Thread: Open the damn guard
3/06/2006 11:22pm, #1
- Join Date
- Sep 2004
Open the damn guard
I kinda started thinking about this subject when I came across a thread about how to defend a guard slam.
My question is for anyone out there who's a regular competitor. Do you hold on to closed guard for dear life, constantly breaking your opponents posture and refusing to open unless he forces it, or are you more willing to open and try new things if your closed guard isnt working?
I've see many people (most in fact) in BJJ competition that will never open their guard willingly. Their opponent may posture all he wants, and they'll work on constantly breaking his base and going back to the collar choke or armbar that they just dont seem quite good enough to get
I saw it in a tournament in Virginia Beach when two brown belts went at it- the other looked like he was holding on to guard for dear life (thats what it looks like anyways) and was able to get an advantage. With about 15 seconds left in the match, guy in the guard manages to break and he passes so fast to cross side, but his opponent turns and gives up a back mount- less than 3 seconds were left in the match, so natrually he didnt get points and was unable to come from behind- I thought it was a cheesy ass win.
Now, dont get me wrong, in terms of strategy, keeping your guard closed is intelligent, because your opponent cant attack you or mount any kind of offense if he cant open your guard- I just think that its kinda lame. For as much **** as people give wrestlers and top players in jiu jitsu who have a tendency to stall, this is the guard players version of stalling out a match in my opinion.
These same people are often the ones that brag about how hard it is to pass their guard or that no one can. I've got quite a good guard game, but what I pride myself in is my hip position- its not so much that no one can pass my guard, but rather that Im good at my escapes from cross side, which I believe to be more important.
(Quick story: one of my instructors from Brazil told me of a friend who used to brag about how no one could pass his guard, and he was right- my friend said he never saw anyone pass his guard. One tournament, however, his opponent got a beautiful takedown and landed cross side on him- needless to say, since no one ever passed his guard, he never worked his cross side escapes and was stuck underneath the guy for the entire match)
I dont like fighting that way- I like to finish my opponents in all my matches- I can be up by 10 or down by 1 and Im still going to fight to submit my opponent. Since some people will natrually have different skills than others (some may have good base, making them hard to sweep, others are hard to triangle, some have great back defense) I believe in trying a few of your tricks, and if hes not falling for it, switch it up to something else. By doing so, you can often set your opponent up for the first thing you were unsuccessfully trying to get him with (i.e. you might be insisting on a triangle but he defends too well- so you switch to a sweep, almost get it, but he defends- and opens himself up for a triangle choke in the process).
Last edited by Gumby; 3/06/2006 11:50pm at . Reason: Edited thread title
3/06/2006 11:38pm, #2
Since getting my blue belt, I have REALLY tried to develop a strong open guard game. I will admit that I am a bit sweep-heavy though, and am generally not as comfortable finishing my opponent from the guard as I am from top position.
3/06/2006 11:48pm, #3
- Join Date
- Sep 2004
From now on, the closed guard should be referred to as "the damn guard" (I thought fucking would be a little extreme) so that it gives political correctness to my thread title.
3/07/2006 1:20am, #4
You have a really good point. What I've found is that new grapplers (myself included) tend to be sloppy at position transition, and we tend to cling to any type of neutral or beneficial position.
This could either be because of poor conditioning (we're trying to conserve energy, and opening the guard changes the game and tends to up the intensity), lack of experience (in 3 different BJJ schools, not one taught aspects of open guard strategy until Blue Belt or higher), and simply fear (we're comfortable with the guard, since us new guys get tossed around a lot).
I just started breaking out of my guard stalling...only to fall into top stalling. I stopped stalling from guard only to stall from different positions.
Oh well. Hopefully when I'm at your experience level, I'll be able to coach new grapplers out of these bad habits.
3/07/2006 4:15pm, #5
I thought the damn guard was a seperate position, the de la riva guard?
Since my guard submissions suck, i usually try for sweeps, and keep my hips moving.
3/07/2006 4:45pm, #6Originally Posted by Satori
3/07/2006 4:46pm, #7
I'll open my guard if I've really broken their posture down (for submission or sweep), or they have really good posture and are about to start to break my guard/stand up (at least then I have some initiative to work with). I won't open it in a grey area, as I'd lose alot of control, and I'm not entirely comfortable with my open guard game as it is.:google:
Number of bottles of beer downed by me and my girlfriend within a half hour while playing the Channel 7 "how many times will they say 'snow' game" during the "Blizzard of '06": 3.5 each.
3/07/2006 5:28pm, #8
3/07/2006 5:48pm, #9
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
- Sioux Falls, SD
Heh, I've been thinking about this lately 'cause I've been keeping my guard closed for dear life in rolling. It used to be that anybody could break my guard with their elbow point. I hated that. What I found on my own that's been working is to squeeze my knees together real hard (which makes it a little harder to breathe, but anybody decent ain't gonna even slow down for that.) This way the tops of my thighs are the only thing that my opponent's elbow point can effect, and by flexing my thigh muscles I can take it. He can try to dig it down in between us where my thigh's soft insides are, but then I just pull on his wrist and elbow and yank his arm out. I don't like that when I sweep him and get mount from here, that I have to give up the guard, 'cause most of my opponents are smaller than me and just wiggle out. I've been trying to think of a way to keep the guard, even in mount. Maybe the anaconda guard?
Yes, us crapplers hate to give up a neutral position, because more than likely we'll lose the fight for position after that. Of course, stalling doesn't help us improve our game, either.
The story of the guy who bragged about his unbreakable guard reminded me of a story I heard from one of my instructors when I did Shooto and we were going back on forth on whether or not dirty fighting worked in grappling. We were both arguing both sides, and switching sides back and forth with different tales. It's been a few years, so the details are fuzzy, but if I remember right, he and his grappling instructor were at a seminar teaching a bunch of cops. One of the cops had done JJ or some other grappling style, and bragged that nobody could wriggle out of his mount. So the instructor says, let me try. The cop gets on top, settles real low on his knees, and lowers his hips, and the teacher reaches up, pulls him close with a bodylock, then bites his nipple. The cop screams and jumps right off of him.
3/07/2006 6:08pm, #10
I do not use closed guard anymore.
I dislike people who stall in ANY position.
That being said I have seen guys with incredible closed guards who constantly attack. They can pop an armbar or choke on your without every opening their guard. Which makes a lot of sense. The number of submissions for the top guy is fairly limited.
It can be reversed to say...what about guys who don't do a damn thing inside an open guard? I lost at the US Open to a guy who got a 2pt takedown and stalled to 2 warnings inside my guard. I attacked with a vengence but you know against a guy who is intent on holding you down there is little you can do unless the skill differential is enormous.
So...back to what I said. I hate stalling. Unless its the last minute of the match and I am winning, kekekekeke~ But if the guy can keep the attacks up with a closed guard than more power to him. I have techniques to open a closed guard. It is just an obstacle I have to deal with.