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I'm a 25 year old writer(Mostly poetry) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu addict. I have published two books Emotions Volume 1: The Beginning of Turmoil and Emotions Volume 2: Better Days. I also run the blog which can be found here. The blog gives insight on both my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and writing careers.  

top vs. bottom

This is post that has been in my head since Georgette blogged her time at the Pan back in April over at her blog georgette's world. I don't quite remember the name of the post(just search her April posts) but in it she stated that sweep+submissions is better than takedown+pass therefore she implied unintentionally or not that playing the bottom is better than playing the top. Her reasoning being there are more options on the bottom which is completely true but thats only because you can transition to a different guard should the one you're using currently not be working not because the top player doesn't have submissions. Therefore, I must disagree with her statement. Firstly, if you pull guard and I knee-cut/step over into your half and flatten I get an advantage meaning all I have to do is stay there until time is up and I win. All leglocks can come from the top and in fact do especially the ankle lock. The toe hold and Heel Hook are the most common leg attacks from the bottom kneebars and ankle locks tend to come from the top during a pass or when time is low(Guys at my gym love to kneebar from everywhere especially the top of half-guard)but I digress, on the top there's so many advantages you have over your opponent. Let's list them:

1) Weight- On the bottom in order to sweep or submit you must create angles to do that they must move themselves AND you, weight matters that's why winning absolute is so coveted in our sport.
2) Pressure- This is an extension of weight; the ability to place all your weight in one spot we all know how much it sucks when you're in side control and your sparring partner is smashing your face their shoulder
3) Limb Isolation- A good top player will isolate a limb and keep it until you tap. Hence a submission chain
4) Gravity- Gravity keeps things on the ground therefore it is a pulling force(that's why you fall when you jump) so when the top player pushes a limb down chances are it will stay under his/her control then you'll be dealing with advantage #3
5) Angles-On top you only need to worry about two angles(for the most part) as your position will nullify the rest with the help of the floor. 90 degrees and 180 degrees the two directions you want to force whatever limb you have.
6) Position- This goes hand and hand with the angles principle your underhook beats his overhook and your overhook beats his underhook. (once passed that is). And your underhook keeps him flat. And as I mentioned before opponent flat on their back=win.

Please be aware all 6 of these principles can be applied from the bottom they are just easier to apply from the top thanks to the laws of nature and the fact that your opponent is pinned against the floor doesn't hurt. I am by no means saying pulling guard is bad I pull turtle all the time being the smallest in the gym. All I'm saying is you MUST learn the principles you use on the bottom as they apply to the top.

Georgette I welcome a response/comment.

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