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!