Different Types of BJJ Guards You Should Know

different types of bjj guards you should know

Every Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner wants to build a tough BJJ game that will allow him to beat many opponents in diverse 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 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.

During this article, you’ll get a list of some basic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu guards you need to master, including the half guard, closed guard, spider guard, butterfly guard, etc. Stay tuned!

Table of Contents Show

Closed Guard

jiu jitsu guards

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 learn how to transform it 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 basic 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 basic submissions, 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 will 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

jiu jitsu guards

A good closed guard exposes many attacking opportunities to submit to your opponent.

Here are some awesome BJJ closed guard submissions because you could get a dominant position with tough control over your opponent.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 simplest submissions in competition and MMA.

Therefore, many fighters have used the armbar from the full guard to finish several fights.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

bjj guard sweeps

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 tough full guard sweeps:

  1. Closed Guard Lumberjack Sweep

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 trays to stand up. 

  1. Closed Guard Hip Bump Sweep

The closed guard hip bump sweep is among the foremost basic 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. 

  1. Closed Guard Scissor Sweep

The scissor sweep is among the very 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. 

  1. Closed Guard Pendulum Sweep

The pendulum sweep is one of the best close guard sweeps that utilizes heavy hip rotation.

  1. Closed Guard Flower Sweep

The flower sweep is also one of the best-closed guards sweeps in BJJ.

Transitions from Jiu-Jitsu Closed Guard

pendulum sweep bjj

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 jiu-jitsu full guard:

  • Closed Guard to Back Take

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

  • Closed Guard to X guard

Source: Chad The Beast Hardy

Source: The Grapplers Guide by Jason Scully

Closed Guard Pass BJJ

Find in the video above some of the highest percentages of passes out there to deal with the most common situations from the guard (3 Seated Passes and 3 Standing Passes for a variety of energy you are likely to encounter).

You can use these guard passing techniques in gi or no-gi jiu-jitsu against novice to advanced players, and several of these are effective in striking situations. Source: Knight Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu Jitsu Closed Guard in MMA and Self-Defense

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

In MMA, close guard remains useful with bottom attacks and sweeps, but it is not ideal for striking aspects.

In addition, in a self-defense situation, the full guard could be useful against an untrained adversary, but it could be dangerous against a trained opponent.

Half Guard

coyote half guard bjj explained

The half guard could be excellent jiu jitsu guards that give 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 the rock bottom and standing positions. So, what is the half guard BJJ?

The half guard is one among the essential Brazilian jiu-jitsu guard types where the rock bottom player puts one among 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

Throughout the video, Jake Mackenzie teaches you three half-guard details that every BJJ white belt should know. Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

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 BJJ Half Guard

coyote half guard

A true half-guard player will always find his way to amazing submissions from this guard type. Here is a list of attacks from the BJJ half guard.

  • 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 tough 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.

Source: Aaron Benzrihem bjj

Rubber Guard BJJ

rubber guard mma

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 normal 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. The rubber guard may be a high guard position that really demands a high degree of flexibility.

Therefore, if you are flexible enough, you should try the rubber guard to hit your strongest opponents during a grappling fight.

Best Submissions from the Rubber Guard

Source: BJJ Trickster

The rubber guard is a niche of several awesome submissions, including triangle choke, gogoplata, etc. So here are five tough rubber guard attacks.

  1. 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.

Discover how to set up a gogoplata submission from the rubber guard in the next instructional video.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

  1. Omoplata from Rubber Guard

Omoplata is another awesome submission that can be processed from the rubber guard position. Discover how to set up an omoplata submission from the rubber guard in the next instructional video.

Source: Evolve Mixed Martial Arts

  1. Rubber Guard Triangle Choke

Where there is an omoplata submission, there is also a triangle choke. In the instructional video below, learn how to triangle choke from the BJJ rubber guard position.

Source: Brian McLaughlin

  1. Carni Shoulder Lock from Rubber Guard

The carni Shoulder lock is a tough 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

  1. Dead Orchard Submission from Rubber Guard BJJ

Dead Orchard is a tough BJJ rubber guard submission created by Nathan Orchard (10th Planet Seattle).

Discover how to make the dead Orchard attack from the rubber guard in the next instructional video.

Source: BJJ Trickster

BJJ Butterfly Guard

guards in jiu jitsu

The butterfly guard may be a dynamic type of guard in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu played by several fighters like Marcelo Garcia.

It’s an awesome position that gives you a plethora of sweeps, submissions, and transitions in both gi and no-gi BJJ grappling.

Submissions from Jiu-Jitsu Butterfly Guard

triangle choke hold

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 awesome 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

Butterfly guard armbar is among the top moves in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.  Here is an awesome 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 great submission in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It’s a superb move that can be processed after a failed butterfly guard sweep.

Here’s what you need to set up a triangle choke from the butterfly guard?

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

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.

Source: Chewjitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Spider Guard 

brazilian jiu jitsu guards

The BJJ spider guard is one of the toughest guard types in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

A BJJ practitioner will play this guard position when he tries to manage distance and maintain good control on 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 an honest environment for several sweeps and submissions, including triangle chokes, armbars, omoplata, etc.

  • BJJ Spider Guard Attacks

Source: fightTIPS

  • BJJ Spider Guard Sweeps

Source: Dentinho BJJ

BJJ DeLa Riva Guard

guards in bjj

De La Riva (DLR) is among the toughest guards in BJJ grappling created by Ricardo de la Riva. An amazing 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

  • De La Riva Guard Sweeps

Source: Chewjitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu X Guard

jiu jitsu guard types

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 a popular position used 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 could not 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. 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. Source: fightTIPS

  • Sweeps from the X Guard Position

Erin Herle teaches the three best sweeps from the X guard position through the above video. These jiu jitsu sweeps can be reached by 1) wrapping your legs to secure the x-guard, 2) inhibiting your opponent’s movement and destabilizing their base 3) taking your opponent down, that’s it! Source: fightTIPS

50/50 Guard Jiu Jitsu Guard

Source: The Grappling Academy

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

Source: Gabriel Arges

  • Back Take from 50 50 Guard Position by Andre Galvao

Source: Atos Jiu-Jitsu HQ | World’s Best BJJ Academy – Home Page

  • 50/50 guard jiu Jitsu Leg Attack Sequence (Toe Hold & Knee Bar) by Tarsis Humphreys

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

  • Jiu-Jitsu Triangle choke From 50/50 Guard

Source: Ryan Hall Online

  • 50 Lapel Sweep from BJJ 50/50 Guard

Source: Alberto Serrano BJJ

  • Scissor Sweep from 50/50 Guard by Patrick Gaudio

Source: BJJ Fanatics

Single-Leg X-Guard

The single-leg X guard is one of the basic BJJ guards usually taught to new people. It’s an awesome 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 basic 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 great 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

Source: Aaron Benzrihem bjj

  • Single Leg X Guard Entry

In the above jiu-jitsu tutorial video, The BJJ Black belt Mike Palladino of Evolution Grappling Academy demonstrates 12 different possible entrances into the Single Leg X Guard. Source: Evo BJJ

  • 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

Throughout the video above, Professor Gustavo Gasperin breaks down Marcelo Garcia’s Single-Leg X-Guard sweep against Claudio Calasans. It’s a powerful BJJ sweep if your opponent controls your Gi using double lapel grips. Source: MMA Leech

Shawn Williams Guard BJJ

best jiu jitsu guards

The Shawn Williams’ guard is one of the greatest 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 among 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 at a glance the possibility to transit to the rubber guard.

Like the other guard positions, the Shawn Williams guard many submissions, sweeps, and transitions. 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

Throughout the video above, Shawn Williams (black belt under Renzo Gracie) teaches you how to set up an armbar submission from this position. Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

  • Omoplata from the Shawn Williams guard

Learn throughout the video above how to set up an omoplata submission from the Shawn Williams guard. Source: JiuJitsuMag


The guard is a great position in jiu-jitsu martial arts. Various BJJ guards help the bottom player build a tough game with several attacks, sweeps, and transitions, just like the closed guard, spider guard, half guard, and butterfly guard, just to name a few.

Moreover, some BJJ guard types are effective against standing opponents, and others are savage against kneeling adversaries.

Otherwise, some BJJ guard types are well played using Gi, and others suit the no-gi grappling game perfectly.

A successful 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.

Otherwise, a wise BJJ 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 tough BJJ guard game.


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:

  1. Shawn Williams Guard
  2. 50/50 Guard
  3. Rubber Guard
  4. Closed Guard
  5. 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.

Share your thoughts; what is your favorite BJJ guard?

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