During Jiu-Jitsu competition, you will encounter opponents of all different shapes, sizes, body types, and above all, skill levels. And type of guard that you can use in particular to help stand out from the crowd is the “X-Guard”. The x-guard is a complex position that can be a lot of fun to utilize, as well as take your skillsets to the next level.

Using the X-Guard during Jiu-Jitsu Competition

A Highly Offensive Position

Whenever you managed to get your opponent in your x-guard, it is important that you don’t just sit there and wait. This is a highly offensive position that will provide you with plenty of sweeps and submissions. However, if you simply wait for your opponent to give you an opening (which
won’t happen often during Jiu-Jitsu competition), you will likely have your guard passed and be in a bad position.

When you have your opponent in the x-guard, you can use the high percentage technique of going for their back. It’s a little complicated but can work wonders when mastered. Basically, whenever you have your opponent in your x-guard, swing your upper body under their legs and press your head against the inside of their leg while keeping your legs tight. From here, simply shoot out the back and work your way up the body like a spider- leaving no space.


Making Transitions

Another benefit to the x-guard in Jiu-Jitsu competition is that you can reach a wide variety of transitions just from there. For instance, you can transition back to the butterfly guard, to an ankle lock, or back to full guard. The beauty behind the x-guard is that while your opponent is busy defending your offensive tactics, you’ll already be on your way to executing another move or transition, they’ll also be one step behind.


Portland Jiu Jitsu Technique: Cross Choke from the Guard

When Shouldn’t You Use the X-Guard?

In general, if you aren’t very technically savvy with the x-guard then you’re going to get yourself in a lot of trouble during Jiu-Jitsu competition if you try to use it. It works great against opponents who are bigger and stronger, and even opponents are better skilled (since they may not necessarily know the defenses to this particular guard).

If you don’t have good leg stamina, and don’t feel as though you can squeeze your legs in tight positions for extended periods of time, then the x-guard should be avoided for the time being. There are a lot of “squeezing” submission and sweeps associated with this position, and they can only be reached if you have the necessary leg endurance. Overall, this is a solid guard, one rich in sweeps and submissions, and learning it before competition will definitely set you ahead of the pack.