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Chapter 4: Synthesis

We covered a great deal of ground in this brief introduction 3-dimensional jiu-jitsu, and we looked at the application of multiple grappling principles in the process. For many, thinking about jiu-jitsu in this way will still seem unusual even after an entire book on the topic because it is a significant departure from the standard process of memorizing technique after technique after technique.

Now that you’re familiar with the terminology that I use and have a batch of techniques that demonstrate the concepts we’ve covered, we can zoom out and look at the conceptual connections with greater ease.

Mount is like Guard

In the first chapter, we started with the basic idea of thinking of mount as an upside down guard, allowing you to repurpose much of your guard strategy for use in your mount strategy. In the examples below, you can better see the similarities between how you attack with the armbar and with the cross collar choke from guard and from mount.


Seeing the Arm Drag

After learning the basic idea of flipping a position, like flipping a guard into a mount, we went deeper into the rabbit hole by exploring the arm drag. The arm drag is not a complicated technique, but its apparent simplicity can make you miss other situations that have the makings of an arm drag. For example, you learned one way to transition to the back using the threat and positioning of the armbar (which often puts your opponent’s arm across your body, like an arm drag). There are more of these transitions, by the way, but our space was limited for this book. For reference, consider the rewind connection between the armbar from turtle and the spin under armbar to back take:


Dominating an arm with a Kimura grip is another way to clear the path to the back, achieving the same results as a traditional arm drag:


And don’t forget, you can apply the arm drag principle even if you don’t use your hands:


Learning to recognize when your opponent’s arm is out of position, as it had just been arm dragged, will help you find more paths to the back. Drilling these techniques will help you to develop that awareness so that you can apply the principles of the arm drag to many different positions.

Reorienting and Rethinking

Seeing that mount is like guard and seeing that the application of the arm drag as a concept extends well beyond what we typically call an arm drag hopefully makes it a bit easier for you to digest the more advanced 3-D Jiu-Jitsu concepts that we covered in the single leg chapter. In looking at the single leg, you can see how a standing single leg is similar to a seated single leg and how both of those are, by extension, similar to half guard. Your opponent’s legs are between your legs, and your arms are under his arms.

It’s the same position, just reoriented:


The idea of elevating your opponent’s leg to finish the single leg is a principle that is univeral to many different applications of the single leg:


If you experiment with your own jiu-jitsu, taking the time to think about what a position would look like if you flipped it over or flopped it on its side, you can discover similar connections in your own game. In fact, when we first planned to do this book, we intended to do two other chapters that explored the idea of 3-D jiu-jitsu. One chapter applied 3-D concepts to guard passing, and another chapter applied 3-D concepts to escapes. While we didn’t have the time to shoot those chapters, mentioning them should help to get you started in your own exploratory process.