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It's not enough to place yourself into a position, what really matters is maintaining the position. If you're in a foot race with someone it's not over just because you took pole position and it is no different on the mat.

There are some key points to position for white belts and they are divided 2-and-2 for top and bottom positions. To put it plainly, use the voice in your head to ask yourself these key questions. 

Bottom Position

  • Where am I?
    For this point think about not just where you are on the mat or in regards to your training partner/opponent, think about where your limbs, posture, and balance are to avoid being submitted and to effectively escape.

  • Where am I going?
    This question is aligned with the hierarchy of BJJ we have spoken about previously and working our way into less disadvantageous positions.

    E.g. You're in bottom side control? Get to your knees, guard, or even half-guard and so on.

Top Position

  • What should I expect?
    This point might sound vague, but if you have an understanding of the fundamental escapes and mechanics of poor positions you can begin to nullify your partner's attempts to escape. 

    Think removing frames, controlling the hips etc.

  • How does it end?
    This part is for when you have understood the position and held it for long enough (by shutting down escapes and maintaining position) that you move for the checkmate. 

    If you have a go-to submission for the position you're in then go for it, if not try to hit a sub that you feel is high percentage enough or that you can maintain position should it fail. 

Try these questions while you roll this week and, as always, stay in the roll.

- Jake Anderson

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