Next Edge Academy


Position Description

The turtle position was thought of as a defensive only position for a long time until Eduardo Telles began to develop it more. For a long time it was considered a guard and you would receive points for going from the bottom to the top. This is no longer the case. This position is not REFEREE’s position in wrestling. It is slightly different in the fact that your elbows are in and hands should be by the face not on the mat. We are trying to make a tight ball so the top person cannot get inside.

Why would I end up here?

Turtle can happen from several different situations but I usually see it from a failed takedown, someone escaping side control or someone escaping half guard.

What can I do from this position?

Turtle to Guard Roll

Clock Choke from Turtle

What should we be thinking from the top position?

  • Look to control your opponents hips with your hips and hands
  • Make sure your far arm control is not too deep
  • Don’t be too close to their head unless you have a collar grip
  • Toes on the mat
  • Stay behind their head when trying to take the back

What should we be thinking from the top position?

  • Protect your neck and choose a turtle style. Elbows inside the knees or outside. 
What is some additional information I should be thinking about from turtle?

Head Positioning

From Top

  • This is not super important from turtle top. 

From Bottom

  • Keep your chin tucked and your head down to avoid chokes.

Leg Positioning

From Top

  • You want to use your hip on their hip. 
  • Match your knee to their knee. Example would be your left knee to their right knee. 
  • You can also put your leg up behind their butt, but do not have the knee down in between to avoid knee bars. 

From Bottom

  • Have your knees wider for a strong base. You have 2 options with your arms inside or outside of the knees. Both have good and bad things with them. 


From Top

  • Cross Lapel Grip
  • Double Lapel Grip
  • Same Lapel Grip
  • Wrist Control 
  • Hip Control

From Bottom

  • Create an X with your hands and try to grip the opposite arm of your opponent. Example your opponent tries to choke you with their right hand you block and grip with your left hand. 


From Top

  • Stay super tight to the hip

From Bottom

  • Don’t allow grips and try to create distance

Opponents Submission Setups

From Opponent on Bottom

  • Rolling Toe Holds

Weight Analysis

From the Top

  • Weight controlling the hip in a riding style so don’t try to smash but try to ride the opponent’s weight.

From Bottom

  • Try to build up a solid base from bottom

Ideal Body Type

  • None

Leverage Points

From Top

  • Wrists
  • Hips 
  • Head

From Bottom

  • Wrists
  • Biceps
Pro Grappler to Review
  • Eduardo Telles