The Turtle Top – An Advanced Jiu-jitsu Position – Part 1

Once bjj students get to the purple belt and above, they must deal with the turtle position much more often. Why?

1) After a few years of experience opponents are no longer easy to control in side control.
Advanced opponents can escape off of their backs and get onto their knees and to the defensive turtle position.

2) Instead of accepting a guard pass, advanced students know to go to turtle position and avoid surrendering the 3 points for a guard pass. Before the passer can solidify their side control, the bottom quickly goes to turtle.

An opponent with a tight, defensive turtle can be very tough to deal with and in an instant, they have replaced their guard and the position is lost. Students who comes from a judo background can be especially tough when they establish their turtle position.

This week Gracie Barra explores the turtle position and shows some techniques and strategy to control and attack.

 * Next week, we will look at the turtle bottom position

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1) Break Down The Turtle Position

Prof. Marcio Feitosa shows a basic but effective way to break down the turtle and put your opponent on their back in side control. This technique works great both training gi and no-gi.

2) Turtle Position Attack 

How do you break down the turtle to catch the rear mount with hooks?
Prof. Flavio Almeida, Gracie Barra Dana Point Head Instructor,Teaches his favorite Jiu-Jitsu move on the turtle position learned from Master Renzo Gracie over 10 years ago.

3) Collar choke from turtle position

This position is known as the “Clock Choke” due to the circular footwork the choker uses to tighten the choke. This is a very powerful choke where the choker applies heavy hip pressure to the turtle opponent.
More than one competitor has gone to sleep from a tight clock choke in a tournament match!

4) Armbar from Turtle

Judo players (including Ronda Rousey LOVE to attack the arm bar against a turtled opponent).
Professor Joe Scarola shows a nice armbar from the turtle position.

Next week: The Turtle Bottom – Part 2

on Gracie Barra : 5 Important Questions to Ask When Learning a New Move In Class

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