Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu continues to become one of the most popular martial arts in the world. The sport has particularly gained traction since MMA and the UFC burst on the scene. Joel Townsend is an expert. He’s a 4th-degree black belt in BJJ. Moreover, he has also competed in 19 MMA fights and one kickboxing match. He was kind enough to share his expertise and mention ten techniques every BJJ practitioner should learn. They include:

Rear Naked Choke

The rear naked choke is one of the most popular submissions in jiu-jitsu. It’s also incredibly effective in MMA. Some of the sport’s most iconic submissions have come from practitioners utilizing these chokes. For instance, Nate Diaz submitted Conor McGregor in their first fight with this choke. Similarly, Alexa Grasso recently beat the undisputed Flyweight queen, Valentina Shevchenko, with a rear naked choke.


Armbars are an extremely effective submission. Moreover, you can throw an armbar from various positions. For instance, you can use an armbar whether you’re in the top or bottom position. Armbars from mount are very common. However, you must also learn how to throw armbars from a closed guard. 

Mount Escape

Being stuck in the bottom mount position is one of the most frustrating experiences any jiu-jitsu player can experience. Thus, learning to escape from the bottom mount position is critical.

Pendulum Sweep

Pendulum sweeps are executed from the closed guard. This sweep is a straightforward way to reverse the position when you don’t want to be in the bottom position. The good thing about mastering the pendulum sweep is it works even at the highest levels of jiu-jitsu.

Side Control Escape

Having your opponent in side control is one of the worst positions you can end up in jiu-jitsu. It’s well-known that escaping from this position is extremely challenging, especially if you’re rolling with someone who knows how to apply pressure. Therefore, learning how to escape from side control is essential if you wish to win in jiu-jitsu competitions.

Triangle Choke

The triangle choke is one of the most effective submissions off your back. Moreover, a well-executed triangle choke is extremely difficult to escape from, making your opponent more likely to tap or pass out. Furthermore, it’s also an extremely effective transitional submission. You can threaten the triangle to go from a triangle to an arm or vice-versa.

Over-Under Guard Pass

The over-under guard pass is also an excellent technique for beginners to learn because it relies on a low posture, preventing your opponent’s attack. It’s most effective when your opponent captures you in their closed guard.

Guillotine Choke

The guillotine is often called the grappling equivalent of the knockout punch. A jiu-jitsu practitioner with a strong squeeze is always dangerous because they can snatch your neck and put it into a guillotine choke at any moment. In addition, guillotine chokes are also extremely popular in MMA. Statistics show the guillotine choke is the second-most popular choke in UFC history.

Single-Leg Takedown

Learning jiu-jitsu doesn’t mean much when you cannot take your opponent to the ground. Most jiu-jitsu matches reach the ground in two ways. A person pulls guard and invites their opponent to pass, or a combatant uses a takedown to get them to the ground. The single-leg takedown is arguably the safest takedown for beginners to learn. It also works in other combat sports situations, such as in MMA.

Toreando Pass

The toreando pass is effective for both gi and no-gi situations. Moreover, learning this pass is also beneficial because it helps build the fundamentals for more advanced passing strategies. It’s particularly effective because it allows you to get past your opponent’s open guard, preventing them from using their legs to follow or block you as you move to side control. 

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