Every Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner wants to build a challenging BJJ game that will allow him to beat many opponents in various tournaments. This could be possible by mastering a list of BJJ guards. Hence, learning multiple guards will help you diversify your game using several transitions and submissions.
The guard has extreme importance in Brazilian jiu-jitsu martial arts. Therefore, a weak guard position puts you in a dangerous and unwanted situation where you are most likely to be submitted.
However, a strong BJJ guard will help you control your opponent and open your game to several attacks, sweeps, and transitions. So, What is the best guard for beginners?
There is no perfect guard in Brazilian jiu-jitsu; a wise student should try several guards (closed guard, half guard, …) until he finds the one that best suits him to dominate the game.
Moreover, some jiu-jitsu guard positions are perfect when your opponent is standing, and others are effective when the opponent is kneeling.
This article will list some essential Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu guards you need to master, including the half guard, closed guard, spider guard, butterfly guard, etc. Stay tuned!
A BJJ practitioner is beginning to learn the closed guard early on the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mats.
The closed guard is one of the best BJJ guards that demands a lot of time and practice to transform into one of your dominant positions.
However, this kind of guard frightens a majority of practitioners due to its complexity.
What’s jiu-jitsu close guard? The closed guard (also called the full guard) is one of the essential BJJ guards. In this type of guard, the bottom BJJ practitioner uses both legs wrapped around the guy on the top.
Closed guard is a superb jiu-jitsu position, especially for white belts, where they’ll learn many essential submissions and sweeps … But, it could also be used in advanced BJJ competitions.
Moreover, the closed guard could be fertile when the practitioner arrives to master its fundaments and concepts.
BJJ Closed Guard Basics
Throughout the video above, Gordon Ryan explains the BJJ No-Gi Grappling closed guard fundamentals. Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics
Awesome! Let’s now learn how to secure a closed guard position? You ought to grip the opponent’s sleeve and collar whenever you’re at the closed guard.
These grips help break the opponent’s posture and control his hands and weight. Then you can process a BJJ sweep, submissions, or switch to another BJJ guard type.
N.B. Make sure to prevent your opponent from controlling your hips to facilitate your movements.
In addition, use your hands and legs in momentum to disturb the opponent’s weight and neglect their movements.
Best BJJ Submissions from Closed Guard
A good closed guard exposes many attacking opportunities to submit to your opponent.
Here are some excellent BJJ closed guard submissions because you could get a dominant position with strict control over your opponent.
Kimura from Closed Guard
Kimura lock is one of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu attacks from the full guard. It’s an effective move in BJJ tournaments, Mixed Martial arts (MMA), and self-defense.
Guillotine from Closed Guard
The closed guard guillotine choke is an excellent attack from the guard position. It’s a sneaky and effective move largely used in No-gi tournaments, Mixed Martial arts, and self-defense.
Arm Bar from Full Guard BJJ
The closed guard armbar is one of the simplest and highest percentage submissions in BJJ Gi and No-Gi. It has long been one of the most straightforward submissions in competition and MMA.
Therefore, many fighters have used the armbar from the full guard to finish several fights.
Triangle from Full Guard
The closed guard triangle choke is another incredible submission in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Like the armbar, the triangle has been utilized at the very best levels of competition.
Ezekiel Choke from Closed Guard
Ezekiel Choke from the closed guard is one of the basic chokes learned in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It’s an effective move in BJJ Gi tournaments and self-defense.
Best Jiu-Jitsu Sweeps from Closed Guard
Sweeps are among the basic techniques in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to reverse your opponent and open the game to new things.
Therefore, most practitioners enjoy executing these beautiful techniques to help them escape nasty and unwanted positions.
The closed guard allows you to process many sweeps, including the scissor sweep, pendulum sweep, etc. Here is a list of five brutal full-guard sweeps.
The closed-guard lumberjack sweep is one of the classic sweep techniques in jiu-jitsu.
Most likely, the right time to go for the lumberjack sweep is when playing the full guard position and the opponent tries to stand up.
Hip Bump Sweep
The closed guard hip bump sweep is among the foremost essential and effective sweeps in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that any white belt should master.
Although, it involves trapping one of your opponent’s arms and using momentum, exploding alongside your hips to overbalance your opponent.
The scissor sweep is among the first closed guard sweeps you’ll learn as a white belt in BJJ. It works perfectly from full guard to reverse tough opponents, even heavy people.
The pendulum sweep is one of the best closed-guard sweeps that utilizes heavy hip rotation.
The flower sweep is also one of the best closed-guard sweeps in BJJ.
Transitions from Jiu-Jitsu Closed Guard
A BJJ Transition will help the practitioner escape a miserable Brazilian jiu-jitsu position to a dominant one.
In addition, it could help you prepare the right environment for successful submission. Here are some nice transitions from the full jiu-jitsu guard:
Closed Guard to Back Take
Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics
Closed Guard to X Guard
Source: Chad The Beast Hardy
Closed Guard to Open Guard
Source: The Grapplers Guide by Jason Scully
Closed Guard Pass BJJ
Jiu Jitsu Closed Guard in MMA and Self-Defense
In MMA, closed guard remains useful with bottom attacks and sweeps, but it is not ideal for striking aspects.
In a self-defense situation, the full guard could be helpful against an untrained adversary, but it could be dangerous against a trained opponent.
Recommended: This comprehensive article will teach you everything you need to know about the closed guard in BJJ. It explains the full guard posture and some effective attacks and sweeps to help defeat your many opponents.
The half guard could be an excellent jiu-jitsu position that gives you many submissions, sweeps, and transitions in Gi and No-Gi.
Otherwise, this guard type is among the essential guards that each Brazilian jiu-jitsu should find out how to deal with from rock bottom and standing positions. So, what is the half-guard BJJ?
The half guard is one of the essential Brazilian jiu-jitsu guard types where the rock bottom player puts one of his legs between the highest player’s legs. Moreover, the other leg could be used as a knee shield near the opponent’s chest.
Half Guard Jiu Jitsu Basics
How does the bottom fighter play the half-guard?
The rock bottom BJJ fighter should use his legs and hands to regulate his adversary, make the distance, and sometimes transit to other positions, including the deep half guard, half-butterfly guard, single leg X guard, X guard, back take, or full guard retention.
Attacks from the Bottom Half Guard
Source: BJJ Joe
You’ll get four awesome attacks from the bottom half guard with details throughout the video above. 0:40 1) Triangle choke 1:16 2) Kimura lock 1:57 3) Ezekiel choke 2:38 4) Baseball bat Choke.
Attacks from the Top Half Guard
Throughout the video above, you’ll get awesome submission combinations from the jiu-jitsu top half guard with details. Source: Stuart Tomlinson
Sweeps from the Bottom Half Guard in BJJ Gi and No-Gi
Once you have the basic principles of half-guard, you will be ready to execute some awesome sweeps, including coyote half-guard sweep, etc.
Source: Absolute MMA St Kilda – Melbourne
Half Guard Transitions in Jiu-Jitsu
To build a challenging half-guard game, you should learn many half-guard transitions, including the half-guard to deep half-guard or half-guard to X guard, etc.
Related: This complete article will teach you everything you need to know about the half-guard in BJJ. It explains this guard type in detail and offers some effective attacks and sweeps to help build a savage game.
Rubber Guard BJJ
The rubber guard is one of the top sophisticated guards in BJJ grappling, demanding a high degree of flexibility.
Hence, most practitioners find trouble playing this guard position; they go for regular guards such as the closed guard, the half guard, and the spider guard. So, what’s the Rubber Guard?
The rubber guard is among the complex guard types in Brazilian jiu-jitsu invited by Master Eddie Bravo at the 10th Planet Academy. It may be a high guard position that demands a high degree of flexibility.
Therefore, if you are flexible enough, try the rubber guard to hit your most vigorous opponents during a grappling fight.
Best Submissions from the Rubber Guard
The rubber guard is a niche of several excellent submissions, including triangle choke, gogoplata, etc. So here are five brutal rubber guard attacks.
Rubber Guard Gogoplata
Gogoplata is a surprise attack from the rubber guard position that demands a high degree of flexibility.
It produces unsupportable pressure on the opponent’s throat, forcing him to give up.
Related: Check out this must-read article to master the gogoplata submission from rubber guard.
Omoplata from Rubber Guard
Omoplata is another excellent submission that can be processed from the rubber guard position.
Rubber Guard Triangle Choke
Where there is an omoplata submission, there is also a triangle choke.
Related: Check out this must-read article to learn more about the triangle choke from everywhere.
Carni Shoulder Lock from Rubber Guard
The carni Shoulder lock is an authoritarian Brazilian jiu-jitsu submission that can be processed from several positions, including the rubber guard, Z Guard, etc.
Discover in the next instructional video how to do the carni shoulder lock from the rubber guard.
Source: Alec Hooben
Dead Orchard Submission from Rubber Guard BJJ
Dead Orchard is an arduous rubber guard submission created by Nathan Orchard (10th Planet Seattle).
Discover how to make the dead Orchard attack from the rubber guard in the following instructional video.
Recommended: This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about the rubber guard in BJJ. It explains this guard type in detail and offers some effective attacks and sweeps to overcome many opponents.
BJJ Butterfly Guard
The butterfly guard may be a dynamic type of guard in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, played by several fighters like Marcelo Garcia.
It’s an incredible position that gives you a plethora of sweeps, submissions, and transitions in gi and no-gi BJJ grappling.
Submissions from Jiu-Jitsu Butterfly Guard
The BJJ Butterfly guard is a niche of several awesome attacks, including the jiu-jitsu armbar, triangle choke, guillotine, etc.
Source: The Grappling Academy
Guillotine Choke from Butterfly Guard
The guillotine is an excellent attack from the butterfly guard position. But first, you will learn how to set up the butterfly guard guillotine choke.
Source: The Grappling Academy
Armbar from Butterfly Guard
The butterfly guard armbar is among the top moves in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Here is an excellent video on setting up the butterfly guard armbar.
Source: Gracie Barra HQ – California
Butterfly Guard Triangle Choke
The triangle choke from the butterfly guard is another excellent submission in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It’s a superb move that can be processed after a failed butterfly guard sweep.
The following video teaches you to set up a triangle choke from the butterfly guard.
Butterfly Guard BJJ Sweeps
The Butterfly guard is one of the best guard types in BJJ grappling, where you have several options to sweep your opponent.
Here are some awesome sweeps from the butterfly guard.
Related: This comprehensive article will teach you everything you need to know about the butterfly guard in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It explains this guard type in detail and offers some effective attacks and sweeps to help build a savage game.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Spider Guard
The BJJ spider guard is one of the most authoritarian guard types in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
A BJJ practitioner will play this guard position when he tries to manage distance and maintain good control of his standing or kneeling opponent.
Submissions and Sweeps from BJJ Spider Guard
The jiu-jitsu spider guard aims to place the opponent in an off-balance position preparing a natural environment for several sweeps and submissions, including triangle chokes, armbars, omoplata, etc.
BJJ Spider Guard Attacks
BJJ Spider Guard Sweeps
Recommended: This comprehensive article will teach you everything you need to know about the butterfly guard in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It explains this guard type in detail and offers some effective attacks and sweeps to help build a savage game.
BJJ DeLa Riva Guard
De La Riva (DLR) is among the most brutal guards in BJJ grappling, created by Ricardo de la Riva. A fantastic control is popular among several Gi and No-Gi jiu-jitsu.
Submissions and Sweeps from DeLa Riva Guard Position
The De La Riva guard allows you to process a large arsenal of attacks, sweeps, and many other beautiful techniques.
De la Riva Guard Submissions
Source: Tom Barlow
Recommended: This comprehensive article will teach you everything you need to know about the De La Riva guard. It explains this jiu-jitsu guard type in detail and offers some effective attacks and sweeps to overcome many opponents.
De La Riva Guard Sweeps
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu X Guard
The X guard is one of the complex guard types in jiu-jitsu grappling. It’s a tough control that opens your door to several submissions, sweeps, and transitions.
Elsewhere, the X-guard BJJ is favored by many advanced Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts in top jiu-jitsu champions.
Submissions and Sweeps from the X Guard Position
The X guard gives you almost unbreakable control over your opponent; even heavy practitioners cannot prevent the magic of the X guard.
Otherwise, this awesome control gives you many submission combos and sweeps.
Submissions from X Guard Position
In the above BJJ instructional video, you will learn the three best submissions from the X guard position by Coach Erin Herle. 1) X guard to heel hook 2) kneebar from X guard 3) X guard to an armbar submission. Source: fightTIPS
N.B: Most gyms do not allow lower belts to practice leg locks, so if you have doubts, do not go for it and ask your coach about things to do.
Sweeps from the X Guard Position
Recommended: This comprehensive post will teach you everything you need to know about the X-Guard. It explains this BJJ guard type in detail and offers some effective attacks and sweeps to help build a savage game.
50/50 Guard Jiu Jitsu Guard
The 50 50 guards could also be an edge that falls under the open jiu-jitsu guards’ category where one player’s leg gets around another player’s same side leg.
Otherwise, this type of BJJ guard gives you, as equal as your opponent, the same attacking opportunity, usually from a seated position within the bottom game.
Here are some Submissions, sweeps, and transitions from 50/50 Guard
‘KneeBArges’ leglock from the 50/50 Guard by Gabriel Arges
Back Take from 50 50 Guard Position by Andre Galvao
50/50 guard jiu Jitsu Leg Attack Sequence (Toe Hold & Knee Bar) by Tarsis Humphreys
Jiu-Jitsu Triangle choke from 50/50 Guard
50 Lapel Sweep from BJJ 50/50 Guard
The single-leg X guard is one of the essential BJJ guards usually taught to new people. It’s a perfect entry to several leg attacks, especially the straight ankle lock.
What does the single-leg X-guard stand for?
The single-leg X is among the essential Brazilian jiu-jitsu guards. It is a BJJ position where the bottom player is underneath and using one of his feet in the hip of a standing opponent with both knees pinching the standing player’s wrapped leg tightly.
This control produces tremendous pressure on your opponent’s leg and knee line. This opens your game to some cool sweeps, submissions, and transitions.
Single Leg X Guard Basics
Single Leg X Guard Entry
Single Leg X Guard Sweep Options
Professor Gustavo Gasperin teaches – throughout the video above – a tripod sweep from the Single Leg X-Guard. Source: MMA Leech
Single Leg X Guard Attacks
Lachlan Giles teaches – throughout the video above – several attacks from the Single Leg X-Guard with awesome details. Source: Absolute MMA St Kilda – Melbourne
Marcelo Garcia Single Leg X-Guard Sweep
Recommended: This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need about the Single X-Guard. It explains this jiu-jitsu guard variation in detail and offers some effective attacks and sweeps to help build a savage game.
Shawn Williams Guard BJJ
The Shawn Williams’ guard is one of the most excellent guard types in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It merges between the closed guard and the rubber guard positions.
Therefore, it can be reached from the closed guard position by bringing one of your legs near the opponent’s using both hands.
Otherwise, the BJJ Shawn Williams’ guard may not require a high degree of flexibility, and it gives the possibility to transit to the rubber guard at a glance.
Shawn Williams’s guard offers many submissions, sweeps, and transitions like the other guard positions. Here are some:
Basics of the Shawn Williams guard
In the video above, Shawn Williams (black belt under Renzo Gracie) breaks down the fundamentals of his guard. Source: BJJ Fanatics
Shawn Williams Guard Entry
In the video above, you’ll get an awesome detail on how to enter the Shawn Williams guard from closed guard. Source: JiuJitsuMag
Armbar from the Shawn Williams Guard
Omoplata from the Shawn Williams guard
Recommended: This comprehensive article will teach you everything you need to know about the Shawn Williams guard. It explains this jiu jitsu guard type in detail and offers some effective attacks and sweeps to help build a savage game.
The guard is a fundamental position in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. There are various BJJ guards like the closed guard, spider guard, half guard, and butterfly guard, to name a few.
Those guard types help the bottom player build a challenging game with several attacks, sweeps, and transitions. Some types are effective against standing opponents, and others are savage against kneeling adversaries.
Otherwise, some guards are well-played in Gi jiu-jitsu while others perfectly suit the no-gi game.
Moreover, an effective guard position demands solid points of control (grips) on the opponent as fast as possible; if not, it’ll be a weak guard that any fighter can pass.
Most importantly, a wise practitioner should explore and fail to play several guard positions to find the best guard that suits his game.
We hope this article has solved your jiu-jitsu guard problems and helped you develop a challenging guard game.
Share your thoughts; what is your favorite BJJ guard?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Best BJJ Guards for MMA?
The MMA striking aspects change the way you play the guard. In this mixed martial arts game, you need to perfectly manage distance within your opponent to prevent him from punching you.
Here are the five best jiu-jitsu guards for MMA are:
- Shawn Williams Guard
- 50/50 Guard
- Rubber Guard
- Closed Guard
- Butterfly guard
What Is the Best BJJ Guard for Short Legs?
The butterfly guard is a dynamic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu guard played by several fighters, especially short legs. Otherwise, it’s an awesome position that gives you a plethora of sweeps, submissions, and transitions in both gi and no-gi BJJ grappling.
What Is the Best BJJ Guard for Long Legs?
The spider guard is one of the best guards in BJJ martial arts. This guard type is perfectly played by several BJJ practitioners, especially those with long legs.
What Is the First Guard That a White Belt Should Learn in Jiu-Jitsu?
The closed guard is one of the first guards learned in jiu-jitsu martial arts. It’s a superb BJJ position, especially for white belts, where they’ll learn many basic submissions, sweeps, and transitions.