What is the Jiu Jitsu Fighting Stance? | Simply Explained

In this page, we'll go over what consists of a Jiu-Jitsu fighting stance, how to properly get in your stance, and why a solid stance is so important.

    What is the Jiu-Jitsu Fighting Stance?

    In simple terms, there is no exact fighting stance that is taught by everyone in Jiu-Jitsu. However, the most commonly adopted stance in the upright position is the wrestling stance.

    The reason for this is that in BJJ, there is a Gentleman's agreement that one person will assume the top position and the other will gladly take the bottom.


    In BJJ submissions can occur from either the top position or the bottom position, whereas in wrestling, the goal of the sport is to secure a pin, and this has to be done from the top position.

    Due to this, an upright stance isn't as important in Jiu-Jitsu as it is in wrestling, however, it is still very important to know a proper fighting stance, as well as to drill that stance.

    Most Used BJJ Stance - Wrestling Stance

    To get into a solid wrestling stance:

    • Remain bent at the knees and hinged at the waist with your eyes looking forward.
    • You should be in a shoulder-knee-toe alignment.
    • Keep your feet hip-distance apart, with one foot in front of the other.
    • Place your hands in front of you with your elbows bent.

    wrestling stance

    A proper stance is one of the most fundamental/basic skills that you learn.

    It provides you with the starting point to use your movement to attack your opponent or defend your opponent's attack.

    The Small Details That Make a Large Difference

    A good stance will consist of not being too upright, to the point where your opponent should not be able to see what the front of your shirt says.

    A good stance will be in a lower position, chest down, elbows in tight, to the point where you will be at the forehead to forehead level with your opponent.

    Being 'compact' will make it harder for your opponent to grab onto you, grab any limb, as well as make it easier for you to react properly to any attacks while staying in position.

    Additionally, it will allow you to explode out of your stance when you do decide to attack.

    bjj takedown

    If you look at the most explosive athletes for example Olympic sprinters, they are in a compact/tight stance when they explode out of the blocks for their race.

    Drilling Your Stance

    One of the best ways to improve your stance is to consistently drill it.

    Practice getting into your stance, and then hand-fighting with your opponent, shooting for takedowns, defending takedowns, and immediately getting back to your stance.

    Were you successful? Did you have any issues? Was your opponent able to easily grab onto you?

    Everything starts from your stance, and all of these factors can be taken into consideration when improving your stance.

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