The Russian Tie: One of the Best Tie-Ups for BJJ

Published on
Updated on
2 minute read

I believe the Russian tie is an excellent tie-up for BJJ folks to learn. It can take a while to get used to setting up the tie and maintaining it, but once you start getting it, you can use the Russian tie to create various takedown opportunities.

When you set up the Russian tie, you control your opponent’s arm with both of your hands, typically one hand on their biceps and the other hand on their forearm/wrist.​​

This control gives you various offensive options while taking away your opponent’s ability to attack you.​

One of the best things about the Russian tie is that it allows you to expose your opponent’s back more easily than other tie-ups.​

The Russian tie’s simplest “takedown” option is to snap your opponent down, literally guiding them to the ground and forcing them into the turtle position (you could start working on d’arce, too). You don’t get takedown points for this probably in most rulesets, but you will be ready to attack the back right away… without worrying about passing your opponent’s guard, unlike when you take them down with a single leg takedown, for example.

​Most guard players don’t worry about getting taken down in a “normal” way because they will end up being in a position where they want to be. This is especially the case if it’s a submission-only match. But if you bypass their guard and go straight to their back? They’ll be in trouble… and that’s what you’d want.​

Historical example of creating back exposure from the standing position:

Marcelo Garcia did arm drag against Shaolin, skipped the whole guard passing thing, and jumped straight on Shaolin’s back.

​If you can be quick like Marcelo, the arm drag to the back is a great option, but if not, you can do something similar with the Russian tie but with a slower approach.​

Of course, you can make your Russian tie offense more dynamic, too. You can use Uchimata to off balance your opponent and create back exposure as Craig Jones did to Tye Ruotolo recently.

​The point of this email is straightforward: Consider adding the Russian tie to your takedown toolbox!

p.s. To get more ideas about the Russian tie, see this video of Buvaisar Saitiev demonstrating/teaching his skills.