Why Travis Stevens Uses C Grips to Dominate A Scramble or Escape


C Grips by Trais Stevens

C Grips in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu might be one of the most perfect techniques when you are in scrambles or looking to escape certain positions. Click To Tweet

Even if you want to create a panic scenario, feint your fighter, and not really engage with him, C Grips might sound like a fantastic choice. Your goal is to force your partner to make a mistake by getting overly offensive. BJJ fighters are specialists in countering somebody’s aggression, so this is a great way to make the opponent angry and force him to attack you. 

Butterfly Guard–Creating Reactions And Setting Up Attacks 

As Travis Stevens explains, you will sit many times in butterfly guard position and fight for the grip, trying to establish set grips against your partner, checking whose Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is better. 

In the basic position, your feet are on the inner side of his thighs and calves.  Yours and partner’s hands fight for the dominant grip position. It later leads to securing a submission or moving to offense. 

As you are fighting, you’re using C grips to move partner’s hands around and set up the better position. If your C Grips are good, you won’t have a hard time setting up drags or moving the opponent around and forcing him to open up. 


  • Most of the times, the opponent’s elbows are in and tucked tight against the body, which prevents us from controlling his arm. You can’t do anything from that position. But as you tend to grip and move around, there is a possibility of rolling his hands and create a perfect situation to open up a drag scenario. 
  • Drag scenario is the most perfect opportunity for your partner to make a mistake, as you are guiding his hands around to open up the different positions. 

When To Use C Grips? By Travis Stevens

C Grips are used mostly from bottom offensive positions. You can also make a good sweep or reversal when you surprised the opponent in the top position. It is easy to use his motion to improve your position if you know to manipulate his hands. 

There is another superb thing you can use C Grips for–the ability to transform to the offensive movements in the split of a second. For example, if you can move your hands to the outside and establish a C grip, you can very easily transit to an offensive grip where you can set up a Kimura, Americana or an armbar. 

In these positions, you can take a grip, come up and then trap the opponent’s arm, which can later lead to pulling guard and isolating his arm. Despite your partner will probably end up on the top of you, it needn’t mean he’ll defeat you. 

In the early days of UFC, Royce Gracie was teaching many fighters a lesson when they entered his guard because they didn’t know to counter his fantastic full guard defense. Yet, Royce used modified C Grips, because his opponents were trapped and they could not punch him hard due to Gracie’s fantastic defense. As soon as he would trap their arms, modified C Grips were helping him maintain the control of the situation and transit to a guillotine or a triangle choke. 

When you establish a firm C grip on your partner’s hand, you are open to going for a submission or a transition/sweep attempt. You don’t want to take a grip and just hang out preventing the opponent from doing anything. You will hardly be able to hold on to it, make a quick move or you’ll end up in a defensive position.

C Grips are also used in a mobility type scenario rather than flex-keep-hold because, in that situation, the opponent will slip away and cut through your grips a lot easier. So try to stay mobile and relaxed and don’t make unnecessary contractions–it increases the chances to lose a submission game!


When your partner is in the side control position (we will describe when the assistant is on your right side) and brings his left hand over your chest on your left side, he has made a terrible mistake. His left hand remains exposed. 

To use the most of the situation, put your right hand on his left elbow and use a C Grip to your advantage. Now continue pushing your way up using your left elbow to lift your left flank of the floor. Now simply rotate to your right keeping your legs flexed and assume a butterfly guard position, keeping C Grip all the time on the back of a partner’s arm. Congrats, you are controlling the position again!

Extra Instructions

C Grips can be used to frame, to push, or to hold on to your opponent

You can even go inside the opponent’s biceps brachii (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biceps ) and control him with tremendous C grips. In this situation, you won’t even allow him to secure a double underhook or transit to the full guard, which is again good since he can’t attack you from the dominant position. 

You can also wrap your arms around his waist and transit into a close guard. It will break your opponent’s posture down and disable him from getting into full mount. 

Please note – C Grips are guiding, not control grips! So your partner needs to generate motion, and your task is to find “the holes” in his movements. It will allow you to get into better grips and establish positions to perform a… Click To Tweet

Try this grip in your training and let us know you thoughts below!

Published in BJJ Blog, Grips
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