Things to Consider When Troubleshooting Your BJJ Guard

If you want to be the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition grappler that you can be, it is important that you learn how to recognize your mistakes. In certain cases, you won’t have an instructor or training partner there with you to tell you what you’re doing wrong. With that being said, here are some ways to troubleshoot the different types of guards that you may be using.


The Rubber Guard

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to use the rubber guard is not clearing the neck. Clearing your opponent’s neck once their hand is one the mat is a roadblock that you’re definitely going to hit as you progress with this type of guard. During Jiu-Jitsu competition when using this guard, make sure that you trap your opponent’s hand against the ground first. If you don’t, you won’t be able to effectively transition to anything else from this position.

Closed Guard

The biggest mistake that grapplers make with their closed guard is not doing a good job of breaking their opponent’s posture. It goes without saying, but if you can’t break your opponent’s posture then you can’t put them in a submission. If you don’t have a closed guard, you need to make sure that you drill it consistently in practice before bringing it to Jiu-Jitsu competition. Otherwise, you’ll be like a fish out of water.


Butterfly Guard

Distance is the key to the butterfly guard. If you can’t manage the distance between you and your opponent, they are going to pass your butterfly guard every time. The key to a successful butterfly guard is to manage your distance until you’re ready to sink in your legs. Only after you’ve done this should you immediately close the distance to attempt a sweep or submission. Butterfly guards can be really useful during Jiu-Jitsu competition, but only if you know what you are doing.

Open Guard

As a general rule of thumb, avoid the open guard against opponents who are very good at passing guards. While the open guard does provide you with plenty of options regarding transitions, sweeps, and submissions, it does leave you vulnerable. When using the open guard, it is important that you have some kind of plan. Don’t just blindly enter the open guard hoping that your opponent is going to do something. Make it happen.


Portland Jiu Jitsu Technique: Open Guard Cross Choke

Spider Guard

The spider guard is perhaps the most powerful type of guard that you can use during Jiu-Jitsu competition. The key to succeeding with this type of guard is to act quickly, because defending the spider will be relatively easy for a seasoned opponent. Also make sure that you are being aggressive and pushing the action when using this guard.