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  1. #1

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    strength, posture in breaking the guard

    As a very light guy, I feel as if sometimes it is just raw power that prevents me from breaking someone's guard and keeping my posture while doing it. Everytime I go to posture up, twist my hips and drive myself back, I just get sucked back in. I've been at BJJ since 02, so it is not as if I am completely clueless to the role of technique. Can anybody help?

  2. #2
    Kintanon's Avatar
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    The advice I got from my instructor when I asked about this was that sometimes posturing up before breaking guard isn't your best option. He told me to stay in the safe position and get my hands braced on my opponents bottom ribs, then while keeping my head down to push myself backwards, work my hips back to create just enough space to pop my knee up into combat base even if his guard isn't opened yet, then work from there. I've had some success with it, but I've only been doing any kind of grappling for about 6 months, so I'm not exactly an authority.

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    cyrijl's Avatar
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    Sometimes you need to use strength. Good technique cannot caryy you 100% of the way. You need to find other ways to break guard and pass. If you are smaller you might need to rely on the more acrobatic techniques. The standard guard pass is just that. The standard pass for the standard guy against the standard guy.

  4. #4

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    that pass is very strength and leverage based. i have above average leg strength for my body weight and most of the time i can maintain closed guard against that pass for a long ass time(assuming the guy isnt 30kg heavier than me). if i start attacking with my arms they are forced to give up the attempt.

    the ppl that pass my guard are always very patient and composed. they do their best to make me uncomfortable, but never compromise their position. conserve energy and wait for an opening, then burst through it. its how i pass closed guard as well. people have to open their legs to attack you. simply holding closed guard is a stall.

    of course if they just try and lock their legs and hold u there u can start drilling an elbow into one side to get them to loosen. nasty tactic necessary if they seem inclined to just sit there. make them uncomfortable. combine this with the standard pass and most people will open their guards.

  5. #5

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    I have exactly this problem myself and tonight I will try the knee idea from Kintanon. I'm real small and I couldn't get around peoples legs even while drilling very well let alone rolling with the basic pass. But at least my scissor sweep works pretty well.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowdean
    As a very light guy, I feel as if sometimes it is just raw power that prevents me from breaking someone's guard and keeping my posture while doing it. Everytime I go to posture up, twist my hips and drive myself back, I just get sucked back in. I've been at BJJ since 02, so it is not as if I am completely clueless to the role of technique. Can anybody help?
    I'll bite.

    I'm fairly small (155lbs) and I use this guard break a lot. Sometimes it takes longer to open the guard with big guys, but it works pretty consistently. With proper positioning/grips you can generate an enormous amount of leverage. How are they sucking you back in?
    - Is your knee squarely against their butt?
    - Are you pinning their hips, preventing them from scooting around your knee?
    - Do you have proper grips that can't be easily broken?
    - Are your elbows in?
    - Is your back straight and head up?
    - When you twist, are you opening your outside knee as well?
    - Are you walking your hands further and further down to gain more leverage?

    When defending this guard break I do a few things:
    - Scoot my butt up/around their knee / Keep my hips mobile
    - Pull their head down and/or attack with chokes
    - Work both my arms against one of theirs. eg: Pull the elbow out and shove the wrist in.
    - Go for the hip-bump sweep if their weight is too far back.

    So again, how specifically are they sucking you back in / breaking you down?

  7. #7

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    Simply pushing yourself "away" from your opponents guard rarely works on people that have a strong guard. Im an advocate of standing to open the guard, but regardless of standing or sitting, remember that your hips are what gives you the most power. If your hips are far away, its generally easier for your opponent to break your posture than if your hips are further in.

  8. #8
    Kintanon's Avatar
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    Gumby, the idea behind what I was shown was that you get your opponents guard high up around your armpits, then pull your knee up to your chest, the sit up while keeping your knee tight to your chest, it makes enough space to pull your knee through. I usually then brace my shin against my opponents but and use that to make even more space and start my pass. It's my most successful pass against people who are always trying to just outpower me.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowdean
    As a very light guy, I feel as if sometimes it is just raw power that prevents me from breaking someone's guard and keeping my posture while doing it. Everytime I go to posture up, twist my hips and drive myself back, I just get sucked back in. I've been at BJJ since 02, so it is not as if I am completely clueless to the role of technique. Can anybody help?

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "drive yourself back", but it sounds to me like you are withdrawing your hips from them, which of course will make it easier for you to lose your posture. It's the same as with lifting heavy furniture, you keep your hips under you and don't lift with your back.

    You press your hips forward as much as possible, keep your hips in contact with them and directly below your back and head. Then you step OUT and to the side (not back) with one leg, keeping the other knee against their butt and that makes space for you to break their guard. At this point you could easily open their guard just by bracing one hand on their knee and pushing out with your butt against the other leg.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kintanon
    Gumby, the idea behind what I was shown was that you get your opponents guard high up around your armpits, then pull your knee up to your chest, the sit up while keeping your knee tight to your chest, it makes enough space to pull your knee through. I usually then brace my shin against my opponents but and use that to make even more space and start my pass. It's my most successful pass against people who are always trying to just outpower me.
    That's a completely different pass from the one the OP is talking about. Also, high guard is slightly advantageous to your opponent, so for me at least, this pass is something I do when I'm already losing the battle for posture, rather than something I explicitly aim for.
    Last edited by MuKen; 6/13/2007 6:43pm at .

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kintanon
    Gumby, the idea behind what I was shown was that you get your opponents guard high up around your armpits, then pull your knee up to your chest, the sit up while keeping your knee tight to your chest, it makes enough space to pull your knee through. I usually then brace my shin against my opponents but and use that to make even more space and start my pass. It's my most successful pass against people who are always trying to just outpower me.
    Im an advocate of that method of opening guard- its one of the only ones that works well for no gi.

    In reference to the original posters thread, I was referring to the basic guard open where you plant your knee in your opponents butt and push yourself away when grabbing your opponents belt.

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