Before you think it, I will mention it - yes, most techniques in BJJ are dangerous because it involves joint manipulation and other awkward positions. However, in this list I will talk about the moves that lack so much control that either combatant could get hurt. This means, that perhaps a tapping in time won’t save you. Oh, and one more thing, this list only includes legal techniques.
- The Triangle
Yes, the beloved triangle. But, it’s not exactly the triangle itself that makes it dangerous, but a certain position that could put you out for the rest of your life. This danger was first brought to the attention of the jiu-jitsu world when a video of an accident at a Brazilian tournament was released. Two blue belts were in a match and one of them strapped on a triangle from the guard. The opponent stood up to defend while the attacker was still latched on to his neck and shoulders. This is a typical defense for a triangle, but what happened next was horrific. To hold himself up, the attacker flipped onto his own chest, behind his opponent, while still holding on to the triangle with his legs. So to help you imagine this, his back was curved the opposite way underneath his opponents - backwards. His opponent, not knowing the danger that lay ahead, sat down to continue his triangle defense. As a result, there was a loud crack as the attacker’s spine snapped in half from the seated weight. The poor boy screamed in agony and was incapacitated for the rest of his life. It is very important for everyone to know about this horrible event and understand to never flip backwards when doing a triangle on a standing opponent. It is the responsibility of the instructors to make sure of this.
- Double Underhook Pass
This is another seemingly harmless technique that could go very wrong. The double underhook guard pass is a very basic pass that is taught to white belts. You simply scoop both your arms under your opponent’s legs and stack them onto their neck. This makes it very hard for your opponent to resist your movement to the side to take sidemount. However, if done with too much force, on the part of the passer, it could lead to similarly devastating consequences as the triangle.
Another tournament in Brazil can be brought as an example. Two blue belts were in a match and one of them began to do the double underhook pass. With all his strength, the passer lifted his opponent with the double underhook grips and flipped his opponent to the point where he was almost on his knees but not his neck. The opponent’s head was still folded underneath his body and the passer landed on top with all his weight, snapping his opponent’s neck. As a result, the unfortunate guard player was left immobilized for the rest of his life. This is another instance of tragic accidents in jiu-jitsu that can be avoided with proper guidance from the instructors.