Russian Tie in BJJ: what is it and how to use it?

BJJ as a sport that emphasis on ground fighting, most often borrows takedowns and throwing techniques from other martial arts. The most popular moves here are the ones with wrestling origins, as double or single leg takedowns. However, lately, one other technique with such an origin is gaining more and more interest. This takedown is called Russian Tie Throw and consists of two elements, Russian Tie itself and takedown technique from it.

What is the Russian Tie?

Russian Tie, also known as the Russian 2-on-1, is a powerful grip from which it is very hard for your opponent to take you down. In essence, it is a control position that opens up all types of submissions or takedowns opportunities.

In No-Gi, firstly to do this technique, you need to stand side-to-side and slightly behind with the opponent, facing in the same direction. To set up the Russian Tie you need to grab your opponent’s wrist with one your hand as your other hand reaches to his shoulder. Then, twist your body and by this, the arm is now in front of you. From here, secure the Russian Tie by pulling up with the grip you have on the wrist, while you drop your shoulder on top of his. When you establish the Russian Tie, you have complete control over your opponent’s arm, which allows you to control their body movement, as well as their posture.

Takedown breakdown

As the name suggests, to perform this takedown, first, you need to do Russian Tie on your opponent. When you got this, to do the Throw you just need to roll under your opponent with your head in between their legs. It will take your opponent over your body and down on the other side. When done quick and explosively, this takedown is quite spectacular and finishes in Side Control.

Russian Tie is for just for No-Gi?

Russian Tie is a great technique for both Gi and No-Gi. Of course, originally it was performed without a Gi, but that’s not a problem at all. With Gi, it’s just done a bit differently, but still very useful and powerful.

The first difference, here you’ll be standing in front of your opponent and not like before side-to-side. When you got that you need to establish a cross grip on your opponent’s sleeve. Your right-hand goes to the Gi near their right wrist. And your left-hand goes over the shoulder and take a hold of the back of the collar. It needs to be a thumb-in grip, with the other fingers at the outside of the collar. To perform this Throw you and your opponent should be in the same Orthodox stance. It opens space for this takedown.

To perform the Throw correctly you need to remember to first kneel with your back leg. Next, you have to place your head right in front of the foot of your opponent’s front leg. Then, tuck the elbow of the arm that grips the opponent’s sleeve very close to your torso. Use the collar grip to pull once your head touches the ground in front of the opponent’s foot. From there, simply extend your legs and roll like a log across your back, taking the opponent over you. Just remember to keep a hold of both grips until the very end.

Countering the Russian Tie

The most common defense to the Russian Tie is to just pull the arm out. Unfortunately, this will often lead to you getting caught in takedowns like single legs and double legs. Instead of this, you can try to overtake your opponent and attempt takedown on your own. It is mostly based on speed and the element of surprise. However, opponents don’t usually expect this so it’s worth trying.
Check below how to do it.