Shawn Williams Guard: A Must-Know BJJ Position!

The ever-changing landscape of Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu never stops developing, with combatants continually exploring fresh methods to gain an advantage. Within this multifaceted environment, the Shawn Williams Guard stands out as a strong and adaptive approach.

Shawn Williams’ guard is a hybrid closed guard position that gives the fighter control over his opponent. It is an ideal solution to protect your guard, close the distance, obtain submissions, sweeps, etc.

This article will teach you how to develop a savage guard Williams guard. You’ll learn how to do Shawn Williams guard submissions, transitions, and other techniques in the ring. Stay tuned!

Shawn Williams Guard in BJJ: An Overview

Throughout the above video, you’ll get great details about the Shawn Williams guard explained by Shawn Williams. Source: BJJ Fanatics

History of Williams Guard

The Williams Guard, an invention of Shawn Williams, a noted BJJ practitioner, was originally developed in the late 90s and early 2000s while he was being trained by the revered Renzo Gracie.

Since its inception, this technique has gone through numerous changes and is now a fundamental part of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts.

Shawn Williams Guard Creator

Shawn Williams is a black belt in BJJ under Renzo Gracie. He was a tough Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor of his generation. On April 7, 1975, Shawn was born in Bluffton, Indiana – United States. He was addicted to many sports disciplines, including soccer, hockey, etc.

In 1994, Shawn Williams saw Royce Gracie win UFC II. Hence, he became addicted to martial arts too. Therefore he started training jujitsu in 1996 in New York City at the Renzo Gracie BJJ academy.

In 2002, Renzo Gracie promoted Shawn Williams to the BJJ black belt and his training partner John Danaher.

After a few years of training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Shawn Williams competes in tournaments. His competitive performance was excellent, where he won many podiums, including 2x Bronze Pan American in 2000 as a blue belt and 2003 as a black belt, and many more titles.

Shawn Williams is a proactive jiu-jitsu practitioner who participates in developing this beautiful martial art. Therefore, he created a tremendous variety of guards called Shawn Williams guard.

Related: Explore the top Jiu-Jitsu fighters who excel in the UFC. You’ll discover some of the best athletes who have mastered the BJJ martial arts and have made a name for themselves in the UFC. Click here to read more!

What Is Exactly the Shawn Williams Guard?

The Shawn Williams guard may be one of the basic guard types in BJJ martial arts. However, it’s a combination of two brutal jiu Jitsu guards: the closed guard and the rubber guard.

The jiu-jitsu Shawn Williams guard may require a certain degree of flexibility. Moreover, it’s often reached from the closed guard position by bringing one of your legs near the opponent’s using both hands.

Related: Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of stretching! Including them in a long-term, well-balanced training plan will help you improve your performance and general health. We’ve developed a list of the most incredible stretches you should perform daily for optimal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu performance on the mat. Click to Learn more!

How Does Williams Guard Serve Jiu-Jitsu Practitioners?

Apart from Shawn Williams, many other martial artists have been influential in developing and improving the Williams Guard.

Renzo Gracie and Eddie Bravo have been particularly important in increasing the popularity of the technique and promoting its use in competitive events.

This guard type can be a great solution if you suck at closed guard. Otherwise, it is one of the most straightforward guards in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that every practitioner can play without issues, even beginners.

Understanding the Basics of Williams Guard

Source: Sonny Brown

Positioning and Grip

The Williams Guard involves the person on the bottom encircling their arm around the neck of their adversary, positioning their forearm beneath the armpit. Subsequently, they interlock the other arm with the first one, forming a secure hold. Isn’t that intriguing?

Key Components of the Guard

The guard provides a strong defense against your adversary by combining your arms, legs, and torso. Crucial techniques include the arm lock, correct leg placement, and constant pressure applied on the other person.

Jiu-Jitsu Shawn Williams Guard Entry

A jiu-jitsu practitioner can enter Shawn William’s guard from the closed guard, half guard, and even from the rubber guard.

The next video teaches you how to enter the Shawn Williams guard from full guard.

Source: JiuJitsuMag

Submissions from Shawn Williams Guard

Likewise, Shawn Williams guard gives you many submissions, sweeps, and transitions in other guard positions. Here is a list of attacks from the Shawn Williams guard in BJJ martial arts.

Collar Choke

The collar choke from the Shawn Williams guard is an incredible Brazilian Jiu-jitsu submission.

Here is an excellent video that will give you a crazy detail on setting up a very tight collar choke that works from the Williams Guard.

Source: Bjj AfterForty


The armbar from the Shawn Williams guard is an incredible Brazilian Jujitsu submission.

Here is an excellent video to help you set up the Shawn Williams guard armbar.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics


The omoplata from the Shawn Williams guard is an incredible BJJ grappling submission.

Here is an excellent video to help you set up the Shawn Williams guard omoplata.

Source: JiuJitsuMag 

Triangle Choke

The triangle choke from the Shawn Williams guard is an excellent Brazilian Jiu-jitsu submission.

Here is an excellent video to help you set up the Shawn Williams guard triangle choke.

Source: JiuJitsuMag

Related: The triangle choke is one of the most excellent attacks you should add to your BJJ arsenal. This firm chokehold is a must-know for any serious practitioner. Click here to learn more!


The Shaw Williams Guard is an excellent guard position in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that any practitioner should try. You can access this fantastic BJJ position from the closed guard, half guard, and even from the rubber guard.

Moreover, the Williams Guard will help you diversify your game by adding some excellent techniques such as the omoplata, armbar, triangle, chokes, etc.

Related: Whether a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, knowing how to attack and defend from various jiu-jitsu positions is essential for taking your BJJ game to the next level. I wrote an article that comprehensively lists the fundamental BJJ positions you should know. Click here to learn more!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Shawn Williams Guard?

The Shawn Williams Guard is a combination of the closed guard and rubber guard in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This position gives the user leverage over their opponent and opens up possibilities for both submission attempts and sweeps.

Who Created the Shawn Williams Guard?

Shawn Williams, a black belt in BJJ, invented the Williams Guard in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He did this during his training with Renzo Gracie.

How Do You Enter the Shawn Williams Guard?

Various starting positions, such as closed guard, half guard, and rubber guard, can be used when entering the Shawn Williams Guard. Depending on the beginning position, different tactics can be implemented.

What Are Some Submissions from the Shawn Williams Guard?

The Shawn Williams Guard provides a wide range of submission techniques, such as the collar choke, armbar, omoplata, and triangle choke, which can be very successful when used by the Williams Guard.

Can Beginners Use the Shawn Williams Guard?

The Shawn Williams Guard is appropriate for practitioners of all belt levels, including those who are just starting out. It is thought of as one of the more basic and essential guards in BJJ. For those who are already familiar with the closed guard, this is an excellent expansion of their knowledge.

What Are the Key Components of the Shawn Williams Guard?

The Shawn Williams Guard requires the employment of arms, legs, and torso in order to offer a tough defense. Essential elements involve the correct use of the arm-lock technique, the suitable placement of legs, and steady pressure on the opponent’s shoulders.

How Flexible Do I Need to Be to Perform the Shawn Williams Guard?

The Shawn Williams Guard necessitates a certain degree of suppleness because of its dependence on leg placement and command. However, with dedicated practice and training, individuals can step by step increase their flexibility and carry out the guard competently.

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