Turning Away Safely to Turtle and Recovering Guard: a BJJ Tutorial

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by goatfury, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. goatfury

    goatfury Brown Belt

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  2. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    This is a largely ignored part of guard retention, which is sad since it's seen all the time at high level. I had to teach myself how to do it and it wasn't so easy. Personally I think turning away as you turtle is the highest % use, the trick is to make sure that at all times your shoulders are on the mat so that you're hiding your back. I don't really mind if I get stuck halfway rolled and have to work back to guard so long as my back is hidden.
     
  3. QingTian

    QingTian Purple Belt

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    If your guard was definitely getting passed, do you prefer to roll away for the turtle or allow side control? What about in a no-points situation? Which do you see more risk of being subbed or losing a fight?
     
  4. goatfury

    goatfury Brown Belt

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    This question might have been directed at Uchi Mata, but I'll answer: I'd prefer to turtle very nearly 100% of the time, points or no points. My options for escaping and recovering guard (and not getting submitted) are considerably higher in that case.
     
  5. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Turtle all day, with or without points. Side control is worse in every way. The top guy simply does not have the same level of positional control when I'm turtled that he does when he has top side. Even in an MMA fight, I just have so much more mobility from turtle; I can stand up, I can roll towards or away, etc. none of which I can do from bottom side.
     
  6. Solidus Snake

    Solidus Snake Purple Belt

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    So much quality stuff. Thank you.
     
  7. QingTian

    QingTian Purple Belt

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    Interesting. For a while I thought BJJ was very anti-turtle, which is probably still true since many still just go limp once you pass their guard. I don't see people often escape to turtle either.

    As you know in Judo people turtle on the drop of a hat. I try to work on my turtle so that my game translates to both sports, but I've gotten punished enough in BJJ by giving my back that made me question which is better.

    Part of it is because BJJ people, at least at lower belts, are much better at attacking the back versus from side control. The converse is true for Judo (under Judo rules).
     
  8. goatfury

    goatfury Brown Belt

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    Thanks! It means a lot to hear.
     
  9. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    The use in BJJ is totally different. Very few Judo people will try to be offensive or recover guard from turtle, it's just a stalling position. Most Judoka also don't worry that much about giving their back up in my experience, since again you can usually stall to mate. BJJ people will make it very, very hard for you to take their backs from turtle. It's a position that requires a lot of patience for the top guy to prevent the re-guard and still advance. It's not a good place to be in BJJ, but you definitely have more options than bottom side.
     
  10. goatfury

    goatfury Brown Belt

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    Well said. I'll add: the objective is to be stood back up in judo after a few seconds, whereas the objective in BJJ is (eventually) to escape.
     
  11. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    That is a great article.
     
  12. goatfury

    goatfury Brown Belt

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    Thanks!!
     
  13. EndlessCritic

    EndlessCritic Gold Belt

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    i should start working on this more. it's really underutilized.
     
  14. Billz

    Billz White Belt

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    Great stuff, thanks. I need to work on these a lot. Do you recommend transitioning directly into these after turtling. Or do you take your time and get your bearings?
     
  15. Obscure Terror

    Obscure Terror ................................. Platinum Member

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    Also turtle suits people with a wrestling mindset or wrestling experience - it's a mobile platform where you can at least try and attack from, or reguard. You aren't offensive in bottom side control as you're being pinned, unless you're Braulio Estima.

    Also from a points perspective you aren't passed in turtle, and this is why Rico Vieira at Checkmat Rio focuses on going to turtle rather than accepting the pass. Yes, the risk of giving your back up is real, but you still have options to sweep/come up on a leg or reguard. In side control you're points down and have to work even harder to get an underhook and wrestle up, or reguard or get to turtle, and you're in a points deficit. Might as well bypass all that, go to turtle and get on the offence as quickly as possible.
     
  16. Kaffe

    Kaffe Brown Belt

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    I use that flamethrower recovery all the time. It is soo money. Great article as always.
     
  17. QingTian

    QingTian Purple Belt

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    Gene Lebell's book (originally published in 1962!) has a great section on turtle reversals. A great many were front turtle reversals, that don't focus on guard recovery. More like sit outs, rolls, fireman's, etc. Has much more a wrestling feel.

    I wish I knew where my copy is, since it's really expensive on Amazon now. Back then I ate up the newaza section.

    http://www.amazon.com/Gene-Lebells-...d=1439482753&sr=8-4&keywords=gene+lebell+judo
     
  18. platfox

    platfox Silver Belt

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    Tucking your arms to prevent harness control is a great tip!
     
  19. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Directly if you can, but when you start practicing I'd not rush it. Get your bearings and then work out when you can roll. As you get better you start doing it quicker as a reaction to your legs being redirected or rolling out of a pass.
     
  20. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    It makes the roll much easier if an arm isn't around your waist. As such, one thing to try is grabbing the arm for the Telles roll, and if they pull it back immediately start to roll the other way to re-guard.
     

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