View Poll Results: Which open guard do you use the most?

43. You may not vote on this poll
  • Butterfly guard

    21 48.84%
  • Spider guard

    14 32.56%
  • De la Riva

    1 2.33%
  • X-guard

    2 4.65%
  • Other (describe below)

    5 11.63%
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Thread: Open guard work

  1. #21
    bushi51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    My suggestion is to open your guard and play with it. Get submitted fast and often, you will be suprised how your game will leap ahead. The key is put yourself in bad spots often. This allows you to lose your ego and open your game up. It takes the ability to let go, flow, relax, get caught, and escape.

    Trust me at first you will be frustrated, but shortly you will see the small things that you never saw before, because you did not want to get "caught".

    I learned this from a Terere (3x World Champion BJJ) seminar (unfortunately he got locked up in Miami). His game is sick and its because he "never competes".

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    I was talking with an anonymous forum-goer about some footage of himself sparring, and I saw him keep getting half of a butterfly guard, but leaving the other leg out as in closed guard. He had told me he does this position a lot, so we talked about it, and I offered some advice on butterfly guard. Last night I made a point of following all my own advice while working on my butterfly guard, and it really helped me, so I thought you people might benefit as well. Be warned that I am just a white belt, but that this information helped me last night when sparring against several blue belts, so it may work for you too.

    I've done some minor edits to make it easier to read, but here it is:

    Aeso: Now on your open guard.
    Them: Oh no, be gentle
    Aeso: Were you trying to do your half-butterfly, one leg out guard?
    Aeso: I see a couple instances of it, but wanted to see if they were on purpose.
    Them: YEah
    Them: I don't know why but I like that position a lot, it's probably a bad idea.
    Aeso: I'm not going to poopoo if it works for you...
    Aeso: But I just spent two weeks learning how to get out of that position.
    Aeso: And returning to a full, proper butterfly guard.
    Them: I would prefer a full butterfly guard I think, I probably just settle for that thoguh.
    Aeso: Eduardo has always prefaced these techniques by saying this one-leg-in-one-leg-out SUCKS for the bottom guy.
    Them: I could believe that.
    Aeso: It's just a butterfly guard in the process of being passed.
    Them: Ok so I will start going for full butterfly instead of stopping there.
    Aeso: That's a good plan.
    Aeso: Someone with good passes will jump the one knee, or stack the other leg.
    Aeso: Also, when you do butterfly guard, do you stay laying on your back?
    Them: Yes... I noticed that the people that are doing it right don't do that...
    Aeso: Exactly.
    Aeso: Let me rename the butterfly guard, to dramatically reposition your concept of it.
    Aeso: It is now called...
    Them: WHAT!????
    Aeso: You want to be sitting up.
    Them: It's not the legs in stirrups like a pregnant slut guard?
    Aeso: It is, but to use it offensively, you need to situp.
    Aeso: You hooks don't always have to be in a death grip on the back of his legs.
    Aeso: I get that name from Eduardo. He was showing some basics of the butterfly guard and commented "... it's also called the sitting guard."
    [I asked Eduardo about this last night and he doesn't remember calling it the "sitting guard" specifically, but he did agree that it's a good way to think of the butterfly guard.]
    Aeso: He taught us to always be seeking ways to sit up and secure underhooks in the butterfly guard.
    Aeso: You can do stuff laying on your back, but Eduardo's butterfly guard is to always be sitting up to where you feel you have the leverage to move his upper body any way you please.
    Aeso: Does this make sense?
    Them: YEah kinda, except the underhooks part.
    Aeso: Underhooking the arms with your own.
    Them: I thoguht you wanted to overhook your arms?
    Aeso: Either, probably.
    Aeso: Eduardo had us drill getting to a sitting guard, getting double underhooks and pulling their lower back.
    Them: oh so it's more of a wrapup than underhooks?
    Aeso: Uhm, I don't think so, but what's the difference?
    Them: Underhooks or overhooks means that your hands are not clasped
    Aeso: Okay, he taught us to go for underhooks, then clasp our hands.
    Them: Ok cool, I'm thinking more of Greco or Judo where underhooks definately don't ahve the hands touching.
    Aeso: Gotcha.
    Them: Regardless.
    Aeso: Eduardo just chose underhooks and clasping that night.
    Aeso: We've also gone for belt grips and other stuff.
    Aeso: In any case, you're sitting up with control of his upper body.
    Aeso: This is what I'm talking about. Look at how he starts his butterfly guard sweep:
    Them: So is on your back with your feet in the butterfly position a viable spot at all?
    Aeso: Yes, but I don't know how.
    Aeso: But I got that it's only done well by a couple people.
    Them: lol thanks!
    Aeso: Like how closed guard is supposed to be dead at the high levels of BJJ, but a few still rock with it.
    Aeso: Eduardo impressed on me the idea that to have an ACTIVE and OFFENSIVE butterfly guard, you need to situp.
    Aeso: He didn't say that laying down doesn't work, but he sure implied that it isn't the best thing to do by making us drill all sorts of ways to situp against interference by the opponent.
    Them: How do you situp though if their weight is on you?
    Aeso: Sorry, can't answer that one well.
    Aeso: Most of the stuff I learned was based around them setting up a pass to go around your knees, not smothering you like a whale.
    Them: Whale smothering is what I deal with most of the time...
    Aeso: My immediate, off hand guess is that if they are putting this much weight on you, they are setting themself up for a sweep or armlock.
    Aeso: But this is just speculation.
    Aeso: If we're talking gi, for someone to have that much weight on you, they have to be breaking posture and offering their neck to the Choke Gods.
    Them: yeah that's true.
    Aeso: And any time someone puts this much weight on my butterfly guard, the worst they do if force me to get closed guard.
    Aeso: Does all this make sense? Anything that still has you going WTF?
    Them: It makes sense but I will never really be able to practice this. I'm eventually going to have to resign myself to doing some BJJ maybe next year.
    Aeso: You say that like it's a bad thing.
    Aeso: Eduardo is available for seminars, but it sounds like your teacher wouldn't be interested in bring someone up for groundwork.
    Aeso: Eduardo already gets brought into Ryota's judo school to teach ne waza.
    Aeso: Ryota is the Kodokan black belt.
    Them: No he would bring someone up no problem. We had Shonie Carter do a seminar not too long ago.
    Aeso: Eduardo is an encyclopdia of BJJ. I cannot recommend him highly enough.
    Aeso: He has been doing it for 16 years.


    Aeso: Watch this for the butterfly guard work I'm talking about:
    Aeso: Checking out that video?
    Them: cool video
    Them: The guy in white gave up his back the same way I do!
    Aeso: With huge success!
    Aeso: I thought that was very interesting.
    Aeso: They never got the points for guard pass, and he could defend rear mount well enough to not worry about that.
    Them: weird positions in this fight
    Aeso: Very, very different approach to fighting.
    Them: That's pretty tight!

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Stephan Kesting, once again, has a great article that relates to the dicussion at hand:

    Butterfly Guard / X Guard Q & A at Grapple Arts

    He addresses many, many great points with regards to these two guard and all open guards in general. JUST READ IT. It covers most things we've been talking about so far, including close vs. open guard, beginner vs. advanced, sitting up in butterfly, etc.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Melbourne, Australia
    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
    I'd like to add my two cents:

    Firstly, Eduardo is correct :)
    Butterfly guard shouldn't have one leg on the inside and one on the outside. That's for half-guard or De La Riva and if you try it using a butterfly guard then you will generally get passed pretty quickly.
    We also refer to butterfly guard as "sitting guard". If you're passing someone who is using butterfly guard it's sometimes a good idea to put them flat on their back because it takes away their mobility, their ability to turn your shoulders (hence sweep you) and generally makes their hooks useless.

    One thing that seems to me to be a problem for a lot of people using sitting guard is how to control the guy enough so you can set up your sweeps before he passes. I personally use the same guard as Margarida. He has one hand in the collar and one on the sleeve. This makes it easy to get underhooks (for the butterfly sweeps), plus the hand in the collar stops the guy from putting his head in your hips to pass or put any weight on you (or he'll get cross-lapel choked), as well as stopping him from backing out too far to run around your guard.

    BTW, Stephan Kesting's DVD's are excellent and a wise investment for people of any level.

  5. #25
    fanatical's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    Someone necroed this thread just by doing the poll thing. But the coincidense(or how you spell it) of it coming up tonight fit me very well..

    Today our instructor was talking about how he saw how we noobs were pretty much helpless if we decided to unlock our guard an try anything, because we have been working on some standing passes, and the second people get the legs open, they stand and attempt those passes very successfully.

    So he thought he'd fill us in on a method that he learned his very first BJJ lesson and how he has kept it ever since because it totally rocked for him.

    The Premise he gave us was that what your opponent basically will do when they get up, is control your legs, move them to one side or to the mat and pass their hips to the other side or indeed over. That's the basic idea of the easiest passes. And went through a very nice sweep that goes something like this (he even broke it down so we didn't have to feel like complete tards trying it all at once):

    I'm writing this down because I feel like it and I know I should rather make a training log but bah.

    - They grab your ankles/knees and are attempting to control your legs. Circle your one foot (let's use the left) out and straighten it to shove it into their right bicep to 1: break grip and 2: get the other hand closer to you as you push the shoulder away with this move torquing their upperbody.

    - Grab the other arm (their left) with both of your hands either around the wrist or with one of the two grips they like to enforce on the gi ("joystick" and thumbless wrapping the sleeve) and keep it as close to your chest as possible. Then kick your leg out to break the grip on this leg. Your leg is stronger than your arms. Now place that foot on their hip.

    - Pull their arm across your body and keep a grip on it with the opposite hand from where you are planting your foot in their hip. I.e. in this example, your left. Now with that grip and with a little movement of your torso, pull and move yourself over to your right side and grab his left ankle from the outside with your right hand.

    - Now finally, move your other leg from his bicep (if he has grabbed it by now, some circling and kicking might get this free (arm vs. leg again) and slip it on the inside of his legs hooking it behind his right knee. For the kill, pull on his left ankle, block his right knee, push on his hips with your right foot and voila he will tumble.

    Using the fall, bring your right leg under you to come up to your feet holding his arm and leg (DON'T LET GO OF EITHER ARM OR LEG) and passing should not be TOO hard when you got both arm and leg. The actual end and passing is not the issue though..

    Now to what I actually meant to do by writing all this. 'Cause when he explained a little about this, showed some counters and followups if people stopped it.. He mentioned that somewhere along this way this was called the "cross guard" Which I honestly didn't pay enough attention to remember what exactly he meant. And I googled around for "cross guard" and ended up with some DVD's saying "lol cross guard is teh ****" but all DVD's are marketed as the end all be all.

    I'm just kind of wondering if this is familiar to anyone and if they could mention anything they know about cross guard. I may be just talking out of my ass here. I'm a white belt and I really have very little clue, so kill me if you feel like it. I don't know if I'm bringing anything new to this thread.
    More human than human is our motto.

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Brazilian Jiu-jitsu
    Us tall guys love spider guard. Nothing works better at cracking open an opponent's defenses!

  7. #27
    Olly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    UK, Essex
    Since beginners using closed guard was mentioned in this thread I'll stick this question in here.

    Legs sticking up in the air or resting on opponents back?

  8. #28
    fanatical's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Oslo, Norway
    Quote Originally Posted by Aesopian
    By open guard I mean ones such as spider, butterfly, De la Riva, x-guard, and the like. I don't mean that you just forget to close you ankles when you should have and you're giving away leg locks, like I've seen in some recent footage of people sparring. Unless, of course, that's how your school teaches open guard.
    More human than human is our motto.

  9. #29
    Mjelva's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Trondheim, Norway
    BJJ, Judo
    Feet on hips is the standard open guard.
    I hardly do any gi grappling, so you'd have to ask someone else about spider guard, but I did do a quick search for some pictures to at least show you what it is.

  10. #30

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    I use spider guard a lot for triangle and armbar setups. I've been trying to work butterfly guard more, but our class really hasn't touched on that one much, so I'm just going by what I can get the blue's and purple belts to show me. However we do do a lot of spider guard, X, and De la Riva stuff. I try to work open guard as much as possible because Im told by a lot of people that closed guard is bad for MMA.

    Speaking of De La Riva, we have one of his black belts comming to do a seminar at our club this weekend.

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