How To Dominate In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Have you recently started to attend Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes? Chances are you are finding yourself at the bottom of grapples and struggling to reach a dominant position.

How To Dominate In Brazilian Jui Jitsu

This is completely normal for beginners and it can take time to become more dominant in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

There are things that you can do that will help you to achieve dominant positions faster. Check out the guide below to learn how to dominate in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

What Is Dominant In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is mostly based on floor work and learning how to achieve dominant positions when rolling or grappling. To dominate this means that you manage to restrain or pin your opponent or attacker.

Learning how to become dominant can take time and regardless of how strong you are when you first begin to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you will need to develop other skills to be able to dominate.

How To Dominate

How To Dominate

To become dominant can take time as it is more than developing your skills and knowledge, you also need to develop your strength, stamina, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

We look at the many ways you can develop your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) practice to dominate.

Keep Learning

Learning does not only happen in BJJ sessions, you should be practicing at home outside of session hours, reading books, and more so that you can discover a wealth of knowledge about BJJ that you can rely on during rolls.

The most important thing to learn is that side control is the most dominant position in BJJ. To assume side control you must get past your opponent’s guard and have the ability to maintain dominance after doing so.

There are solo side control drills that can be practiced at home or there are drills that can be done with a peer.

Solo drills include sit-outs, alternate knee on belly, knee on belly moving to the opposite side-to-side control, and reverse kesa-gatame to mount.

These drills will help your body to remove what the movement should feel like and eventually dominating will be second nature to you thanks to muscle memory. Once you master side control the learning does not stop there.

The next thing to learn is how to maintain dominance by learning submissions that can be done from side control, such as an armbar. Also learning how to transition from side control to a mount position will be beneficial in maintaining dominance.

Keeping your dominant position will be difficult depending on the skill level and size of your opponent, but as long as you stay focused and strong they will have a difficult task trying to get dominance back.

Watching competitions is a great way of seeing two high-level BJJ practitioners grappling for dominance and seeing how quickly decisions need to be made.

It can also be a great way of seeing the tricks that may be used which you could incorporate into your BJJ practice.


Training outside of your BJJ sessions is a good way to continue to develop your physical strength and fitness. Lifting weights is not an essential part of strength training, simple bodyweight exercises done consistently can be just as effective.

Try to take a minimum of ten minutes a few times a week to work out. By having a schedule you will be more consistent and this will help to develop your strength faster alongside your usual BJJ training and sessions.

Doing a quick, simple workout first thing in the morning will help you to start the day well while also ensuring you get it done.

If you put it off until later in the day there is more of a chance that life’s usual distractions will get in the way and you won’t get a workout done.

When training outside of sessions it is very important to warm up and cool down to prevent any injuries while also helping to improve your flexibility which will enable you to be more fluid in your movement and get out of difficult mount situations.


Stamina can be built in several different ways. Cardio fitness goes hand in hand with stamina and so going for walks, jogs, and runs will be hugely beneficial.

You can also incorporate this into your strength training, performing jumping jacks, burpees, and running on the spot.

By building up your stamina you will not tire as quickly as you may during a roll with an opponent. Having better stamina than your opponent will mean that when your opponent tires you can assume the dominant position.

Mental Development

BJJ also requires a lot of mental resilience. If you simply throw in the towel when things get tough you will never last long enough to assume the dominant position in a grapple.

BJJ requires an element of problem-solving and critical thinking as students need to quickly come up with solutions to get into a dominant position and to find a way around certain holds and other difficulties an opponent can throw at them.

Meditating is a great way of connecting the body with the mind and soul which can enable you to stay strong and calm during fights.

Taking time to consider ways out from different mounts can also give BJJ students a better chance of becoming dominant as they will quickly be able to problem solve and get out of situations.

Final Thoughts

If you take on a more rounded approach to becoming dominant in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you will notice a huge difference in not only your rolling and grappling but also in your BJJ skills as a whole as well as noticing changes in yourself personally.

Achieving goals is a great way of boosting confidence and developing mentally will make you more assertive in your personal life.

By taking on our recommendations from this guide we are confident that you will dominate in BJJ much faster than most people. You can become dominant faster the sooner you begin to work towards this goal.

Christopher Anderson
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