Core Jiu Jitsu Concept #2:


In 2010 I had the pleasure of training with Cobrinha. In case you don’t know who Cobrinha is, he’s a 4 x world champion, 2 x ADCC, and is one of the best BJJ competitors ever.

I am big fan of his Jiu Jitsu. So when he asked me to roll at a seminar he was teaching, I jumped at the opportunity.

As expected, he smashed me. And I loved every second of it.

But as we rolled, I was struck by his timing and ability to take away my balance. The closest thing I can relate it to is like falling through a trap door. As soon as I put a foot wrong I was upside down, inside out, and in a submission.

The way Cobrinha did this is what I want to share with you now. That is the concept of BALANCE.

Poor Balance Will Get You Killed…

Just like poor posture, poor balance will get you killed. We maybe not killed, but it will lead to you being swept or submitted. And just like with posture, I regularly see people give up their balance. This commonly happens in a number like

  • Over committing to a technique
  • Leaning over in guard
  • Jumping

There are times you can do all of these things, but you’ll always run the risk of being countered. A common example of this is a late double-leg takedown.

How many times have you seen someone over commit to a double leg just to have their opponent use their energy and lack of balance to throw them over their head?

I hope you’re starting to see the importance of BALANCE.

Using Your Opponents Reaction Against Them

When you understand balance you can use it against your opponent.

The most well-known way of doing this is pushing and pulling. When my opponent pushes I pull, and when they pull I push. And you can force this reaction too. A well-known example of this is Gui Mendes fake guard pull to

A great example of this is Gui Mendes fake guard pull to ankle pick. It’s a thing of beauty. And works because Gui tricks his opponent into thinking he’s pulling guard so they sink their weight backwards. As soon as they do this, Gui switches to the ankle pick and pushes into them.

Another way to use balance against your opponent is by creating an angle on them. Typically this weak angle is along the diagonals or directly behind them. (We’ll cover this in more depth in a later post.)

Here’s a video that covers some of the key ways to avoid losing your balance AND how to take your opponents balance away from them.

So what’s the major thing should take away from the post?

  1. Don’t give your opponent your balance.
  2. Take away your opponents ability to balance.