Here's how I explain it these days. If you're on top in someone's guard, you want to keep them relatively parallel to your core. Anytime someone is cutting an angle on you in guard they are probably setting up an attack.
Reverse the above if you are in the guard position. Also, try to always be on your side when in the guard. Being on your side equals hip mobility equals good guard game. Additionally, when you drill guard pulling techniques, don't fall to your back. Fall to your side. You spar like you drill.
Control the hips of the person who is in the guard position to pass their guard as well as neutralizing their attack options. If you don't have control of their hips, go for their knees. Keep in mind that the insides of elbows and knees are much better control points than ankles or wrists, but remember, he who controls the hips, controls the game.
I'd like to talk about the inside game this evening. When I say inside game, I mean who is in control of their opponent's core. Generally (but not always) the person who is in control of the space from the knees up (with regards to the legs) and above the elbows (where the arms are concerned), is controlling of the other person. I call this the inside space.
Here's a quote from the first post in this thread.
When my guard gets passed, I usually catch the inside of their near elbow as my partner finishes passing. My thumb is on the inside of their bicep, the other four fingers to the outside. I don't need to extend my own arm all the way to keep them from "settling in" in order to secure their position. Their shoulder is elevated, and they are unable to drop all of their weight.
Though my guard has been passed, I have maintained some wiggle room to facilitate my escape. Although I am only partially controlling the inside space, I disrupt their own control sufficiently to create defensive opportunities.
Parallel to this, when I'm on top in someone's guard, in side control or mount, I look to stay in control of the shoulder joints and the hips. Many times this means staying on the inside of elbows and knees.
For example, when my opponent tries to shrimp away while I'm in side control, I typically follow their hips with my knee or foot. They try to shrimp away. The moment their hips come off the floor, my knee or foot is also off the floor and ready to stay glued to their hip. It's easier to follow the hip when you do so with the foot by the way. Less scooting like when you're on both knees, and more short stepping when your foot is attached to their hip and your other knee is down.
They can shrimp and turn on their side all they like, as long as I stay close to that bottom hip with my foot or knee, I'm in control. They can never get their own knee between us because I know to follow their hip like a dog follows a bone. Another example of controlling the inside space.
When I'm in guard, I frequently use my hooks (this means curled feet behind their knees usually) with my legs and my hands on the inside of their elbows in order to take away their posture and establish sufficient control for a sweep. Once again, controlling the inside space.
When I have back control, I strive to keep one arm over their neck and inside that arm at all times. This greatly assist me in manipulating the? You guessed it, the inside space.
Remember that overhooks and collar grip/ties can also contribute to dominating the inside.
These are basic principles that you can use in any position. Next time you're sparring in a grappling environment, try managing the inside space.
Thanks, man. I'm going to try to use these principles tomorrow.
good stuff. enjoying the thread.