FACT: We spent at least half of our time on the Jiu-Jitsu mat either playing guard or passing the guard! In fact, the great Rickson Gracie has said that the open guard is “the heart and soul” of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Compared to the other positions in BJJ, it seems like the options and styles for defending and attacking from the guard are almost infinite. And unfortunately, as a coach I keep seeing students (and some instructors) making the same mistakes over and over again as they try to learn this crucial part of the art!
We’ve all been there… seeing how this famous guy plays this style of guard and trying it out, then picking up some tips from another world champion and trying that game on for size…
But for the majority of BJJ students, this is a MAJOR waste of time!,,The problem is that many people are learning the guard (and thinking of the guard) by trying to piece together as a series of techniques learned in class – or worse yet – trying to just copy what someone else is doing.,,This approach is one of the worst ways to develop your skills! I’m here to help you end that frustration.
And even if you have a solid guard that’s working for you already, I’m going to help you take it up a notch….
Stephen Whittier is a 3rd degree BJJ black belt and owner of Nexus Martial Arts & Fitness in Massachusetts. He's also a professional performance coach with years of experience teaching seminars and training camps across the country and internationally, and training everyone from recreational students to BJJ competitors and "A-list" MMA fighters.