The Turtle: Attacking it

What suggestions would you guys have for attacking a turtled opponent? Any comments, experiences to share, or insights?

Also, at what point would you guys say it is best to try and turn over a turtled opponent rather than try to get your hooks in or work for a sub while he is turtled? What turnover methods would you guys suggest?

Generally I try not to touch them if they are snapping turtles...

Oh! I get it. ;-p

Whatever techniques you do, practice transition from standing all the way to the finish.

My 2c: I think it is always a good idea get them out of the turtle and onto their back or side. Just on general principle you want to compromise their position so that they can't stand up, and if they want to counterroll, then you may be going over anyway. And in competition, I think that showing that you can move the opponent will give you more time. If you put hooks in and go for a choke but get stalled with them still in the turtle, matte will come much faster than if you hook in and roll, then go for the choke.

My opinion and experience is that the "hooks in" method usually takes too long under current rules/interpretations.

My preference is to drag/move the guy with my whole body and attack with rolling chokes and/or sankaku waza. I also like to use wrist drag attacks.

I like to keep moving to create openings, make multiple attacks in sequence.

It's best to have a series of moves to do rather than rely on one thing, such as "hooks in", which tends to be a much slower method of attack.

It is easiest to attack from transition from a failed throw/failed throw (by either uke or tori), or some sort of purposeful non-scoring takedown.

Ben Reinhardt

BenReinhardt: I agree.

I like the rolling choke attacks too.

Dealing with Turtling under Judo rules will always prove difficult: basically it is a lot easier to aquire good Turtle defense skills than develop exceptional Turtle attacks. My feeling in a Judo rules context the preference would be to disrupt the turtle, seek the hold and then secure a submission if available: rarely should one seek a submission before establishing control on the opponent.

In a BJJ context it is a little different, primarily because of the Back Mount rule (4 points) and some competitions even award points for Back Domination (sitting to the side of the Turtle etc 2 points). Additionally attacking from behind in BJJ is often easier because of the ability to apply pressure to the face/head. That being said, the fact that in some BJJ competitions heel hooks etc (lower body submissions) are allowed makes the "Hooks In" approach that little more dicey.

Don't forget clock management. If you're leading, work the hell out of the turtle to chew up the clock. If you're behind, stand up and stop the clock unless you're really sure you can roll the guy.

Steve Lafrate

Clock management is a good point. You can do two things with a guy in the turtle - waste time, and score. If you get behind it doesn't neccessarily mean you shouldn't attack the turtle, it just means you'd better do so with an intent to score.

I thought these papers were really interesting, it looked at WC and Olympic matches and plotted techniques (scoring techniques) versus time.

They list newaza, but only the technique that was scored with, not what the lead-in sequence was. It would be interesting to know if there were trends following different newaza situations.

drag his face across the tatami.. kick or knee him in the jaw when you enter. put all your weight into the back of his neck. kneel into his kidneys. just grab the SOB and pull him over.

all of the above work just fine.

Josh, are these some of the techniques you'll be teaching our kids when you get your own club?

not really ricky.. thats just me goofin around and putting it all very simply.

if youd like me to type it out more gently...

dragging people back in-bounds, controling people with techniques like sangakyu or a rolling choke, using the points of your elbows, knees, forearms, heels, etc to pry people open or create more pressure than they can withstand, and sometimes just simply grabbing and pulling him up and over from the turtle.

truth is.. judo isnt necessarily gentle at all. we all know it. its also known as the giving way. and, often, the easiest way to make somebody "give" up anything in newaza is by not being nice about it.

by no means does "not being nice" mean doing things that are against the spirit of judo. i would never, ever condone that.

coming from bjj to judo - I kinda laughed when I saw the turtle thing.

When someone pulls that bullshit on me, I always do the same things (belly to the mat turtle)

grab the near leg with your closest hand

take your knee and drive it right into their kidney or liver.

grab whatever you want with the other hand

then bow and arrow the MOFO

using your knee instead of your head.

honestly it doesnt score on really good players - but then again really good players shouldnt be doing that crap.

everyone I do this to doesnt turtle again.

"BTW, probably turtling would give you more chance to escape/survive than buttflopping if you face multiple attackers."


you can't say thing like that - ever!

turning your back is for desperation ONLY and should never be considered a primary move. I admit there have been times that I used a turtle but only when I was ass tired and only in a judo match.

and if dont know what a bow and arrow is - then I must say that you should watch more wrestling.


no kidding. its my absolutle favorite position to take in newaza. with my knee problems my guard is hampered and i get passed to the right easily. passing somebody's guard is okay, but once they clamp on my right leg all i feel is pain trying to free it up for the osaikomi. im not the best at attacking the turtle either..

but, let newaza randori begin and i let EVERYBODY take my back.. why? kinda as a dare to see if they are good enough to crack me open and becuase it seriously does a lot to improve my chances of survival in a tournament. if you can survive the constant onslaught of people digging and driving into you when in a turtle then you can handle just about anything, IMHO.

i am positive that against a good bjj guy it sure isnt the smartest of things to do, but i promise you people that the reason most of you think its such an inferrior position is becase you dont see the offensive/counter abilities it has.

I'm pretty new to this shit so far, but I love the turtle as well. It's almost unbreakable for me.

dude - its hard to explain this kinda shit without demonstrating

but I am telling you

no one has ever dealt with my bow and arrow shit without being hurt afterward

imagine this

but with a head up and a knee replacing the head

and you got the coolest meanest thing hurting all turtle lovers.

LMAO.. you arent serious, are you? well, unless you are slightly over 120kg or you decide to deliver your knee as a blow to the kidney i am positive that i know a wont of people you wont be cracking like that. i promise there are people who can withstand any amount of pain you think you are capable of delivering.

JoshuaResnick, I think you misunderstood JAA.

Not only does it hurt, but people mess up when they aren't focusing on movement.

Plus you can turn someone with it.

I bet I could de-turtle those said people with it.

i thought he ment bow & arrow like the knee on belly style bow&arrow.

there are much, much better ways to get a good judo player out of a turlte than a bow n arrow with the knee. ive never once, not once, given into the pressure of a bow and arrow to my kidney and i deal with some of the very best newaza guys in the US day in and day out in San Jose.

im sorry, but it just isnt the best of techniques to get people to give into or move into a weak position from. it has a very remote chance of working a seasoned fella who had any true level of pain tolerance.

personally, kneeling pressure on the back of the neck in an attempt to put on a sangakyu is way more bothersome than the knee in the kidney.. still, even with that, i can name a ton of fellas who handle that pressure without issue.

easily, the most pressure ive ever felt is placed on the testicles or the jaw. if you are able to place enough pressure on either of those areas, you can make anybody fold.

bow and arrows just dont cut it at a high level where people can handle the pain and pressure-- regardless fo the sport (judo, bjj or wrestling).