BJJ Poll: Is Jiu-Jitsu Better Represented by a Top Player or a Bottom Player?

by Caleb on July 17, 2011

This morning Gracie Daytona‘s John-Michael Quesinberry Kaleikini asked his Facebook friends the following:

What’s your opinion of true jiu-jitsu; a great offensive game, or a great defensive game? Is jiu-jitsu better represented by a top player, or bottom player? Share your opinions, and you can’t say both, or a balance of the two; that’s an apparent easy answer.

Sounds like a great poll question to put in front of the Mighty 600,000, and John Michael said it’d be fine if we used it! Let us know what you think!

p.s. The FightWorks Podcast is on Facebook! Like us, or we will not cut our toenails before we roll with you next time!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Franck July 17, 2011 at 10:58 am

Well I would say both anyways , considering Jits being one of the two is pretty limited in my opinion ….

Jay July 17, 2011 at 11:30 am

Obviously you think it’s the top player if we don’t have an option to put bottom!

Caleb July 17, 2011 at 11:36 am

Doh! Sorry guys! Fixed! You can now vote for top or bottom :)

patrick July 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Definitely a bottom player. How many other martial arts have the notion of being “dangerous on your back”?

Franck July 17, 2011 at 9:21 pm

okay bottom .

Rodolfo July 18, 2011 at 6:42 am

I say Bottom, because jiu jitsu is absolutely related with the possibility of make a person who is on a disadvantage position or situation to escape from or submite the one who is in the better position, wich is usually related with a top domination position.
That’s why when I train, I allow my training partners to be on top, so I can learn how to escape from every single position.

PhilQNY July 18, 2011 at 7:24 am

Jiu Jitsu is all positions.. top & bottom.

Franck LOUIS-MARIE July 18, 2011 at 9:07 am

But that’s is true that the ability to submit from the bottom, is very distinctive from any other grappling sports ….on a Yin Yang diagram ( so cliché I know ) , that would be the strength of the Yin.

Caleb July 18, 2011 at 11:06 am

I just bolded the part of John-Michael’s original question which says:

Share your opinions, and you can’t say both, or a balance of the two; that’s an apparent easy answer.

We all probably know and agree that the best BJJ person is equally strong in top and bottom techniques. But if you absolutely must pick top or bottom to best represent jiu-jitsu (as forced to do in this poll), which is it? :)

Andrew July 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I picked bottom, even thought it is my weakest position! haha!

In a seminar with Royce Gracie someone asked him about tactics for the first few UFCs. He said that if he had the option he would loved to have been on top, but most of the guys were bigger than him, and so he had to fight off his back – over time this developed into that idea that “the Gracies love to fight off their backs”, which you even hear the commentators say in a few of the early UFCs.

It was Royce’s ability to fight off his back (even though its wasn’t his choice) that brought him victory in those early UFCs, and that jiu jitsu domination is why I train today.

Franck July 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm

the closed guard is what I refer to when I depict Jiujitsu to a novice ” you know like Royce Gracie did in the ufc !” …

noppatoppa July 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Bottom is better for showing off and representing the stuff. Good defensive player can be in a seemingly inferior position and still have the top hand. That _is_ impressive.

outsideopinion July 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Bottom cuz the rules of the sport make it distinguishable from most other sport martial arts in that the bottom player (in certain positions) has the advantage. Hence the guard pulling, etc. Other sport grappling rules generally favor the top position almost exclusively (wrestling, judo). And where striking is allowed, top is where you still want to be. But with BJJ sport rules, having the opponent in guard is as good as being in full mount, so it’s unique that way–so makes sense that this distinctive feature of the sport be considered “representative”.

Franck July 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

we will exclude being mounted of course ;-)

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