How to Break Grips

After the last post, many people requested tips for breaking grips – so here we go!

Obviously, this is not a blueprint to break every grip, however, the following tips will make breaking grips much, much easier.

#0 Establish Your Grips First & Don’t Let Your Opponent Establish Grips

This should be pretty obvious, however, many Jiu Jitsu practitioners still don’t get this simple concept. Of course, Jiu Jitsu has been developed as a self-defence system and thus, reacting to the actions of your opponent is the main focus. However, by being the aggressor, you can often avoid a grip fight in the beginning and immediately gain an advantage. So, don’t wait until you have to break your opponent’s grips – establish your grips first and work from there.

If you, however, must break a grip, follow the next few steps.

#1 Identify the Grip

Where is the grip? What is your opponent gripping? How is he/she gripping it? Does the grip bother you? Do you need to break it? What does your opponent want to do with the grip? These are all questions you need to answer for yourself before you can effectively attack the grip. I know, it seems like a lot, but it usually only takes one look to find out most of the answers.

#2 Find the Weak Spot

To open a grip, you must find the weak spot and break it. Finding the weak spot is fairly straight forward, since it can be only be one of two things: the hand or the gripped material. For most grips, the key is to find the weak spot of the hand, however, sometimes, the gripped material is the weak spot. If you have a regular grip (i.e. Collar Grip), the weak spot is generally the hand and more specifically, the fingers. If you have something like a pistol grip, which is a very frustrating grip to break, the weak spot is the material. 

#3 Control/Fixate the Grip

As with everything in Jiu Jitsu, control is key. In order to break a grip, you must control and/or fixate the gripping hand. Unfortunately, I can’t really explain how to do this here, so just ask your coach!

#4 Break the Grip

Now that you have identified the grip, found its weak spot and controlled/fixated the gripping hand, it’s time to actually break the grip. Believe it or not, with the proper control and the knowledge of where the weak spot is, it becomes surprisingly easy to break a grip!

Generally, a sudden and strong movement is necessary to fully break a grip and sometimes, you’ll need more than one try. If you have a collar grip, you want to open the grip at the fingers. Thus, you must push the controlled hand in a way that opens the fingers. The direction is not towards the fingers, which just bends the wrist, but towards the back of the hand, so that the fingers get straightened. If you have a pistol grip, you want to fixate the hand. Then, if possible, grab the material and pull it out of the hand (this often takes a couple of pulls). If your opponent grips your pants, you want to pull the gripping hand upwards, so that the fingers get straightened.

Believe it or not, this works for pretty much every grip (variation) out there!

#5 Keep Controlling the Gripping Hand

Lastly, you always want to keep controlling the hand. If you don’t do that, your opponent will simply re-grip and all your work will have been for nothing…


Written by: Leg Lock The World 

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