The 5 Moves Every White Belt Should Know (Tom Davey)

Tom Davey 5 Basic Moves for Whitebelts

Tom Davey, the mastermind behind The Grappling Academy, shares 5 of the most fundamental moves of jiujitsu that every white belt (and higher belts!) should know and practice. While it’s awesome to learn cool moves from De la Riva or Z Guard, these fundamentals will get used all the way through black belt.

#1 Bridge and Roll

Bridging and rolling is a crucial one for white belts, especially when you get mounted and need to escape. A strong bridge is going to be your lifeline when you’re mounted by a top position inclined blue belt.

Keep your feet close to your butt, bridge your hips up, and roll over your shoulder to pass them over. Key details for it to work include getting a hold of one of the opponent’s arms and laying your leg flat. The leg you lay flat is going to be on the side you’re rolling towards.

#2 Double Under Pass

Since you end up in guard from the mount escape, the obvious next move they show is a guard pass. The double under pass is a very basic and simple pass to execute.

You’re first going to reach around the opponent’s waist, lock your hands together, and pull their hips in towards you. From here you’re going grab their shoulder, stack their hips over them them until their knees are almost touching their face, and continue to maintain pressure. It’s a pretty uncomfortable position for your opponent to be in, so they might make it easier on you and move their own legs to the side, but if not just continue applying pressure while moving their legs to the side to end up in side control. 

#3 Hip Escape

From bottom side control, the hip escape, also commonly referred to as “shrimping”, is going to be your best friend in trying to escape from a ton of uncomfortable positions throughout your jiujitsu career.

If you’re caught in side control you’re going to frame up against your opponent’s shoulder and hip while also shifting your own hips to get on your side and face your opponent to make space. After you make the space you’ll be able to slide your near side leg in to get back to guard.

#4 Double Leg

In jiujitsu competition you need to know how to take someone down and the most basic takedown is a double leg. Tom shows how to control your opponent’s hands, shoot in, and wrap up their legs. From there you’ll cut the corner, continue to drive forward, and put the opponent on the ground.

#5 Rear Naked Choke

When you get mount, an opponent may start to turn and when they do it presents the opportunity to go for the rear naked choke. Let them roll to their stomach, make sure you get your hooks in to control their hips, and then sink an arm under their neck. To finish it lock the other hand behind their head and apply the squeeze.

Those are 5 easy moves every white belt and Jiu Jitsu beginner should know. For more content from Tom you can check out his instructional series and also check back here every week for new techniques!