his article was written by BJJ.Org featured contributor Roy Harris. Harris is a black belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor in San Diego. This article was originally published on his PFS web site.Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is built upon two pillars of truth: 1) Space and 2) Weight. Once you understand these two principles and learn how to use them to your advantage, they will turbo charge your defensive and offensive game. To your opponent, you will feel heavier when you are on top of them. To your opponent, you will feel slippery when you are underneath them.
Let’s first address space. When you find yourself in a superior position, you need to be as close to your opponent as possible. Give them no space to perform any kind of escape! When I say no space, I mean no space with your entire body. Not just your upper body, but also your lower body. Not just with the left side of your body, but with both the left and right sides of your body. I want you to place your body on top of their body like a wet towel. You should be so close to your opponent that you should feel like one of his intercostal muscles.
To maintain an extreme tightness, you need to maintain a constant pulling motion with your arms. You also need to drive with your feet and apply downward pressure with your chest by arching your back.
When you find yourself in the inferior position, you need to create as much space as possible. When I say create space, I mean you should create space at the hips and the head. Move your hips away from their hips, then move your upper torso away from their upper torso. Remember this rule of thumb: He who controls the hips, controls the game.
To create space, you first need to push with your hands, forearms, knees and/or feet. Next, you need to move your hips away from the opponent’s hips. The closer your hips are to him the more control he will have over them.
Now that we have briefly covered the concept of space, let’s take a look at weight.
When you find yourself in a superior position, you need to keep your weight centered upon the opponent’s upper torso. If you give your opponent the chance to dump your weight off to one side, he may escape. So keep your weight centered on his upper torso.
To keep your weight centered on his upper torso, maintain a constant pulling motion with your arms. Keep your head down and keep your chest pressing into his.
When you find yourself in an inferior position, you need to dump the opponent’s weight off of the center of your chest. You have five directions in which you can dump his weight:
up (towards the ceiling)down (towards your feet)leftrightoverhead (towards the top of your head)To dump the weight off of your upper torso, you need to use your hands, forearms and/or biceps to push their weight in one of the five directions mentioned above.
Now that you have some guidelines to follow, you can come up with numerous techniques to fit specific situations. You are only limited by your imagination! So go forth and conquer! Dominate, control and escape!