GB Technique: Turtle Bottom : Escapes and Reversals

This week on GB Technique we are going to look at some escapes and reversals from the turtle bottom position.
When we first start jiu-jitsu we hear the advice “NEVER turn your back to your opponent!” This is sound advice as getting caught in rear mount is the worst position that you can get caught in a fight.
But as we progress in jiu-jitsu, we learn that the turtle bottom position is actually a better position than getting your guard passed and pinned under side control.
More advanced jiu-jitsu fighters will look to transition to turtle to avoid being pinned on their backs. The good news is that there are a number of sound strategies of what to do once you achieve the turtle bottom position.
Check out GB Online to see more Fundamentals at GB 1
Let’s take a look at some tactics and techniques from the turtle bottom by some of the top Gracie Barra black belt instructors.
1) Replacing Guard from Turtle bottom
Prof. Joe Scarola of GB Long Island shows a cool escape from turtle position back to guard

2) Turtle Position Escape #1 The “Hot Dog Roll”
Prof. Philipe Della Monica shows one of the most effective reversals from turtle position bottom. The grip on the opponent’s arm is the key detail for this reversal.

3) Rolling Attack from Turtle #2
Professor Robert Hill teaches one of those escapes where you immediately turn the tables on your opponent and end in an attack. Note the direction of the shoulder roll.

4) Rolling Turtle reversal / Defesa da Guarda tartaruga – Inversão com o Adversário atacando por trás
Prof. Carlos Liberi shows us a way to roll and take the top position when our opponent is at our back in turtle

5) Sit Out Turtle Escape
This technique by Prof. Ulpiano Malachias – a wrestler’s sit out is a fight changer. You can go from defending turtle on the bottom to taking your opponent’s back in an instant.

If you have any questions about technique, please send us a message at GB Online!
See also on GB: GB Fundamentals: The Short Arm Drag
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Asia