Turtle Guard Sweeps & Attacks
The Turtle is a Position with two sides. The person on the bottom feels a sense of safety, maybe they were being passed and they turtled up, or they were in a worse position and managed to move to the turtle. If their defense is solid and their opponent’s offense not so good, they could defend the hooks and the neck long enough to catch their breath, or eke out a points win by stalling. The other side of the coin feels like an advantageous one. When you’re on top, you’re looking at your opponents back. Everything is there for the taking if you could just get the grip or the hook you want, you’re foing to get the back, the side control, the choke. It’s just a matter of time for the person playing on top.
Now stepping back and analyzing this position, what if you could routinely mount an effective attack from the turtle position?Would that change your game? Probably. With an arsenal of weapons to choose from while in the turtle position, lets start calling it the “turtle guard”. We could mount a effective attack that will take most of our opponent’s by surprise. Remember, when you’re on top, and someone’s turtled up, you think you’ve got them. Little did you know that they’re playing their game, turtle guard
Nobody has used the turtle guard in competitive jiu-jitsu more effectively than Eduardo Telles. Eduardo hails from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His martial arts career began as a young teenager with karate. At about the age of 17, his karate school began teaching jiu-jitsu. Eduardo’s first was Fernando Yamasaki, whose brother is UFC referee, Mario Yamasaki. Around that time Eduardo received his blue belt, he moved to San Diego, California, and began training with Carlos Valente and Fabio Santos. Training with these two legends helped him tremendously and only furthered his love of jiu-jitsu. After receiving his purple belt from Valente, Eduardo moved back to brazil, finding Fabio Gurgel and Alliance in Sao Paulo. At that time, Eduardo was training with Fernando “Terere” augusto, Demian Maia, and many others that would go on to become household names in jiu-jitsu. While at Alliance, Eduardo experimented with his jiu-jitsu, oftentimes putting himself in awkward positions. This willingness to experiment gave Eduardo’s style of jiu-jitsu a name, “Esquijitsu”, roughly translated into “weird jiu-jitsu”. Eduardo earned his blackbelt from Fabio Gurgel in 2001. After splitting off from Alliance, Eduardo went with his friend Terere to help him form the TT Team. After it was dissolved, he struck out on his own to form Nine Nine Jiu-Jitsu. The 99 represents being so close to 100, which is perceived as perfection. Eduardo explains it as the constant struggle to reach perfection. We caught up with Eduardo at his home base in San Diego, CA.
Proper Turtle Guard Form
The biggest mistake jiu-jitsu players make when they get in the turtle position is to get to low with their hips, bending the knees so much that the feet and the butt touch. When you do this, you’re giving up a lot of mobility and strength. If your opponent gets heavy on your hips, it will be more difficult to gain the mobility you need to perform most of the techniques that Eduardo demonstrates in this article. Instead, don’t go so far down, keep your hips up, and your knees away from maximum flex. This will help you from being pushed or dragged over easily and have you in a position where you’re ready to strike. When in the turtle guard, the thing that Eduardo is concerned most with is not letting his opponent get their hooks in. He’s less concerned with neck attacks. For the techniques shown in this article, with exception of the kneebar. Eduardo wants his opponent to be attacking his neck – this means that they must play higher up on his hips.