BJJ Turtle


This last weekend I did my first full Saturday in over a month – a full judo class followed by a full BJJ class. Needless to say, I got my ass handed to me. Which is good. That’s how I get back in shape. That’s how I learn. That’s how I get rid of the techniques that don’t  work and reinforce the ones that do.

In judo we worked on sasae tsurikomi ashi. There isn’t much to note other than it was a big class and I still suck at footsweeps, but I’m slowly getting better. In BJJ we worked on pressuring the turtle and taking the back when uke tries to roll. Thales called it “core position” instead of “turtle”, but we were on our elbows and knees, ergo turtle. The first thing I took note of was that everyone in BJJ does turtle completely differently from judo. They don’t tuck or ball up. It’s very easy to hook with your arms and legs wherever you want to because they’re in a position closer to the referee’s position from wrestling. It made turnovers, chokes, and armbars very easy as the person on top and defending surprisingly hard as the person on the bottom. The way people tried to roll from the bottom was very different from what we learned in judo or the Granby roll you see in wrestling – it was much easier to stuff by basing or to take their back as they did it. They were essentially rolling over the near shoulder or to the side instead of arching up and using the leg to kick the attacker over into reverse kesa. The judo roll caught people off guard when I didn’t know I was supposed to roll the other way because it worked even when they based or tried to take my back. The use of the leg helps prevent them from getting a hook in for taking your back and gives you more leverage for flipping them over even if their legs are sprawled out. Overall I feel like the turtle I learned in judo is better for me, but that might just be because when I look at the turtle being taught in the BJJ classes I see easy submissions and no way of defending. It certainly isn’t the stalling position from judo, but at the same time,  it’s just as susceptible to the quarter nelson turnover.

Rolling felt good even though I got tapped a lot. Or rather, rolling felt good because I got tapped a lot.

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