André Galvão Toe Hold From Upside Down Guard

In Issue 35 we interviewed one of our favorite jiu-jitsu athletes, Andre Galvao. Andre’s always up for showing our readers some sick techniques and this was no exception.


Toe Hold From Upside Down Guard
This technique is very similar to the knee bar that Andre showed us. The biggest difference is the starting position, with your opponent on his knees. There are different things to protect against on the start. Andre finishes this technique with a toehold, but a knee bar could also be executed.

1. Start on your back with your opponent on his knees in your quarter guard. One important detail is to keep your free foot on his shoulder to keep him from smashing down on you.


2. With your right hand reach under and hook the top of your opponent’s knee so you can curl your arm and help rotate into an upside down guard.


Tip: Use your other hand to block his arm at the biceps from reaching in on your neck. If you don’t, this will happen.

Tip: Use your other hand to block his arm at the biceps from reaching in on your neck. If you don’t, this will happen.

3. Continue your rotation to upside down guard with your right leg and head between his legs.


4. Drive your right leg forward and down to push your opponent forward, so he has to base out with his hands.


5. Your opponent’s natural defense is going to be to cross their legs since they know something’s coming.


6. Grab the top foot first with the palm of your hand over his pinky toe then the other foot with the same grip.



Mike Velez is the Editor and Publisher of Jiu-Jitsu Magazine. He has been training since 2009 and is a brown belt under Rafael Oliveira of Gracie Barra in Chino, CA. You can contact Mike at

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