What is the X Guard?

Depending on how you look at it, the X Guard can be be classified as either a form of Open Guard or a form of Half Guard. Maybe that’s why the BOTH those positions transition so well into the X Guard.

But how about an alternative perspective…

I sometimes say that the X Guard isn’t a type of guard at all. That’s because once you get here you’ve already done about 80% of the hard work and the sweep is almost inevitable. When you think of it in this way, the X Guard is more like a final stage of a sweep than a static guard position that you would hold on your opponent for an extended period of time.

Definitions aside, the X Guard truly is a super-useful position to know, especially if you ever use the Open Guard or Half Guard. And if, like me, you use the Butterfly Guard then it’s an absolutely non-negotiable necessity.

Having the X Guard in my back pocket has provided me with the answer to many difficult situations. For example there’s nothing I like more than having my opponent try to stand up to pass my Butterfly Guard and – boom – jamming my body under their center of gravity, getting my hooks in position, and hoisting them up into the air with my X Guard!

From the X Guard you have a ton of sweeping options and even some cool submission attacks.

In this short (1:59) video I first cover how to do the X Guard correctly. Then, even more importantly, I show you my favorite way to TRAIN the X Guard so that it’s much easier to get into and maintain this position in a real match!

Articles and techniques related to the X Guard on Grapplearts.com.

The highly reviewed Dynamic Guard Sweeps Volume 1, which concentrates on the Butterfly Guard and X Guard in great detail, including sweeps, submissions, counters, recounters, drills, and strategies.

The Grapplearts ‘Guard Sweeps’ app in the iTunes store and/or the Grapplearts ‘Guard Sweeps’ app for Android which focuses on six different guard positions including the X Guard (Android version coming soon).

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