc from there.
When you are at his side (lets say left side) and he is turtled, put your left arm under his head and bring your right arm under his chest and pull on his elbow with both hands and push on his torso with your body to sweep him from that position so he is on his back. If I could find pictures to explain this I would post em. sorry if my explanation is fucked.
If you are on the side of his turtle you can do the following:

1.) Reach under his his far arm and secure his wrist
2.) Grab his far foot and pull it tight.

If done right he's pretty much locked up.
I was taught this tech from a BJJ black belt and it is a gem...

With opponent in turtle I have great success with this sub:

You are on their right side (90 degrees side/back control, knees in)

Control their left wrist with your left hand (underhook) they'll think you are wanting to armbar or figure4 them. they can be your backup.

Distract them with your right hand by trying to get it through the right side of their neck, they will then focus their chin and right hand to block their right side neck

quickly move your right hand over to their left side and grab the right side lapel with a bottle grip (thumb up)

throw your right leg over their head and sit down. Do not pull them, let your weight execute the lapel choke as you push your leg away to make it super tight.