Why Wrist Control is Crucial in BJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a form of martial arts that focuses on fighting on the ground, managing your opponent, and holding them down. Not only do you need to be physically strong, but you also need to be able to think strategically and use exact techniques. One basic part of BJJ that newcomers often miss but is vital for success is controlling your wrists. This piece will talk about how important wrist control is in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, its uses, techniques, and the strategic edge it gives.

What is Wrist Control?

Wrist control means holding an opponent’s wrist or hand and making it hard for them to move, attack, or fight. This subtle but effective tool can be used in a BJJ match in several stances and situations.

Why Wrist Control is Important

For people who have never done wrestling before, wrist control might seem like a small or even pointless skill. Nothing could be further from the truth! Using hand control can be very helpful in many ways. The following examples explain why you should work on your wrist control.

Setting Up Submissions

Wrist control can lead to many different submission holds. By controlling the wrist, you can change the position of the arm, which can lead to armlocks, chokes, and other ways to submit. One example is using the Two-on-One to push your opponent forward, which lets you hit with the triangle choke or a wrestle-up. Know that the grip you use will significantly affect the moves you can use. It is best to be aware of these details so that you can make the most of your submission tries.

Dominance and Control

By controlling your opponent’s wrist, you can restrict their options and influence their movements. With this control, you may enforce your strategy and put your opponent on the defensive. Simply holding your wrist can already limit the number of surprise strikes an opponent can perform; this includes a range of jumping submissions like the flying armbar and sliding kimura. This lets you keep an eye on where your opponent plans to attack you, depending on your position in the game.

Transitioning Through Positions

Wrist control can make moving from one position to another easier. You can keep control and pressure on the opponent while moving from guard to mount or from side control to back control. You can move to better places by grabbing their wrist and stopping them from moving offensively. If you watch the best players in the world fight, you’ll see that they use wrist control moves before they move from one spot to the next.

Defensive Strategy

Wrist control is useful for offense and defense. Controlling your opponent’s wrists can stop them from forming their own grips. They don’t have as many choices because they aren’t in the right place to attack.

Wrist Control Techniques

Now that we’ve discussed the pros of wrist control, let’s review the various techniques. Here is a list of the most popular variations on wrist control that you will see in competition.

Cross Wrist

To do this, you have to control the opposite wrist of your opponent. For instance, your right hand could be on their left wrist. It’s often used in guard stances to stop the other person from getting a grip or standing up. When you play the Gi, this is like the cross collar control, but you grab the cross hand instead.


You must hold one of your opponent’s wrists with both hands for this move. This is a solid way to control someone, and it can be used to set up arm drags, take the back, or move to different submissions. All combat sports use this move, but No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu uses it a lot because there aren’t many other ways to grip.

Wrist Locks

This is not a controlling grip but rather a submission one. We chose to include the wrist lock in this list because the idea behind it is pretty much the same. Even though it’s not used as often as other moves, wrist locks can be a powerful and unexpected attack. By moving and managing the wrist, you can put pressure on the joint and force a quick tap

Same Side Wrist

By controlling your opponent’s wrist on the same side, you can stop them from framing, making space, or striking with submissions. This technique is often used to keep pressure and control in the standup, side control, or mount.

Strategic Advantages of Wrist Control

With wrist control, you can set the pace and direction of the game, giving you a strategic edge. This technique requires skill, time, and a good understanding of leverage. Here are some ways that wrist control gives you a strategic edge.

Conserve Your Energy

If you have reasonable wrist control, you can control the match without putting in too much effort. It keeps you in charge and under pressure without using brute force.

Neutralize Bigger Opponents

When fighting someone physically bigger, wrist control can help even things out. By controlling the wrist, you can even out strength benefits so you can focus on technique and leverage instead.

Enhance Other Techniques

Wrist control is often a supplementary tool that improves other methods. It offers another level of efficacy to your game, whether you’re using it to set up a sweep, secure a submission, or hold a dominant position.

Creates Opportunities

Controlling your wrist makes it easier to hit and switch between moves. It makes the opponent respond; as they do so, chances to submit or move up in the fight may present themselves.

Winning the Battle for Wrist Control

Several videos online show the most important steps in the fight for wrist control. It comes down to how well you fight for grips. It’s your first line of attack and defense. With any luck, one of these short lessons will help you learn how to start a grip fight once the match starts.

Final Thoughts

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrist control is a complex and multifaceted skill that can be used on both the offensive and defensive sides. You need to practice, be careful, and think strategically to get good at it. No matter how long you’ve practiced, learning and using wrist control can improve your performance and success on the mat. Wrist control is integral to BJJ because it helps you gain control and power, set up submissions, and move between positions.

By realizing how important wrist control is, BJJ practitioners can build a more full and flexible game that can handle various challenges and opponents. The beauty and complexity of this well-known martial art can be seen in this subtle art within the art of wrestling.




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