Breaking a turtle down versus riding

Breaking a turtle down versus riding: When it’s time to attack an opponents turtle position, I general counsel students to begin by breaking an opponent down to a hip. This immediately reduces their athletic potential and makes them much more controllable so that you can focus on applying your attacks. However, there are going to be times you cannot do this on tough opponents. Then you will have to get hooks in and ride the opponents turtle while they are still on their knees. You can see Nicky Ryan doing a fine job of this here. Be sure to maintain a tight chest to back connection at control both sides of the body - otherwise you can slip off and end up underneath your opponent. Interestingly, the more your opponent resists being off balanced and broken down to a hip, the more he will have to widen his base and open himself up to your hooks and riding. The more he tightens up to resist the insertion of your hooks and riding, the easier he will be to off balance and break down to a hip - so the two modes of attacking turtle work very well as a dilemma.


Turtle breakdowns - start by forming an effective connection and get them out of balance (kuzushi)

Turtle breakdowns - start by forming an effective connection and get them out of balance (kuzushi): When you first start out working to attack turtle position it seems like an easy task - your opponent has his back to you and seems quite harmless. Then you start working against more experienced opponents and attacking turtle position seems like trying to attack a fire hydrant, then you start working with people who specialize in counter offense from this position and suddenly it feels like you are trying to ride a barrel floating down a fast moving river. One thing is clear - you need to be connected to your opponent or they can simply move away from you. You have a bunch of good options when it comes to connection - just make sure you connect with both upper body through arms, and lower body through hips. Once this is done - GET THEM OUT OF BALANCE. The turtle position gives your opponent a surprising degree of athletic potential. They can roll, stand up, sit to guard, trap and roll you into a pin etc. Take all that away from the start by breaking their balance and suddenly the task of attacking turtle position gets a LOT easier. The only way an opponent can stop an attack on his balance is to widen his base - and that will immediately create different opportunities for your turtle attacks. Make it a habit - get connected and attack his balance - then you can choose all your other options at will


Turtle breakdowns

Turtle breakdowns: The main concern of turtle breakdowns (attacking the turtle position in order to gain points and/or to gain some kind of advantage that leads to submission) is quite different in Jiu jitsu than in other grappling arts. In Judo and wrestling the idea of any turtle breakdown is usually done with the idea of forcing the opponents BACK TO THE FLOOR in order to pin his back to the mat. In Jiu Jitsu this scores nothing. The central focus in Jiu jitsu is generally towards GETTING TO THE REAR MOUNT POSITION. This scores the maximum possible in the sport - four points. As such, it makes sense to make your primary focus in Jiu jitsu training for breaking down an opponents turtle position geared towards getting your hooks in a advancing to rear mount. This will satisfy both the demand for scoring points (you get the maximum score) and for submission (you end up in the position that allows you to use the most high percentage submission method in the sport - rear strangles. There are other good ways to attack a turtle position that have their merits, but getting to rear mount should be your primary focus. The central problem you will have to overcome will always be the connection of your opponents elbow and knee, which serves as an obstacle to your ability to insert your hooks and score. Here, Gordon Ryan looks to break that connection and open space for his legs to enter and get into his favorite finishing position. When it comes time to train your turtle breakdown skills, out the majority of your time into those methods that take you to rear mount - no other methods are so well suited to the unique nature and points system of Jiu Jitsu


Turtle position - the OTHER bottom position of Jiu jitsu

Turtle position - the OTHER bottom position of Jiu jitsu: When people talk about playing bottom position in Jiu Jitsu, they almost always mean to play from GUARD position, which is defined as a situation where you face your opponent in bottom position with at least one of your legs between you and him as a barrier. There is of course, a second bottom position that gets a lot less attention due to the fact that it offers a lot less attacking potential and has a high risk of back exposure - turtle position - where you are in bottom position facing away from your opponent on your knees. Though it is not the preferred bottom position in Jiu jitsu it is nonetheless very important due to the fact that it commonly occurs in competitive guard passing and takedown scrambles when opponents are reluctant to concede points. As such it is crucial for your development that you build a strong set of attacks and controls to breakdown the defensive structure of the turtle position. Just as you should be able to pass an opponents guard, you should also be able to break down an opponents turtle position if you are to have a complete top game. Remember that a guard pass score three points - but a turtle breakdown that ends with you in rear mount scores four points and results in you being in the single best finishing position in the sport - so it’s actually the preferred situation for the top player if you get a choice. Here, talented back attack juggernaut Nick Rodriguez looks to initially control a turtle position with the intention of breaking it down to score with hooks and finish with his powerful rear strangles


Turtle breakdowns in Jiu jitsu

Turtle breakdowns in Jiu jitsu: Many grappling sports feature turtle breakdowns. You see them in wrestling, Judo and Sambo. The INTENT of turtle breakdowns in these grappling styles is usually very different from Jiu jitsu however. Jiu jitsu is very unique among grappling styles in so far as it awards points (maximum points actually) to rear mounted positions. In Judo, wrestling and Sambo, the primary goal is not to get hooks in and rear mount - that score no points in itself - but rather to turn the opponents back and shoulders towards the floor into a classic pin. So the whole direction of turtle breakdowns in Jiu jitsu is quite different. The primary focus is on getting your two legs hooked into his hips to attain the rear mount - it does not matter whether you end on top or bottom - if you get two hooks in you score. Interestingly, in other grappling styles such as Judo if you topple an opponent from turtle and end up in a side pin you can win the match if you hold him down for a period of time. In Jiu jitsu the same action would score you nothing. The different rule structure leads athletes in different sports in very different directions. When practicing Jiu jitsu always keep this in mind and make your primary focus the rear mount position. It gets you the maximum points score and puts you immediately in position for the most high percentage submission in the sport - rear strangles. Here, master of back control and strangles, Gordon Ryan practices his craft.