The fifteen fundamental positional skills of Jiu Jitsu: A very important question to ask in any area of life in which you wish to excel is this – what are the fundamental skill sets in this enterprise upon which competence/excellence are required? In the case of Jiu Jitsu there are three broad areas in which you operate:
1 – Standing position
2- Ground
3 – Ground Bottom Position
A useful way to categorize and map out the fundamentals of Jiu Jitsu is to see each of these three areas as having five distinct skill sets that we must first develop competence in and ultimately, mastery.

– Stance
– Motion

Balancing (Kuzushi)
– Transitions to the ground (Takedowns/throws/ pulls/Standing submission entries)

a closed
– Passing an open
– Passing a half guard – Pin maintainence and transitions
– Breaking down turtle position

– escaping
– Sweeps/reversals from guard
– Sweeps/reversals from half guard
– Escapes/reversals from turtle position

Seen in this way we can create a fundamentals program that clearly identifies three broad areas for skill development and five skill sets within each as the fifteen essential positional skills that we will need to cover if we are to be considered as having completed the fundamental requirements of skill development in Jiu Jitsu. There are many ways to interpret and express a fundamentals program – this is the outline of the one that I use. Obviously within each of these positional skill sets there are many moves, movements, concepts, tactics etc to learn. It is important to have a road map of our journey into Jiu Jitsu and this fifteen positional skill sets map gives students a clear understanding of what they need to cover to have a complete fundamentals game. Obviously there are many other skills besides positional skills, but Jiu Jitsu is founded upon position so that’s a sound place to start a fundamentals program. I always recommend starting with bottom ground position pin escapes and guard retention first, as this is where most beginners naturally end up in most training sessions.


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