Attacking against turtled opponents can seem to be simple, especially for newer students. As you progress, though, you will begin to realize that it becomes difficult to attack skilled turtled opponents because they have better tools to defend with. Some of the most common tools used include gramby rolls, sit throughs, and even just sitting tightly.
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To improve our ability to attack from top turtle, we need to learn two main things. The first is techniques that are not commonly employed from this position. The most common techniques used are back takes and they are very predictable. The next big thing to learn is how to appropriately knock our opponent’s off balance. If we can off balance turtled opponents, we can get them to open up limbs.
Watch the following video in which John Danaher explains a technique that involves off balancing the defender and attacking a slick submission that can be hard to predict.
The value of this submission comes from the idea that it is unpredictable. If you watch a lot of high level matches, you will notice a trend that the most successful submission artists are the ones able to surprise their opponents. Black belts have been training long enough and have enough experience to predict a lot of submissions regardless of position, and this allows them to defend effectively. If we can find ways to continuously surprise people and attack techniques that have yet to experience, we will find ourselves more successful and getting submissions.
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