Do You Always Pull Guard?

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu' started by Kevin, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    Me and my friend start rolling like most other people ' on our knees. After a hand slap we start grappling. My friend is slightly smaller than me but a little heavier/stronger. I find it very difficult to get him down from this position as his technique is better than mine (he's not overpowering me, just has more grappling experience).

    Due to this, I frequently pull guard, as when I don't I usually find myself in a worst position such as half guard or even worse (i.e. giving up my back). On the plus side, my guard has improved because of this. I expect many beginners do the same as me.

    Does anyone have any tips for this initial stage i.e. to gain the advantage from the start rather than pulling guard and then trying to do a sweep to get in a better position.

  3. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    I never pull guard... ever.
  4. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    Oh, I also really don't like starting from the knees. I like starting standing to work take downs. If I want to avoid working take downs, I prefer to find a partner and just start in the guard or start in half-guard or even in side-mount.
  5. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    My gym's a little too small for starting from standing. We wouldn't be able to do it properly as you can cover a lot of ground when taking someone down (or getting taken down).

    How to avoid guard if you do start from your knees? Any good drills?
  6. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    Maybe work on some techniques that work from multiple positions like arm drags or collar and sleeve grips.
  7. Asriel

    Asriel Disciple

    Things I do:

    1. sit back and work open guard
    2. Give them side control to practice escaping.
    3. Go to butterfly guard
  8. Sherratt

    Sherratt Disciple

    although im in a striking art were told to never lower our guard, even when striking or kicking
  9. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    Oh boy, starting from the knees/on the ground.:( For the most part work on your fundamental wrestling. One is the sit out, coming to a base, using your head as an extra limb to control/move him (many wrestling moves rely on the head as an integral part of the technique), spin and block, blocking the knee/s to assist your movement and hinder his, ankle grabs, etc. You'll be better off looking up or getting a book on this rather than me trying to describe every fundamental move. But if you're trying to avoid pulling guard when you're already on the ground, wrestling is the skills to build.

    Once you're in guard (you're still going to be pulling guard often if he's much better than you) start working on combos to set up a sweep. Just attempting a sweep by itself will probably be negated by your buddy. So bait him and/or set up a chain of sweeps/reversals on the assumption the first will fail. Genuinely go for the first sweep, but don't struggle with it. By transitioning to the next and the next you can "get ahead" of him and successfully gain an advantageous position.
  10. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    We're talking about a grappling position of being on your back with your legs wrapped around someone to limit and control their movement. Way different than the stand-up "guard" (y)
  11. Dave76

    Dave76 Deheuol Gwyn Dragon

    This is the exact problem I had a few months ago, only in reverse. I spent so much time getting good at 'wrestling' for the top position, that when I got to my first comp and someone put me straight on my back I was screwed. I then had to spend the next 12 weeks living on my back, playing the guard game, working the sweeps, etc, etc... The problem essentially was for me, that you don't start from your knees anywhere but at training and even in comp it's extremly rare to see two people end up wrestling from their knees.

    My advice would be don't worry about where you start from or where you end your specifics. Tonight I'm gonna work my sweeps and clock chokes...that's it. Anything else is immaterial. Pull guard, let him pin you down, it does'nt matter, only that at the end of it, you succeded in pulling off the specific techniques you are focusing on that night. If you end up what! Slap hands, punch knuckles and go again!

    If gaining the top position is your goal that night, then as RJ Clark said, you got to learn some wrestling. Give your opponent a quick shove, out of reflex they will come forward to counter, that's an oppurtunity to pendulum sweep ( just not from your guard, so without your foot under their leg). Use their momentum against them and spin to put them on their back...Hard to describe without being able to show you.

    I'll see if I can dig up some clips....submissions101 will undoubtedly have something about it.
  12. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    Yeah we were drilling arm drags the other week and leading them into arm bars and triangle chokes :)

    I have tried butterfly guard sometimes. It usually works out ok as if I don't get it right I can pull back and then reset. The problem is, on occasion, if I don't get the guard right, it's easy for him to hold both my legs and either stuff them down and jump over to side control, or achieve the same thing by crawling up slowly. Think I need more practice with that guard too :)

    Thanks. I don't think we will be training until Friday this week but I'll take this all on board.

    Thanks. You make a good point that it's rare to see people wrestling from their knees. Reading all of your comments, I clearly need more time on the mat. Practice, practice, practice.

  13. Asriel

    Asriel Disciple

    My butterfly guard often gets stuffed, that's why I do it more. Try to control their arms and elevate their base
  14. Dave76

    Dave76 Deheuol Gwyn Dragon

    Just out of curiosity, how long have you been rolling Kev and how often do you get to train?
  15. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    Are you at least working on your breakfalls within the limited space you have? This is absolutely necessary because if you don't know how to fall you're most likely already out of the fight when you're thrown or taken down hard. So all the groundwork is for nothing if you get knocked out or busted up going to the ground.
    This would actually be a good drill after running thru you're breakfalls solo, then repetitively static with your partner throwing you in a controlled manner (you don't get to fight the throw). Next step is let him throw you and then you immediately go dynamic/start to roll. This will give a bit more realism to your grappling rather than starting on your knees.

    NOTE: for those who don't know where Kevin is grappling, refer to his Building My Own Gym thread to get a feel for the kind of suggestions to give for the space alotted.
  16. Dave76

    Dave76 Deheuol Gwyn Dragon

    Yeah I saw, not sure from the pics that I'd be doing throws in there. But surely his school have a comp class focussing on takedowns - dble legs, single legs, leg drags, trips, etc, etc. Takedown defense, pulling guard and what not??? We have two classes a week devoted to nothing but takedowns and takedown defense. I fricken hate it! Mainly because I'm just not as explosive as I used to be anymore. It's run by one of our purple belts, an ex navy seal ( yes my American friends, an ex navy seal, and no he's not full of shit...we checked!), who wrestled right thru high school and college and has a brown belt in judo.
    Twice a week, for 30 mins we go over some techniques and then it's an hour, just five people out front and everyone else line up, try to take em down for 3min, you win or you lose, next person...try to take em down or they take you down, next person...after 3min next person comes out for their 3min, on and on and on........I know how much I need it, but I still F$#king hate it!
  17. Michael Spivey

    Michael Spivey Warrior Monk

    To jokingly answer the title of the post which jumped into my mind when I read it; "Do You Always Pull Guard?", Only when there are Mutant Zombie Bikers, or simply Zombies on the perimeter.
    Kevin likes this.
  18. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    My Taekwondo instructor brought in a Judo guy to teach us grappling around 5 years ago. We all started doing grappling a bit more after that. We'd incorporate it into class and myself and a few others joined an MMA class. Although we have trained with gi, we nearly always train no gi.

    For about two years or so I'd train in BJJ about twice a week with my instructor, who was also learning from an MMA club. We also trained for several months about twice a week from a local guy who is a blue or purple belt (from Royce Gracie). That's when I started really getting into it and getting better. It changed from two beginners learning from each other to someone really experienced showing us where we were going wrong (he's not graded for several years though has kept training so I imagine he's around the level of a brown belt rather than a purple).

    Unfortunately, around two years ago I pinched a nerve in my neck, in part due to the twisters etc I was getting. I should have seen it coming. I had a twinge in my neck but kept training every day and then woke up one day and couldn't move.

    So in the last two years I haven't done any rolling but before that I had been rolling semi regularly for two to three years. Since getting my gym built in july I've been rolling once or twice a week in my gym with my friend (instructor). I'm going to travel South America and leave in two weeks so I'll need to put training to the side for at least a few months.

    I'd love to do it right though and join a school. Perhaps even join a camp in Brazil. There's some great MMA camps in Thailand now too.

    Yes and no. In the gym we've been doing MMA style sparring where we spar with full padding etc but if someone can get a takedown they can...though we make sure we do the takedowns slowly etc. We have both did a tiny bit of wrestling but not much to be honest. My instructor is much more experienced than me in this regard though I have did work with the thai clinch and trips etc and one leg and two legged takedowns etc too. None of which are that useful in such a small space.

    We have did breakfalls in class but again, I've never learned this at a judo or aikido school so I don't believe it's something I'm that good at.
  19. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    That sucks you cannot practice take downs. The blast double leg take down is my bread-and-butter move. I am really good at fast level changes and exploding through an opponent (i.e., the "blast" part of it, as opposed to turning the corner).
  20. Enkidu

    Enkidu Destroyer of your martial arts fantasies

    Oh, be a little careful about BJJ practitioners who got their belts from Royce. As Royce has gotten older, he tends to just hand out belts at seminars that he gives, so people who get belts under him aren't always as deserving of their belts as others.
  21. Kevin

    Kevin Admin Staff Member

    I don't know about his gradings etc but he's definitely the real deal. He trained at of of the only BJJ classes in Scotland for years and is well respected by other BJJ guys (so I've heard). That's not something we ever had to worry about. He's actually quite humble considering how good he is.

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