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    Guard for a short guy

    Hi all,

    This is my first post. I have been doing BJJ now for only a few months and love it. My problem is I'm built short and squat. Very strong but stubby legs and I find it near impossible to close guard on a resisting opponent of any size. What should my game plan be?

    #2
    Originally posted by Arthur View Post
    Hi all,

    This is my first post. I have been doing BJJ now for only a few months and love it. My problem is I'm built short and squat. Very strong but stubby legs and I find it near impossible to close guard on a resisting opponent of any size. What should my game plan be?
    I'm 6'4" and I thought my legs were too short for groundwork until I found better angles. Good geometry can make your legs grow 6"

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      #3
      I'm a relative noob as well, so take my advice with a grain of salt, but I have short stubby legs like you. The things that will improve your guard immensely are leg strength and flexibility. After you spend more time in BJJ, your legs will become BJJ-strong, developing strength and endurance in your hamstrings and calves, which will allow you to have a stronger guard. Increasing your flexibility will allow you to "open up" your hips more, keeping your opponent closer to you.

      I play a lot of high guard because I find it give me more control over my opponent and gives me more opportunities for sweeps.

      For the time being, keep your butt off the mat and your knees out, and squeeze your heels toward your butt to keep your hips close to your opponents'.

      Rudy Reyes > Bear Grylls

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        #4
        The "length" of your legs is sort of inversely proportional to the posture of your opponent. Anybody's legs will seem too short if the person in your guard is allowed to keep his back perpendicular to the ground and even start sticking a post at the bottom of your own spine. You're going to find that your legs seem much longer when you can win this "posture battle" and bring his/her head forward, making the spine closer to being parallel with your own and the ground. As your game advances, you will also learn that when your opponent does manage to sit up, you need to come with him, which both keeps your legs "long" and gives you plenty of other options.

        Keep in mind that short (rather than "short") legs might make it hard to catch tons of triangles and armbars, and give your opponent a little advantage toward opening the guard, but on the other hand, they're easier to recover from across-side and mount. BJJ is about making what you have work for you, not changing your physical attributes.

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          #5
          Become a butterfly guard pulling bastard. Constantly going between butterfly and spider guard with lots of feet on hip movements as the squirm you out of position and take your back

          I hate those guys

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            #6
            Yep butterfly guard was what I was thinking too. Don't worry about closed guard too much anyway. You have to open it eventually to do most submissions and all sweeps. So just stay active. Good hip movement and actively seeking subs will fix the fact that you can't close your guard.

            Learn butterfly guard and sweeps real well and that will help. And don't focus on the one thing that your stubby legs keep you from doing. Focus on the things they will allow you to do, like preventing leg locks, pulling guard, keeping your center of gravity low, sprawling, throwing...
            Combatives training log.

            Gezere: paraphrase from Bas Rutten, Never escalate the level of violence in fight you are losing. :D

            Drum thread

            Pavel Tsatsouline: kettlebell workouts give you “cardio without the dishonour of aerobics”.

            "Disliking someone is not evidence of wrongdoing or malfeasance or even bias." --Dung Beatles

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              #7
              Get off to the side when in closed guard. Scissoring your legs around someone is much easier from the side as opposed to directly under them.

              Open guard, Goju-Joe and diesel tke have the correct. Know however, that it takes a while to become proficient at butterfly guard.
              Shut the hell up and train.

              Comment


                #8
                Am I the only person here who thinks he should be working half, especially deep half? Why would he play high and spider? Those are more suited to me than him.


                "The only important elements in any society
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                because they alone, by questioning the society's values,
                can force it to change."-Samuel R. Delany

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Hedgehogey View Post
                  Am I the only person here who thinks he should be working half, especially deep half? Why would he play high and spider? Those are more suited to me than him.
                  You're probably right in the long run. I am 6 1" so I can only talk about what works for me.

                  However if you are a smaller noob rolling with bigger guys learning to sweep from deep half guard might be very frustrating against a big guy who knows how to keep his base and apply constant shoulder pressure.

                  Having said that developing a good half guard game to counter that is a HUGE asset, one I am greatly deficient at and working on.

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                    #10
                    I have to say go with the open guard approach as well. when rolling practice butterfly and get good at it and then youll be sweeping mother fuckers left and right. by the way, how's your triangle? i hear people with short legs bitch about their lack of ability to triangle people.

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                      #11
                      Your game plan?

                      Open & half guard, good sweeps and play on top. Make your opponents pull guard, pass and crush them. Turtle when things go wrong.
                      Last edited by DCS; 4/05/2009 7:33pm, .

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                        #12
                        Having short legs might make triangles harder to get, but it also makes them tighter.

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                          #13
                          I'm 5'6 so I consider myself a short guy. I do bitch about my triangles, a lot! I can never seem to lock it down and my foot ends up on my calf but I can barely ever get it to lock behind my knee. Could this be because my angles might be messed up or should I just not go for the triangle?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I know some guys that height personally who get triangles all the time. I would think your angle needs correction. I suggest you take a private lesson with your instructor to correct this if possible.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Skillful View Post
                              Having short legs might make triangles harder to get, but it also makes them tighter.
                              ain't that the motherfucking truth. i'm 6'4 and all legs. i can get beautiful triangles that look perfect, but they are still loose around skinny guys. i only ever get the sub when i have outstanding head control. the upside is my guard is a bitch to pass.

                              different body types = different game strategies.

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