Published: June 18, 2024

Basic Terms To Know In Jiu Jitsu For Beginners

Blog Post Title: Basic Terms To Know In Jiu Jitsu For Beginners

Are you starting in jiu jitsu and wanting to learn terms commonly used? Are you a parent whose child is just starting out and you’re wanting to help them as they learn the sport? Then this blog post is for you! We’ll go over a basic introduction to some commonly used terms that will help you or your child feel more comfortable as you start your jiu jitsu journey.

Overview: Jiu jitsu focuses on taking one’s opponent down to the ground, gaining a dominant position, and using techniques to force them into submission via joint locks or chokeholds. Jiu jitsu is beneficial when someone is in a weaker position fighting to get into a more dominant position.

General Positions to Know:



Key Details


A good fight stance includes proper posture so that you can both attack and defend yourself at the start of a fight

  • One foot forward for balance
  • Hands in front of your body to block attacks


Control your opponent from top position

  • Knees to opponents armpits
  • Balancing using knees and hands

Side Control

Secure the opponent after passing their guard to work towards other dominant positions or submissions

  • Knees to opponents body
  • Chest to chest
  • Arm under opponents head, while other arm to the opponent’s side of their body


Control opponent when fighting from bottom position using grips on opponents and your legs to create distance, sweep or submit

  • Use hands to grip opponent into the position
  • Use legs to maneuver opponent

Back Control

Control the opponent from behind their back using arms and legs

  • Hook feet into opponents legs
  • Wrap arms around their shoulders and under their arms

General Techniques:



Key Details


Take the opponent down to the ground and secure top control

  • Driving forward towards your opponent
  • Use your grips and feet to off-balance opponent

Break Fall

Properly fall without injuring yourself

  • Keep chin tucked
  • Do not post on your hand on the ground when falling


Get around opponents legs

  • Apply pressure to get to side control or mount
  • Avoid opponents guard by circling around their legs


When you go from bottom position to top position starting from a guard

  • Grips are important to use in controlling opponent
  • Use legs to create the distance you seek between you and your opponent


    A technique that forces your opponent to forfeit the fight. This is the ultimate end goal in a jiu jitsu match.

  • Use caution, as they have the potential to seriously injure your partner

This post is just a starting point to get you familiar with the most basic terms you will start to use on day one of your jiu jitsu journey. There is so much vocabulary to learn in jiu jitsu that may make it overwhelming, but take it one step at a time! As you spend more time on the mat, you’ll get more familiar with the language used.


We hope this post helps you feel more confident as you start your jiu jitsu journey. If you are a jiu jitsu parent, we hope this is a valuable resource to you, as you support your child’s jiu jitsu journey. What are some common terms that you would like help with understanding more? Let us know!

Published: June 18, 2024

Categories: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu