Gracie Barra Week 13 – Jiu-Jitsu Guards

Want to learn the best fundamentals? Come to Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu and check out some awesome Jiu-Jitsu Guards

GB1 – This week in our fundamental class we learn how to defend  the roundhouse kick and respond with a double leg takedown. On the ground game we improve our skill of the situp sweep and transition to the kimura submission. These fundamentals are key to a solid Jiu-Jitsu game. We also begin to work on options from the spider guard. How to set it up and a few spider guard sweeps.

GB2-3 – In the advanced curriculum we are working from the guard using options of the De La Riva Guard and the X-Guard

GBK –  In our kids program we teach how to use the Push Kick to keep your distance. This is vital in confrontations. If we look back to UFC on we see Royce Gracie effectively use the push kick to set up his opponents and eventually win the competition.  On the ground game we work the Scissor Sweep and we learn more techniques to use your legs in the guard.

For more about the guard Click Here

Gracie Barra Centennial Free Jiu-Jitsu Anti-Bullying Program

Gracie Barra Centennial Free Jiu-Jitsu Anti-Bullying Seminar

Bullying is a real problem. It happens on the playground, in the classroom, in social situations, and across digital platforms more every day. Almost 65% of kids who are bullied do not report the instance. Approximately 90% of kids bullied online are also bullied offline. Kids today get no respite- no break- from the threat of bullying behaviors. Please come take advantage of one of our anti-bullying seminars in September and:

Learn how to recognize bullying
Learn how to stop and walk away
Learn how to standup to bullies
Learn how to protect yourself

Thursday Afternoons in September 5:10pm – 6:00pm 

Open to everyone in the Community, but space is limited. So, sign up today. Four dates available.  Get tickets on Eventbrite      855-548-5488 


Week 12 Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu Training Curriculum

In week 12 we move on to some great self defense techniques from stand up position and then we learn turtle guard and taking the back on the ground game. 

GB1 – In our fundamentals class we learn to defend the bear hug both from the front and the back. This is a common attack position for a bully or assailant.  When the game hits the ground we learn how to protect ourselves in turtle guard as well as how to attack someone when they are in the turtle. You will learn a choke from top position over turtle, how to take the back and how to finish from the back in a rear collar and rear naked choke. 

GBK – Our kids will also learn how to defend from a bear hug and a rear choke. On the ground game the kids will practice controlling from the mount position, how to take the back as well as a few submissions. 

GB3 – In our advanced curriculum, our professors will lend some keen insight about foot throws as well as some awesome submissions from the ground. 

As we have said in the past, every week is a good week to begin at Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu. And, there is not a week you want to miss as an advanced practitioner. See you on the mats. 

Fundamentals or Advanced Jiu-Jitsu?

“Get the fundamentals down and the level of everything you do will rise”

Through my travels I have visited a number of different jiu-jitsu academies and observed many different students learning and practicing the art of jiu-jitsu.

A very common phenomenon that I see is white belt and blue belt students who are attempting to focus their jiu-jitsu games around advanced, fancy sports positions and ignoring the more basic (but tried and tested!)  techniques and fundamentals.

They are Granby rolling all over the mat and trading berimbolo attempts but not demonstrating the ability to control the opponent in a dominant position. They are not working on a solid base that prevents them from being repeatedly swept.

There is nothing wrong with being interested in cool looking techniques and experimenting with advanced positions when you are learning jiu-jitsu. Exploring the positions opens your mind to the possibilities of jiu-jitsu. It expands your thinking and can develop your body awareness and jiu-jitsu specific movements. And it is just plain fun to try some cool moves with your favorite training partners.

The problem is when the fundamentals are ignored in favor of flashy, lower percentage movements. The precious training time is allocated on positions that contribute little to a student’s longer term growth in jiu-jitsu. The more advanced, sport moves may seduce the student by being successful early on when your training partners are unfamiliar with the position and you can catch them by surprise. But after being caught a few times, your training partners get wise to the move and it ceases to be effective.

The basic techniques WORK! That is why the basics have endured and proven themselves on mats all over the world since the time Grandmaster Helio Gracie first tied on a white belt!

Often I will have a roll with a student and catch several “basic” submissions for the tap. Following the roll I ask “Did you get swept or submitted with any move that you have not seen before?”

The answer invariably is “No!” and along with that an insight that when done correctly with timing, precision and sound fundamentals, the basic techniques work and will ALWAYS work throughout your jiu-jitsu journey!

I think often of this quote from Master Carlos Gracie Jr.
“I don’t get this obsession with all of the acrobatic guards. They are efficient, sure. But they’re fleeting. Your body has difficulty understanding them for too long. I say this from my own experience. The lumbar region, for example, as strong as it may be, will never be armored against the passage of time. Jiu-Jitsu is for your whole lifetime, and by that line of reasoning you can rest assured that the basic techniques like the closed guard or this open guard I enjoy doing, will never abandon us. At 70 we’ll still be capable of performing them with plenty of mobility. That can’t be said of the tornado guard or the berimbolo.”

Another important point worth noting is that many of the more advanced positions, while very effective when used in the right situation, require a certain level of fundamentals : base, posture, hip movement, core strength, balance, timing and so on. These fundamentals take time to develop before the jiu-jitsu student is able to effectively apply them to some if the more advanced positions.

Without these fundamentals in place, the new student is not ready for these new positions.

One Gracie Barra instructor expressed his minor frustration with beginner students wanting to skip Fundamentals class and jump right into Advanced class “There are no secrets in the Advanced class. There is no conspiracy to keep you away from the ‘good stuff’ hidden in the Advanced class.”

The majority of the most effective techniques that you use in your rolling EVERYDAY will be those basic techniques (e.g. Guard replacement, triangle choke, stack guard pass) that we learn when we first start learning jiu-jitsu in the GB Fundamentals class.

More experienced jiu-jitsu belts often express to me how their study of jiu-jitsu has lead them full circle away from the fancier techniques to refining the details on their basics. The moral of the story is always work on the fundamentals and slowly add advanced techniques so you can develop an all around game. 

See also on Gracie Barra : Improve your game

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Instagram: @markmullen.bjj

Week 11 Gracie Barra Training Curriculum

In Week 11, we get to review some of the basics. At Gracie Barra we believe having a solid understanding of fundamentals is key to having a strong game. 

GB1 – We start every GB1 class with self-defense. This week you will learn to transition from turtle position and knee-on-the-belly to to full guard. You go from being very vulnerable to the control position.

In  The sport Jiu-Jitsu aspects of the GB1 class we review keeping a solid posture and how to break a closed guard. You will also learn to classic passes, one arm under and two arms under. 

GB2-3 – In our advanced classes the professors key in on Leg Grab takedowns and techniques from the Top Guard. 

GBK – Our Little Champs work more on distance control – How to stay at a safe distance from their opponents. We will also share a class single leg takedown. From Top Guard position we will learn how to keep good posture, break the guard and pass to mount. 

Whether it is your first time trying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or you have been practicing for years, this week is good for your game. Stop by for class today. 

Learn the Open Guard at Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu

GB Learning : Open Guard Styles

This week on Gracie Barra Blog we are going to look at 5 different styles of open guard that intermediate to advanced jiu-jitsu students should be training.

Depending on your body type, your personal jiu-jitsu game and which submissions or sweeps that are your strongest attacks, you will gravitate more towards certain guard styles that work for you.
I suggest to blue belt students that they explore all of the various open guard styles to see which ones feel right for them. Then they can build their guard games around their strongest guard style.

Let’s see some different open guard styles as taught by Gracie Barra instructors.

1) Butterfly guard
A very powerful sweeping position effective in both no-gi and with the kimono. There are many different combinations available in this position. Check out the entire series of techniques as shown by Prof. Marcio Feitosa in his series on the butterfly guard.

2) Spider guard
If triangle and omoplata attacks are your favorite guard submissions, then you will probably use the Spider guard a lot. There are a great number of sweeps from this position as well which makes it one of the strongest guard styles.

3) X Guard
This is an especially effective guard that will work without the kimono. Prof. Daniel Marques teaches how smaller guard players can use the X-Guard to unbalance a heavier opponent on top and look for one of several possible sweeps.

4) Single Leg X Guard
Leg lock specialists must have a solid single leg X guard game as this is a primary entry and control position to attack various leg locks from the bottom. Prof. Dave Weber shows how the single leg X-Guard combines well with other related open guard styles like X-Guard and DLR

5) De la Riva guard
This is the first sweep that you should study from De la Riva control. Competitors in IBJJF tournaments love this guard and if you want to compete, you should be well versed in defending and passing the DLR guard. Many competitors like this guard as their favorite open guard style.

See also on Gracie Barra : GB Techniques: 5 Advanced Shoulder Locks

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam

See also on Gracie Barra : GB Techniques: More tips

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam

Week 10 Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu Armbars, Mount and Knee on Belly

Come to Gracie Barra Centennial Jiu-Jitsu this week and learn how to defend yourself from a takedown with a classic guillotine choke. We are also teaching submissions from the mount position. Learn a quality armbar and a keylock submission. In addition we are teaching the key points of knee on belly. 

In the advance classes we are working on hand and hip throws, mount and knee on the belly submissions. 

In the GBK program we show how to do a headlock takedown as well as defense for it. We also follow similar moves in the adult curriculum, as the knee on the belly and working from the mount. 

For more about Armbars Visit HERE

Week 9 Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training Curriculum

Week 9 training is awesome. We learn some great self-defense moves from standing, transitions to the guard, sacrifice throws and fun ground game techniques.

GB1 Fundamentals: Come learn to duck a hook punch and transition to a throw and takedown. Work on the art of the Pendulum sweep and perfect the armbar. You definitely will not want to miss how to take the back from closed guard or how to do a solid triangle. This week is going to be fun. You do not want to miss it. 

GBK: Our kids will learn how to protect themselves by using distance with a safe stance, arms and legs. It will be cool to see them practice the open guard and keep their opponents away with the legs. The more advanced kids will work on cross color chokes, kimura’s and triangles. Watch your kids Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu improve this week. 

GB2-3 Advanced: Come this week to see our Professors share their favorite sacrifice throws, transitions to the guard ans setups for solid submissions. Each week in the advanced class there are always some new trends to learn. 

The 4 Most Common Jiu-Jitsu White Belt Problems

This week’s Gracie Barra Technique post is for the first year white belt students. In your first year of training jiu-jitsu there are some very common technique problems that are shared by most students.

Getting caught under side control? You are not alone!

Do you struggle to open the legs and pass the closed guard? Many other new students experience the same difficulty.

Let’s take a look at four common problems and some technique videos by Gracie Barra instructors to help you solve those problems.

Escaping side control

Your guard gets passed, the opponent secures head control and places their bodyweight on your chest..and you are stuck under a heavy side control and unable to escape. Soon, you start to fatigue and your opponent gets a submission.

See also on Gracie Barra : Your Side Control Checklist : 5 Tips For You

Passing Closed Guard

It can be very difficult to pass the closed guard of a more experienced opponent. They will break your posture and attack with chokes, triangles or arm locks. They will disrupt your base and sweep you to the bottom position.

You need a solid posture and base and a guard pass to get past your opponent’s legs. Opening the locked and closed legs of your opponent can be tricky.

Triangle Lock Defense From The Guard

If you don’t have a solid plan to defend submissions, you will find yourself tapping early and often. The good news is that there ARE submission counters and measures you can take to avoid getting in difficult situations.

A very common submission is when you are passing guard and your opponent traps your arm and head together. Note which direction the instructor circles to escape the triangle.

Giving your back

The worst position that you can find yourself on the ground is when your opponent catches the rear mount with hooks in. In addition to not exposing your back to be taken in the first place, you need a method to remove the hooks and turn towards your opponent.


We hope you enjoyed this tips to help your game. If you would like to learn more from our blog check out 3-Tips to improve your guard

Week 8 Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training Curriculum

GB1 – Fundamentals – This week’s focus for Self Defense covers clinches and holds on our feet in the offensive manner to either subdue the attacker with a submission or control the attacker for negotiation by taking the attacker to the ground. Week 8’s Sport BJJ  will take your game from good to great by going from side control to mount for 4 points in competition, or ending the fight with a submission when you have control control.

GB2 – Advanced – This week we learn some great options for foot throws in the Gracie Barra Advanced Curriculum. In addition, we learn how to use the lapel to our advantage from side mount position with great attacks and submissions.

GBK – In our kids program we teach our students how to recover from a bear hug and take down his/her opponent, some good options to move from side control to mount and a great foot sweep from standing. 

Week 8 has some great techniques. Regardless of being week one or week eight any week is a good week to start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Gracie Barra Centennial. Call us at 855-548-5488 or email at