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Help with butterfly guard

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    Help with butterfly guard

    I have really struggled with the conventional guard since starting BJJ 8 months ago. My legs are really short and thick which prevents me from locking around anybody more than 150lbs. I've heard butterfly guard is a good option for someone with my build (5' 10" 225), and I would really appreciate any books, videos, advice, etc. that you have found valuable for learning how to utilize the butterfly guard. My school is pretty traditional about using the conventional guard, so asking my instructor is not really an option.

    #2
    Originally posted by kayman101 View Post
    I have really struggled with the conventional guard since starting BJJ 8 months ago. My legs are really short and thick which prevents me from locking around anybody more than 150lbs. I've heard butterfly guard is a good option for someone with my build (5' 10" 225), and I would really appreciate any books, videos, advice, etc. that you have found valuable for learning how to utilize the butterfly guard. My school is pretty traditional about using the conventional guard, so asking my instructor is not really an option.
    If you insist on having books on the topic, try:

    Marcelo Garcia's The X-Guard. It's about 40% about the butterfly guard.

    Saulo Ribeiro's Jiu-jitsu University. More of an all-around book, but it's fairly in-depth.

    The Essential Guard, by Kid Peligro and Rodrigo Medeiro. Excellent book on the full guard and basics of open guard, including butterfly.

    The Guard also is probably worth checking out, judging by Passing the Guard (EXCELLENT book by the way), but I don't own The Guard.


    But be aware that the full guard can work for you too - just not the closed guard. I'm 5'8" and 200lbs so I'm probably a very similar build to you. Very thick legs. I used to rely extensively on the butterfly and X-guards, but I've had a lot of success lately with the plain old full guard. Just make sure that you have your partner's posture broken down and you have some control over the upper body: overhook and hip out, underhook and head control, deep cross collar grip with wrist control, etc. You don't want him posturing up when you don't have your feet locked.

    Don't put your full guard (as opposed to closed guard) aside entirely as you study butterfly.

    Also, if you train it entirely from books/videos, you're probably going to be doing it wrong. Try to find an upper belt at your school who's wiling to put the time into showing you butterfly basics.

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      #3
      As someone who started out at 5'9" and 315, I can pretty much assure you it isn't the size of your legs unless you are trying to lock guard around a redwood. It is probably flexibility. At least it was in my case. I am not trying to dismiss your desire to work butterfly guard but closed guard is a great starting point for understanding working off your back.

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        #4
        I understand that the conventional guard is very useful and I have no intention of abandoning it altogether. In fact, I've been able to pull the kimura/ hip bump/ guillotine combo off against people of my skill level or less. The scissor sweep has also worked fairly well. It's when I get someone really large in my closed guard and I get smashed that other guard options become desirable. Thanks again for the advice and sources.

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          #5

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            #6

            I get smashed in half guard......what are you doing to make it more advantageous than butterfly guard?

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              #7
              Originally posted by kayman101 View Post
              I get smashed in half guard......what are you doing to make it more advantageous than butterfly guard?
              The Science of Jiu Jitsu video series (Demian Maia) answers this really nicely. He makes half guard top or bottom a very dynamic position based on sweeps and submissions I wouldn't have thought of. Lots of leg attacks are available for example.

              I don't think half guard is necessarily "more advantageous" on it's own merits, but if used correctly, half guard certainly has it's benefits.

              According to Jiu Jitsu University, Saulo Riberio plays a lot of half guard as well. To really over-simplify what Riberio says, half guard directs your opponent in one direction - you know where they are going, so you know your options one step ahead of them.
              "Never trust a quote you read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln



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