Need advise on an open guard
So the other night in class during our roll time, my instructor comes over and watches me roll with one of the blue belts. A solid 3 minutes of that roll was me working a closed guard, until I was able to take the blue belts back off of a failed pass attempt.
At the end of the 5 minute match, my instructor tells me he wants me to start working on open guard. He says I'm advance enough for it, and that it's gonna suck because I'm gonna get passed a lot, but I'm ready.
To be honest, that put me on cloud nine. I've gotten very few compliments from him, or even seen him give them out to others, and I've been putting in a lot of hours since I started there 2 months ago.
Due to my raised pride after that comment, I didn't even think to ask him where I should start.
I've worked a bit in spider guard, and like the control I have when I have both my partners sleeves and feet in bicep and hip. Downside, after a couple matches, my fingers are so cramped that it's hard to hold on to a sleeve once they start pulling it.
I've also tried butterfly guard, and love how I can get sweeps on people that can block my closed guard sweeps. Downside, the bigger guys and blue belts are able to pass pretty quickly, and I have to escape out of side control and re-guard a lot.
I've gone for rubber guard a few times, but I was stacked and passed before I could lock it on.
And I've only been able to get x-guard once, and that was on a guy that had no idea what it was. I swept him and took his back, but I've not had another chance to get someone in it.
I know that all 4 of these guards will be great once I learn them, but which one should I devote a massive amount of time with at my noob level? Is there a different one that I should be looking at? Or would it be a mix of all since they can be used during the same match as my partner changes levels?
Also, what would be a good drill to work to start developing a game? (I plan to talk to my instructor about this, but that's not until Tuesday.)
Thanks for the help
It depends on what type of game you want to play, your body-type, physical attributes, resources available... Personally I like butterfly guard, arm drags, x guard.... similar to marcelo's game, though i'm taller/heavier than him.
I'm not the biggest fan of Spider guard, but there are guys that kill with it.
Expanding on that, I always have my guys start off with butterfly because of all the open possibilities. Spider guard is good with gi but you need to be deeper in your game to accomplish anything. Rubber Guard? Yeah, not a big fan. I take bits and parts and we've destroyed that game entirely. As a matter of fact I predict Bravo will start down playing it more. (I have an inside track :) )
As far as body type... I'm 5'10", 185lbs, long arms, average leg length, and pretty strong. I like to play bottom and let my partners tire themselves out (most my partners are my size up to 240lbs). Then I try to submit from bottom, sweep to mount or take their back.
I have the most fun taking someone's back, it's like a roller coaster ride, so I tend to abort a sub attempt if they offer up a free piggie-back ride!
Resources: I do 2 gi classes a week, 1 no gi class, and 1-2 one hour no gi open mat rolls per week. I roll with 20-30 different people every 2-3 weeks, so I don't get to roll with the same guy but maybe once a week. I mostly want to work towards my gi game.
Last edited by Bad Grappler; 7/29/2013 6:02am at .
Heh, you're my size. You should see if you can move into the De La Riva and set up your gambits from there. If you like to take the back I think you're going to like the Barimbolo.
I started learning open guard with the plain ol' feet-on-the-hips and working for sickle sweeps and triangles from there. I found that it gave me an understanding of controlling posture and distance that provided a nice foundation to build a fancier open guard (de la riva in my case).
This was a resource I found very useful when I started out:
But he just released "The New Path" and "Muddy Waters!" I guess I don't consider RG to be open guard, I guess it is, but it seems closer to a closed guard style to me. We have a 10th P Hot Box at our gym, I go occasionally, some of the stuff I like alot and it goes straight into my game, others stuff, not as much.
Originally Posted by Omega Supreme
To the OP: Butterfly guard is a great open guard game imho. It has a ton of depth, and it's easy to get to from closed guard (and to transition back to closed) (obviously how easy something is to do varies given the opponent's skill set, but I digress). I'd recommend it.
That said, I'd also recommend you talk to your coach about what style of open guard he thinks you should be working.
Ok, so I just got down with a 3 hour no gi open mat with a bunch of guys with only a few weeks training. All of them were my size or bigger, and perfect to practice open guard on.
I really enjoyed butterfly guard, and was even able to work in some de la riva when they stood up in my guard. I didn't get to work much in the de la riva because the sweep was too easy once I got into it.
I kept it mostly with closing with them and getting my grips and sweeping from butterfly. I wasn't able to do a submission from butterfly guard, but "feet on hips" was like being a kid in a candy store as far as options went.
So I used a grip on the back of their neck and the other on their tricep, mostly cause I think it will transfer to gi easily. I also found myself with one foot between their legs and one on their hip. Is that a good way to move into de la riva, with them on both knees, or should I move to have both feet the same, or work a sweep with my feet in and out? Also, one guy was 6'7" 230lbs, and I had a crazy hard time sweeping him. I had to bait him and then try a sweep from both sides and really upa to get a sweep to top half guard, and it wasn't smooth at all. It felt mostly like he was able to still get a little post out with the arm I had a hold of. Is there another grip to prevent giants from still posting like that?
And anything else that I need to work on? I have a gi class tomorrow and plan to try out this against some of the blue belts. Just to learn how they defeat it and if I can recovery it. Or should I roll with the new white belts again to help hone my attacks?
Butterfly and feet on hips guard are great starting points like Omega and Ungjaevel already mentioned.
Concerning butterfly guard, always keep your spine curved, your head lower than theirs and curl your toes toward your shins with your hooks. Using these basic aspects while in butterfly will provide a solid foundation.
Feet on hips guard, concentrate on keeping them stretched out. The best way to do this is to make sure your arms are bent and your legs are relatively straight.
Just adding to what has been already said, you need to learn all of them eventually, but it really depends on gi vs. no-gi and your opponent as to which will be most effective in a given situation. Spider guard, as Omega Supreme said, is pretty much a gi thing; but you can use it in no-gi to set up a biceps slicer (which is illegal in gi). What about half guard? IMO, that would be the most useful guard you can explore next. Butterfly and De La Riva are great but require precise mechanics. As you have discovered, higher level guys will easily pass those guards if not executed properly. I would forget about x-guard until you have really worked on your butterfly guard because that is the most natural transition to x. I don't use rubber guard at all and don't know anyone who uses it with any regularity. That doesn't mean it isn't effective or useful though. My advice would be to drill all of them, but prioritize the ones that you think will be most effective.
Also, from what you said, it sounds like you should work on your grip strength. Playing in spider guard shouldn't fatigue your hands for upcoming rolls.