More on the Unpassable Guard...

Recently I published a short article on how I improved my guard pass defense. Shortly thereafter I received an interesting and informative email from ‘Scott’ who trains at Colorado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Denver CO.

Scott wrote:

“I just reviewed your article on the Unpassable Guard. My instructor David Ruiz (Rigan Machado BB) in Denver, CO has 3 rules that he teaches that really changed the guard game for me, and specifically the open guard game.

  1. Always maintain a maximum of 90 degrees between your torso and your thighs. It can be less (i.e. knees pulled tighter into your chest) but it can never be more than 90. For example if you opponent goes for a bull fighter style pass by pulling/pushing your legs to one side, you must sit up to maintain your 90 degrees.
  2. Always maintain foot controls on either side of your opponents body (e.g. a foot on either side of the hips, on his shoulders, spidered around one arm & one hip, legs X’d on either hip, etc.).
  3. Always keep your knees bowed/flared out. This makes passing around the guard much more difficult and leaves the best option for the opponent to pass through the center where your arms and grips can come into play more effectively.

I find when someone passes my guard, inevitably, I have broken one of these 3 rules.”

Thanks Scott!

I’ve said before (in A Roadmap for BJJ) that the guard is the most complicated position in grappling. Learning how to shut down and defend against your opponent’s guard pass attempts is critical at all stages of your development. Since it’s a complicated position every tip or insight helps, so I’m sure that your three points will help someone else take their guard pass defense to the next level too.


If you liked this article then make sure to check out the detailed article called Tricks, Concepts, Techniques and Drills to Stop your Opponent from Passing Your Guard.

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