They key to BJJ isn’t strength but rather, balance. It’s gaining stability over your opponent. While most positions you learn in class accomplish this, teachers don’t always focus on foot positions. At least not in the early stages. So while you may know what to do with your hands and body, here are a few foot positions you should learn to help you gain an advantage in any situation you may find yourself in BJJ training.
This first foot position will keep your body weight low and solid towards the floor. If you ever find yourself sitting on your feet, keep the top of your feet flat on the mat and your toes pointed up like a ballerina. Because of how solid this position is, the guard player will eventually exhaust themselves from trying to gain traction to break your position. Either that or they will end up opening their guard.
A common mistake BJJ students make is to lean forward on their knees during a smash or stack pass. In order to drive the most pressure forward, it is actually best to position your feet on the floor rather than your knees as if you were doing a plank. Plant your toes and keep your heels pointing up. This will allow you more mobility and the ability to optimize your weight to your advantage.
Probably the only time you may have copied a frog before was in the pool to do the frog stroke. And if you haven’t done that before, then picture how frog legs go out when they swim. To position your feet in this way, start by kneeling on the mat and pointing your feet outwards. The inside of your foot should be touching the mat, while your hips are turned outward. See how much more surface area your body can cover now? The wider your position, the harder it will be for your opponent to turn you over or lift you off of them.
Once you have become comfortable with these three foot positions, the best way to develop good footwork is through repetition. With constant practice, these BJJ foot positions can become so natural to you that you can fall into them by instinct.