Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to Judo Cross Reference

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu looks just like Judo, because it is Basically Just Judo. When Mitsuyo Maeda, began teaching Carlos Gracie in Belem do Para, Brazil in 1917, he was teaching Jigoro Kano’s Jiu-Jitsu direct from the Kodokan in Japan. The name “Judo” was not popularized until 1925.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu curriculum and terminology has a notable lack of standardization. The same technique will often have numerous names. Many of these names are borrowed from Wrestling and Judo. This glossary is designed to translate BJJ curriculum back to original Japanese Judo and traditional Wrestling terminology, as well as, demonstrate how Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is actually a subset of Judo.


Americana – Ude-garami (腕絡) – also known as American armbar, bent armlock, figure-four, figure-4, hammerlock, paint brush, top wrist lock, keylock, lateral keylock, v-lock, and chave de braço (Portuguese). A submission in which you grasp your opponent’s wrist with one hand, then bring your other arm underneath theirs, grabbing your own wrist (see FIGURE-FOUR). With the opponent’s elbow pointing downwards, you then use your grip to simultaneously push their wrist back and lift their elbow up. The name ‘Americana’ comes from a trip Bob Anderson made to Brazil in 1978, during which he trained (initally by accident, as he was supposed to be meeting with the Brazilian Wrestling Federation, not a jiu-jitsu school) with Rolls Gracie.

Anaconda Choke – Arm Triangle Choke – The choke applied via Kata-Gatame (肩固), but can be done from the guard position.

Armbar – Ude-hishigi-juji-gatame (腕挫十字固) – also known as armlock, armeloque (Portuguese) . A lock in which the elbow joint is hyperextended. This versatile submission has numerous variations and can be attempted from a broad range of positions, but is most commonly used from the mount and the guard.

Arm Drag – A movement mainly used from both the guard where you grab their opposite wrist and pull it across your body. It is then enhanced by using your same side hand to grab behind their elbow, which becomes available due to the earlier pulling of their wrist. If this grip and the ‘dragging’ motion proves successful, it should expose their back. A similar motion can be achieved from a collar grip (a ‘collar drag’). This technique is popular in Wrestling and falls under the topic of Kumi-Kata (組方) – grip fighting in Judo.

Armless Triangle

Ankle Lock – Ashi-hishigi (足挫) – Achilles Lock or Foot Lock


Base – generally refers to balance (e.g., someone who is difficult to sweep may be described as having a “good base”), in particular the position the person on top takes when in someone else’s guard: keep your weight low, back straight, head up, knees wide. This is the same “bottom man” starting position in Wrestling.

Banana Split – Nickname for the wrestling Cross Body Ride Leg Split

Belt Strangle – Obi Jime (帯 )

Bicep Slicer / Bicep Crusher – a form of a Compression Lock

Bow and Arrow Choke –  Okuri-eri-jime (送襟絞) – Sliding lapel strangle

Brabo Choke

BreakfallUkemi (受身 ) – a method by which you can reduce the impact of being thrown or falling. The general principle is to disperse the force by slapping the ground with your hands (specifically the palm heel) and feet. Differs slightly depending on direction – for example, with a backwards breakfall, both hands slap the ground, whereas with a side breakfall, you only use one hand.

Bridge – Arching onto the head and lifting one’s back off of the mat to prevent a pin.

Butterfly Guard – a type of OPEN GUARD that involves both of the legs being hooked with the ankles in between the opponents legs, against the inside of the opponents thighs. The opponent is controlled using both legs and arms. The butterfly guard is often short-lived since the opponent might be able to move quite freely. The leverage in the butterfly guard allows for powerful sweeps. The butterfly guard also allows one to elevate or set the opponent off balance, because of this it is particularly useful in avoiding damage from ground and pound and for many transitions. Analogous technique in wrestling and catch wrestling is called double elevator.


Calf Crusher or Calf SlicerCompression Lock on the leg.

Clinch – A position in which one person has gripped the other whilst standing, such as UNDERHOOKING their arms. In BJJ, this will generally be the precursor to a TAKEDOWN. Also seen in many other martial arts, especially muay thai, which uses the same position as an opportunity to throw knees into the opponent’s legs and body.

Clock Choke – Koshi Jime (締め) – Hip Strangle, however, the mechanism of the choke is classified by the Kodokan as Okuri-eri-jime (送襟絞).

Cobra Choke

Closed GuardDo Osae – Trunk Hold – Sometimes referred to as full guard. The closed guard is the typical guard position. The legs are hooked behind the back of the opponent, preventing them from standing up or moving away. The opponent needs to open the legs up to be able to improve positioning. The bottom combatant might transition between the open and closed guard, as the open guard allows for better movement, but also increased risk of the opponent passing the guard. The technique Do-Jime (胴絞) is sometimes incorrectly used to describe the closed guard. The difference is that with Do-Jime  pressure is applied to squeeze the opponent’s trunk to cause asphyxia. Do-Jime is a prohibited technique in competition judo.

Collar ChokeJuji Jime (十字締め) – Might see this referred to as x-choke, lapel choke, cross choke,. A choke accomplished by gripping the collars of your opponent with opposite hands, which provides additional leverage – the actual choke comes from your wrists pressing against their neck.

Crank – A term used to describe submissions that operate by twisting parts of the body into abnormal positions in order to cause pain. Cranks tend to be crude and rely on brute force, in comparison to submissions like chokes and armbars. Due to the increased risk of serious injury, particularly to the neck and spine, cranks are often either frowned upon or outright banned. A typical example is the ‘can opener’, performed by grabbing behind the head and pulling it towards you while in somebody’s guard. Note that there can be a grey area, especially between certain chokes and neck cranks, such as the guillotine choke. Crank may also be used to describe the process of locking on a submission: e.g., “she cranked that armbar”.

Crucifix Choke Jigoku-jime (地獄絞) “hell strangle”


De la Riva Guard – also called the De la Riva hook and jello guard – an open guard that was popularized in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by black belt Ricardo de la Riva Goded, who was successful with it in competition. In it, one of the legs is wrapped behind the opponent’s leg from the outside, the ankle held with one hand, and the other hand grips one of their sleeves. The De la Riva guard offers many sweeps, transitions and submissions, and is often used in combination with spider guard.

Double Ankle Grab Sweep –

Double-leg Takedown – Morote-Gari (双手刈) – also known as baiana (Portuguese). A takedown executed by attacking both legs, generally gripping the back of the knees to facilitate bringing your opponent to the floor.


Elbow Crank

Electric Chair

Ezekiel Choke – Sode-guruma-jime (袖車絞め) – Might see this referred to as forearm choke or sleeve choke. A choke performed using the inside of the sleeves for grip, with a forearm on either side of the neck. This technique was named after a Brazilian judoka known as Ezequiel Paraguassu, who apparently had great success with it against BJJers.


Figure-Four – Ude-garami (腕絡) – also written as figure-4. When used on an arm, also known as a double wrist lock. A hold in which the positioning of the limbs resembles the number ‘4’. For example, used in the AMERICANA and the KIMURA.

Flower Sweep – also known as pendulum sweep and see-saw sweep. Performed mainly with the legs. Note that there can also be a slight difference between terms: some people use ‘pendulum’ to describe the sweep where they raise their knee first, whereas the flower is initiated by grabbing their lower pant leg.

Flying ArmbarTobi-jūji-gatame (飛び十字固め)

Flying Triangle Choke – Sankaku-jime (三角絞) from a standing position.


Gable Grip – also known as Wrestler’s Grip, a grip in which your palms are together, fingers wrapped round the edge, not using the thumbs. It is named after legendary wrestler Dan Gable.

Grapevine – Tate-Shiho-Gatame (縦四方固) – a type of control that most commonly applies to MOUNT. You have your legs threaded through your opponent’s, hooking around with your feet to stop them escaping. This makes for a stable defensive position, though attacks are mostly limited to the EZEQUIEL.

Gogoplata –  Hasami-Jime (鋏絞 scissors choke, or 螯絞 claw choke) – Demonstrated in the film The Essence of Judo by Kyuzo Mifune where he applied the choke while transitioning into the bottom kami-shiho-gatame position.

Guard – Do Osae – A position where one person in underneath another, but maintains a neutral position through the use of their legs (as opposed to MOUNT or SIDE CONTROL, where the person on top is dominant). The basic position is CLOSED GUARD, but can also be OPEN, each of which have numerous variations.

GuillotineMae Hadaka Jime (前裸締め) – may see this referred to as guilhotina (Portuguese) and front headlock. Applied by wrapping one arm under the neck, gripping your own bicep of the other hand, securing that behind the head, then squeezing for the submission.


Half-GuardAshi Garami (足緘) – also known as meia guarda (Portuguese). Similar to GUARD, except that in this case, only one leg has been trapped as opposed to the waist or both legs. This position is often used to escape Osaekomi.

Heel Hook

Helicopter Armbar – Tobi-jūji-gatame (飛び十字固め)

Hip Crank

Hooks – also known as gancho (Portuguese). Normally refers to getting your feet wrapped under a limb, especially under the leg. For example, for butterfly guard, you need to ‘hook’ your feet to secure the position. This is also important when TAKING THE BACK, to stop your opponent REVERSING you.


KimuraGyaku-Ude-Garami (逆腕絡) – might see this referred to as bent armlock, chicken wing, reverse figure-four, hammer lock, entangled armlock or keylock. Reverse of the AMERICANA, named after World Champion Judoka Masahiko Kimura who famously used it to defeat Helio Gracie.

Knee Bar Hiza-juji-gatame (膝十字固め)

Knee Crush – Hiza Hishigi (膝挫)


Lockdown – entangling a leg from the HALF GUARD, by bringing one leg over theirs, hooking under your other knee, then with your other foot, hooking under their trapped leg and straightening it out. This is often used as a stalling position.


Mount – Tate-Shiho-Gatame (縦四方固) – Position where one person is sat on top of the other, legs straddling the torso. There are several variations, such as a high mount, where your knees move up into their armpit, a low mount, where you GRAPEVINE your legs, and TECHNICAL MOUNT, ideal for when they are attempting to roll free.


Near Knee Guard Pass – a guard pass demonstrated in The Essence Of Judo by Kyuzo Mifune. The main characteristic of this pass is the practitioner driving their knee over the opponent’s same side thigh while in the opponent’s open guard.

Neck Crank – Mae Hadaka Jime (前裸締め) – may see this referred to as guilhotina (Portuguese) and front headlock. Applied by wrapping one arm under the neck, gripping your own bicep of the other hand, securing that behind the head, then squeezing for the submission.

North South Choke – Kuzure-Kami-Shiho-Gatame (崩上四方固)


Omoplata – Ashi-sankaku-garami (三角緘) – A shoulder lock submission which uses the legs against an arm in order to attack the shoulder. The name omoplata means ‘shoulder blade’ in Portuguese.

Open Guard – a GUARD position typically used to perform various joint locks and chokeholds. The legs can be used to move the opponent, and to create leverage. The legs open allows the opponent to stand up or try to pass the guard, so this position is often used temporarily to set up sweeps or other techniques. Open guard is also a general term that encompasses a large number of guard positions where the legs are used to push, wrap or hook the opponent without locking the ankles together around them.

Overhook – also known as a whizzer (from wrestling). A position in which you have managed to get a limb secured over the top of your opponent’s arm or leg – i.e., ‘hooked’.


Peruvian Neck Tie

Passing the Guard – also known as passando a guarda (Portuguese) and hairigata. The process by which the person ‘in the guard’ (between the other person’s legs) gets their legs past, commonly moving into SIDE CONTROL or MOUNT. The Simple guard pass, also known as the arm/leg pull, is a guard pass demonstrated in The Essence Of Judo by Kyuzo Mifune, and it is an unnamed technique described in The Canon Of Judo. The main characteristic of the pass is the practitioner side-stepping around the opponent’s legs whilst simultaneously pulling aside the opponent’s leg.

Post – used as a verb, posting. A term which refers to placing a part of your body on your opponent or the mat in order to gain stability and prevent or set up movement. For example, if someone is attempt to use the UPA to escape your MOUNT, you can ‘post’ your arms to the relevant side in order to prevent being swept.

PostureShisei (姿勢) – also known as postura (Portuguese). Good posture means that your back and neck are straight, your head in line with your spine.

Pulling Guard – Hikikomi Gaeshi (引込返)

Push Sweep – Also known as the ‘stupid simple sweep’. Similar principle to a SCISSOR SWEEP, except that you push on the top of the knee rather than chopping with your leg and don’t necessarily have a shin against the stomach. Often a follow-up to a failed scissor sweep.


Quad Crush – Compression Lock on the leg.


Rear Naked ChokeHadaka Jime (裸締め) – also known as sleeper hold, mata leo or mata leão (‘to kill the lion’ in Portuguese), often abbreviated to RNC. Same principle as the GUILLOTINE, but from behind the opponent as opposed to a front headlock position.

Reversal – also known as inversão (Portuguese), and can be a verb – reverse. A term used to describe a movement or technique that manages to change the combatants position. For example, if you managed to SWEEP an opponent who previously had MOUNT, meaning that you ended up in their GUARD, this could be described as a reversal.

Reverse Armbar from Mount

Rolling – Newaza (寝技・業 ) Randori (乱捕り ) – a term often used in BJJ and other grappling styles, which has the same meaning as ‘sparring’ o in Portuguese, the noun is either dar um rola or escrima. Generally when rolling, one person attempts to submit the other, who fully resists them. Alternately, the instructor may use ‘specific sparring’ in order to familiarise students with certain positions, such as sparring from guard with the end goal of passing or sweeping.

Rolling Armbar –

Rolling Knee Bar –

Rubber Guard – This is a position that keeps the opponent down in your guard. First used by Nino Schembri but popularized and made a system by Eddie Bravo, many techniques have been developed from this position including sweeps, submissions, and striking defense. By being flexible and using a leg to hold the opponent down, one arm is free to work on submissions, sweeps or to strike the opponent’s trapped head.


Scarf Hold – Kesa Gatame (袈裟固め) – also known as head and arm (wrestling). This is a controlling position in which you are facing towards your opponent’s head, with one arm threaded under their armpit and around their neck, while your other hand is pulling their remaining arm tight into your stomach.

Scissor SweepHasami Gaeshi – Sumi Gaeshi (隅返) from a guard position.  A sweep partly accomplished by applying force with a leg on either side of your opponent, hence the ‘scissor’ description.

Sickle Sweep – A sweep partly accomplished by using a knee on the opponents thigh and the other leg on the side of the opponent, hence the ‘scissor’ description.

Shrimping – “Ebi” – also known as snaking, snake move, hip escape, hipscape and ebi. Used to describe a motion in which you use your legs to shift your hips to one side or the other, pushing out your posterior.

Side ControlMune-gatame (胸固め) or Yoko-shiho-gatame (横四方固め) – also known as sidemount, cross-side, across side, thousand kilos, one hundred kilos, 100 kilos, cem kilos (Portuguese). A position in which you are on top and perpendicular to your opponent.

Sit-Up Sweep – also known as chest to chest, hip bump and hip heist. A sweep from the guard where you open your legs, sit up (pushing off an arm), isolate an arm by the elbow, raise your hips, then swivel in place to end up in mount.

Sliding Choke – Okuri-Eri-Jime (送襟絞) – A choke in which one forearm is pressed against the neck gripping a collar, while the other pulls down on the remaining lapel, the additional leverage of which results in the choke.

Sleve Choke – Sode guruma jime (袖車絞め) – sleeve wheel constriction.

Spider Guard – The spider guard comprises a number of positions all of which involve controlling the opponents arms while using the soles of the feet to control the opponent at the biceps, hips, thighs or a combination of them. It is most effective when the sleeves of the opponent can be grabbed, for instance if the opponent is wearing a gi. The spider guard can be used for sweeps and to set up joint locks or chokeholds.

Stacking Guard Pass – a guard pass demonstrated in The Essence Of Judo by Kyuzo Mifune, and it is also an unnamed technique described in The Canon Of Judo. The main characteristic of the technique is one practitioner lifting the opponent and stacking him, into a possible neck crank submission, when the practitioner is in the opponent’s open guard.

Standing Elbow Crank –

Stacking Guard Pass – a guard pass demonstrated in The Essence Of Judo by Kyuzo Mifune, and it is also an unnamed technique described in The Canon Of Judo. The main characteristic of the technique is one practitioner lifting the opponent and stacking him, into a possible neck crank submission, when the practitioner is in the opponent’s open guard.

Submission – sometimes abbreviated to sub. The term used to refer to any kind of finishing hold which results in one person TAPPING.

Sweep – also known as raspagem (Portuguese). Numerous techniques in BJJ which enable the person on the bottom to REVERSE their opponent and end up on top – e.g., SCISSOR SWEEP.


TakedownNage waza (投げ技) – also known as queda (Portuguese). As the name would suggest, this term is used to refer to any technique which takes the opponent down to the ground. Throwing techniques.

Take the Back – also known as taking the back and pega as costas (Portuguese) or “cowboy ride” (grappling). When somebody manages to secure a position on the back of their opponent, aiming to get their legs wrapped around the hips, with feet acting as HOOKS – can be referred to as back mount and rear mount.

Tapping – when someone indicates they wish to concede by slapping the ground with their hand, normally due to the pain caused by a particular SUBMISSION, or occasionally simply out of exhaustion. Sometimes they will tap on their opponent’s body instead, or even with their feet if both arms are trapped.

Technical Mount – also known as seated mount and sitting mount. This is generally a transition from MOUNT, when your partner attempts to turn onto their side. Your knee shifts up towards their head, while your other leg steps across, the foot staying tight to their hip. It is common to attack with chokes and armbars from here.

Ten Finger Choke / Ten Finger Guillotine 

Toe Hold – Ashi-dori-garami

Triangle Armlock – Ude-Hishigi-Sankaku-Gatame (腕挫三角固), sometimes shortened to Sankaku-gatame (三角固)

Triangle Choke – Sankaku-jime (三角絞) – also known as triângulo (Portuguese). A choke performed mainly with the legs, in which your opponent has one arm inside, helping you to block off the flow of blood to their brain. The name comes from the position of the legs, with one across the back of the person’s head, the other securing the hold by locking a shin underneath a knee.

Turtle – can be a verb – turtling. A position in which you are on all fours, with your posterior pressed to your ankles, limbs tightly tucked into your body. Also known as the “Chicken Judo” position from IJF Judo competition turtling.


Underhook– opposite of the OVERHOOK. A position in which you have managed to secure a limb underneath one of your opponent’s, such as under their arms when in the CLINCH.

Upa – might also hear this referred to as bucking, bridging, bumping, barrigada (Portuguese) etc. Raising the hips when on your back, normally in an attempt to make space from under mount, but can also be used as part of other escapes.


X-Guard – an open guard where one of the combatants is standing up and the other is on their back. The bottom combatant uses the legs to entangle one of the opponent’s legs, which creates opportunities for powerful sweeps. The x-guard is often used in combination with butterfly and half guard. In a grappling match, this is an advantageous position for the bottom combatant, but in general hand-to-hand combat, the top combatant can attack with stomps or soccer kicks. Likewise, skilled use of the x-guard can prevent the opponent from attempting a kick, or throw them off balance should they raise a leg. The x-guard was popularised by Marcelo Garcia.

X-Choke – Juji Jime (十字締め )

Half the techniques, twice the price

If you are paying an enormous price each month for your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes and your primary takedown is pulling guard or tackling your opponent, then you need to join The Judokai.

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