Grip fighting, whether it be standing or on the ground, seems to me becoming a lost part of Jiujitsu training.
Learning what grips work and do not in certain situations is very important in the Jiujitsu guard game. Maintaining a solid control over your opponent to keep them from passing is crucial. From breaking down their posture to controlling sleeves, the grip fighting game is very important.
A beginning grip everyone should learn and be familiar with is the collar sleeve/elbow control. A cross collar control with one hand and a sleeve or elbow control with the other. When gripping the collar, make sure to make a tight fist. Depending on what you want to do, is where you grip the collar, either high by the shoulder or lower in the chest area. A basic grip that should be taught as a fundamental aspect. Perfect for armbars, triangles, and collar chokes. This should be a grip that follows you throughout your Jiujitsu career.
Double sleeve control. Used primarily in guard as a way to establish your spider guard. When controlling the sleeves you generally have a choice of the "Pistol Grip, or what we refer to as "Cats Paw". You can also use these in combination.
The Pistol Grip is somewhat self explanatory. You grip as much of your opponents sleeve as you can, in a fashion that resembles you gripping a pistol.
The cats paw is achieved when you take the end of the sleeve, and roll it over. You can then grip the inside of the sleeve creating a strong sleeve control.
Gripping the belt in Jiujitsu can be a very effective way of controlling your opponent as well. The belt can be pushed and pulled to control the hips of you opponent. The perfect example is half guard. Lifting, turning, and twisting the hips allows you a greater form of control over your opponents posture, balance, position.
Whether its standing, guard, sweeps, submissions, controlling or passing, the grip fighting game is very important. Along with learning how to break the grips and defending against them as well.
There are all sorts of variations and combinations of these controls. Work your grips and play around with your controls. See what works for you and fits with your style of Jiujitsu. Try them in different positions as well. Like all things Jiujitsu, "Practice Makes Permanent".
Grip fighting should be a regular part of your weekly training. At Davis Martial Arts we like to work grip fighting scenarios from standing and on the ground. Practice your grips. Work the grip breaks. And as always, drill, drill, drill.
Davis Martial Arts Academy
Owner and head instructor of Davis Martial Arts Academy in Humble Texas