Season One – Episode Three – Why BJJ Guard is Just Wrestling

Season One – Episode Three – Why BJJ Guard is Just Wrestling


So last week I did a session on guard
passing, as episode 2 of this series this week we are going look at the other
side we’re gonna look at Guard so how can we train guard differently and
how can we use wrestling and the thousands of years that they’ve
worked on taking people to the floor how can we use that idea to actually make our
guard better. So I believe there is a defensive posture to guard the purpose
of guard is to first defend the body using the strongest part that we have, the legs,
so if I can just borrow Henry please can you just lie on your back So if Henry’s legs are completely straight
out here that isn’t a guard okay if I was by his feet here there’s no guard there
his legs aren’t threatening me and I’ve got complete mobility to walk around it but if his
legs are up right here and they’re pointing towards me I’m now threatened
okay even though you can’t kick me in Jiu-Jitsu there’s no upkicks etc
genetically deep down I don’t now want to move as much so he’s actually
controlling my mobility mentally okay and wherever I go his feet will follow once it’s got good mental control over
me and controlled my mobility this way the next thing he wants to look
for is physical control so sit up please thank you so if you look at the idea of boxing and
wrestling both of them involve cutting angles to try and attack someone so if
wrestling you want trying to step outside and hit from the side boxing the
exact same thing you can look at the exact same idea when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu
guard in that if his legs don’t follow me perfectly that allows me to step round and
that then allows me to pass his guard so his feet need to be able to follow me he needs to have
that dominion over his hips and now be in his control
after that he wants to be able to generate a physical control over me and
this is where again it comes back to wrestling in that the main points of control in
wrestling is they want to control the back of my head so I be the control of my
posture of my spine, control of my arms or underneath my armpits, that’s my under hooks, over hooks and arm drags etc and the last one is control of behind my legs behind my
knees behind my ankles so the first part of wrestling when we actually look at defence
in wrestling is to stop those things from happening, you don’t let anyone hold
into the back of your head you don’t let anyone establish good under hooks a
good dragging control of your arm or good over hooks and you don’t let anyone
control the back of your legs, all those things normally involve a takedown and
the second they start you strip them But pretty much every guard follows
this same formula so you have spider guard close guard half guard de le riva
etc all of them at some point follow this you have to get control of hip
space / armpit / arm control, you have to control the back of the head, and you
have to control behind the legs except the difference between guard passing and
wrestling is we let people establish the guard and then we try and fight out of
it. That’s like learning single a defence by only doing, letting people get
hold of a single leg and then trying to fight out of it instead of having good
defensive posture good hand fighting and stopping those things happening
before they even start. So look at from the other perspective there is if I have
the opportunity to actually get control those spaces I want to make sure there’s no
gaps and I have full control and I then make the most of it so how do you train
this and how do you train this idea of guard so there shouldn’t actually be
individual guards necessarily you should be able to follow this kind of formula
so if you’re, just like I was saying last week in that when it comes to
passing you don’t have individual passes you follow a formula of stripping these
places and then trying to expose the space on them the same can be said about
playing guard so initially he wants to be able to defend his body he needs to make
sure his knees are staying close to his shoulders and his arms are defending his
armpits exactly as you would in wrestling you don’t let anyone behind your head and don’t let anyone
behind your leg, you don’t let anyone into this space here, so you defend that first
secondly then you fight out when you feel comfortable
and you are after those controls on the other person. So if Henry has Guard
on Naqi for example so go on your knees is that here
Henry is defending his body Henry is defending these aspects here
and Naqi is doing the exact same So as Naqi approaches Henry’s going to look for
those spaces so behind the leg into the armpit area or behind the head
and this then becomes wrestling in that Henry is going to maintain his grips, so go
back to it, whilst also minding out for his own and Naqi wants to be able
to strip those grips and then try and find the exact same space on Henry. If Henry leaves that open so that’s saying like if I was here with Henry and he got rid of his
head and I left my arm like that that looks pretty stupid I have no
control here okay or if he starts to actually get a better grip over me like he
goes for like an overhook an underhook that’s the exact same, I don’t maintain this head
grip, I have to return, I have to be able to pummel back out but we do this style of
weird stuff in guard where we have really poor control over someone yet we let
them back into that space on our own and that’s when passes happen so the way
then that I think we should actually then learn to play guard is we have this idea
we have this idea of we explain to people that you look for these controls
using your legs or your hands to control backs of legs, armpits, hips and head I
mean approach it as a sport aspect so when we do triangles for example so
Naqi you go with a triangle on Henry from closed guard. thank you. So here (don’t kill him) we start
then with the finishing details, like you would a single leg you start from
the end of the single leg so you look at how to hold onto the leg, where to
keep your head positioning, how to create good pressure on the thigh it’s exact
same here I want to examine all the details that make a triangle work okay we can
see now the relationship to wrestling in that once this has happened
we now release a little bit so now Naqi has only got control here
but he wants to control Henrys posture, he wants to control his hands so now we have a little
bit of extra resistance from here so Henry is going to try and posture as he would, he is
gonna fight back and Naqi is now going to try and break his posture and go back
to that triangle cuz he knows what he wants
brilliant. Now we’re gonna go a bit further back where Naqi has only pushed one
arm through but he had his legs wrapped round Henrys
body but his posture hasn’t broken so now we are going to add a little bit more different
resistance so Henry is going to be doing this to try and posture himself up and
Naqi is gonna now try and break his posture again to try and find it, perfect.
Now we’re going to go back a bit further and now as we step back into things you
actually add a little bit of extra so we can act like armbars, omoplatas, to
coincide with it, like how you would in wrestling and like if you mess up your single you can
go for a double it’s the exact same here so say for
example then that Naqi has control with Henry in half a triangle, he’s controlling his posture with his legs. So say Henry’s resistance means that Naqi now
changes more to an armbar, perfect. That is the exact same as if you went from a single leg to a
double leg. But you will notice how we haven’t done any setups here, his setups are his own. He
knows what he’s after he needs to try and break Henry’s posture, he needs to control
those spaces so now we go back to just having Naqi do defensive guard please, grilled
chicken, and Henry is just going to sit in with a similar kind of defensive
posture looking at passing Naqis guard and Naqi knows what he’s after so now
he’s gonna, do a bit of hand fighting gentlemen, and try and so Naqi is going to benefit here and go
for a triangle but Henry is gonna be fighting actively, and the triangle
happens thank you, gentlemen. But non of that involved a normal kind of
close guard set up. He knew what he wanted he knew how the triangle should look
by the end and then he approached it in a more sport aspect. So every time that
Henry was testing Naqi’s guard who kept back to his defensive posture and he could
snap down and he could hand fight and the second the gaps open that Henry
forced an error, Naqi capitalised cuz he knew what he wanted, he had these things in
the bank. So I think how we approach Guard wrong. I think having the martial arts
where having specific guards and a system of guards, a system of passes is
inefficient. I think we have end products like double legs, single legs, triangles guillotines etc sweeps, and we have sport based setups. we know what we want, we want to be able
to control people’s posture and control these spaces and the more we control
them the more allows us to set up our submissions and sweeps, but then the second
we then feel vulnerable we release it and return back to A) what is most
important just like in wrestling, control of this space, control of our own posture with
distance control and being able control their mobility just even with a bit of
mental control just like in wrestling so I hope that you find that video
interesting. I hope even if you’ve done guard obviously for a long period of time,
try and approach these ideas into your guard and tell me if they work or not. I’ve
completely changed how we play guard here I don’t think, Henry’s one of my blue
belts, he’s never actually learnt guard properly but he plays a sport based guard,
he’s always after the controls he knows when to release and it makes his guard an
absolute fuck to pass but thank for your time and so yes send me your questions and hopefully I will answer them for next week. Thank you.

1 thought on “Season One – Episode Three – Why BJJ Guard is Just Wrestling”

  1. "Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things." – Isaac Newton

    chris, you and Priit have really helped me to understand by simplifying, thank you

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