One of the most common questions that new guys ask me when they first show up to class is “what techniques should I work on?” When you first start out its best to focus on a couple techniques and do lots of reps to get them sharp. Then when you roll (and do lots of rolling) really focus on hitting one of these techniques. You aren’t expected to win when your just starting out. Just focus on technically hitting a sweep or pass and that is a win in and of itself. I’m listing three techniques that I found worked well for me when I first started training, a pass, a sweep, and a submission.
The pendulum sweep was one of the first sweeps that I learned and it was the first sweep that I was actually able to hit on a regular basis. I don’t play as much full guard anymore but it is still a great place for new people to start. This sweep helps instil the principals of how important posture is while you are in guard and how important breaking posture is when your attacking from the guard. All around this is a great sweep to start working on early, watch the video below from The Jiu Jitsu Hobbyist, ask your coach if he can show you how to do it and then drill the technique. Once you have the technique down start trying it more in your rolls!
Knee Slice Pass
The knee slice pass is one of the first passes I ever learned and I still use it all the time. It is a great place to begin building your passing game and if they shut it down there are lots of other options that come directly from this pass that you can add into your game later. There are many different variations of this pass for passing closed guard, half guard, sitting guard, open guard, De La Riva guard etc. The video below from Bernardo Faria BJJ and Lucas Lepri shows how to pass the De La Riva guard and it is a great place to start, the principles will carry over when you work on passing other types of guards.
The triangle choke is one of the first submissions that most people learn. In its essence it is a simple choke to learn how to do but as you continue to get better you will pick up more entries and tweaks to expand upon the triangle. If you get the technique for a basic triangle choke down early this gives you the base to start working this submission from various guards by changing the entry required.
There are many variations on these techniques as well as countless other techniques you can learn. If your just starting out you will find many techniques to add to your game if you keep training and your coach will teach you lots of great stuff on top of these techniques. If you are feeling lost in the sea of techniques out there and you want a place to start these three are what I would suggest. Start drilling them until you get the technique down pat and then start upping the resistance a little and trying them in rolling. Have fun with it and thanks for reading! Send this article to new students that are looking for somewhere to start!