Exploring the Diverse Types of BJJ Guard Positions

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students aim to develop a diverse game to beat multiple opponents. One way to achieve this is by mastering various BJJ Guard Positions.

Weak guards put you in danger, while strong guards help you control your opponent and open your game for attacks.

There’s no perfect guard for beginners, so try several (closed, half, etc.) to find what suits you. Essential guards include half, closed, spider, and butterfly.

The Various Types of BJJ Guard Positions

The following are some of the most basic Brazilian jiu-jitsu guards that you should know and master.

Closed Guard

jiu jitsu guards

The closed guard is a fundamental position in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) that provides opportunities for both offense and defense.

It involves wrapping both legs around the opponent from the bottom position. It can be used for various techniques, such as sweeps and submissions.

Notable submissions from the closed guard include the Kimura lock, guillotine choke, armbar, triangle choke, and Ezekiel choke.

Sweeps from the closed guard include the lumberjack sweep, hip bump sweep, scissor sweep, pendulum sweep, and flower sweep.

Transitions from the closed guard to other positions, such as back take, X guard, and open guard, are crucial for advancing positions and setting up submissions.

In MMA, the closed guard can be used for ground attacks and sweeps but may not be ideal for striking situations. In self-defense, it can be effective against untrained opponents but risky against trained individuals.

Half Guard

The half-guard is an essential Brazilian jiu-jitsu guard type. The bottom player puts one leg between the top player’s legs and uses the other leg as a knee shield near the opponent’s chest.

This jiu-jitsu guard offers many attacks, sweeps, and transitions in Gi and No-Gi.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

Attacks from the bottom half-guard include triangle choke, Kimura lock, Ezekiel choke, and baseball bat choke.

Sweeps such as the coyote half-guard sweep and transitions such as the half-guard to deep half-guard or X-guard can be executed.

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 a complex guard in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that demands a high degree of flexibility.

It is a niche of several excellent submissions, including the triangle choke and the gogoplata.

Source: Brandon Mccaghren

The rubber guard is a challenging position, but if you’re flexible enough, it’s worth trying to hit your most vigorous opponents during a grappling fight.

Butterfly Guard

Butterfly Guard is a dynamic guard in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, giving you many sweeps, submissions, and transitions in gi and no-gi BJJ grappling.

The BJJ Butterfly guard is a niche of several awesome attacks, including the jiu-jitsu armbar, triangle choke, guillotine, etc.

If you want to learn more about these moves, check out the following sources:

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.

Source: fightTIPS

This jiu-jitsu 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.

Related: This comprehensive article will teach you everything you need to know about the spider guard in BJJ. It explains this guard type in detail and offers some effective attacks and sweeps to help build a savage game.

DeLa Riva Guard

De La Riva (DLR) is among the most brutal guards in BJJ grappling. It was created by Ricardo de la Riva.

Its fantastic control is popular among several GI and No-Gi jiu-jitsu.

Source: Tom Barlow

This type of BJJ guard allows you to process a large arsenal of attacks, sweeps, and many other beautiful techniques.

X Guard

The X guard is a complex guard type used in jiu-jitsu grappling. It provides firm control over your opponent and allows you to perform multiple submissions, sweeps, and transitions.

Advanced black belts and top jiu-jitsu champions favor this jiu-jitsu Guard. It gives you robust control that even heavy practitioners cannot escape.

The X guard opens up opportunities for various submission combinations and sweeps.

50/50 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.

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.

Source: Gabriel Arges

Single-Leg X-Guard

The single-leg X guard is fundamental in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is often taught to beginners.

This BJJ guard involves the bottom player using one foot on the hip of their standing opponent while pinching both knees tightly around the standing player’s wrapped leg.

This control places significant pressure on the opponent’s leg and knee line, allowing for various sweeps, submissions, and transitions, particularly the straight ankle lock.

Source: Stephan Kesting

Shawn Williams Guard

The Shawn Williams guard is a highly effective guard type in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that blends elements of closed and rubber guard positions.

To get into this position, you can bring one of your legs near your opponent’s using both hands while in the closed guard position.

One advantage of the BJJ Shawn Williams guard is that it doesn’t require a high degree of flexibility and allows for a smooth transition to the rubber guard position.

Shawn Williams’s guard offers a wide range of submissions, sweeps, and transitions like other guard positions.


The guard is a critical position in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and there are various types, such as closed guard, spider guard, half guard, and butterfly guard.

Each type allows for different attacks, sweeps, and transitions, and some are better suited for standing or kneeling opponents or Gi vs. no-gi games.

To be effective, a guard position requires the practitioner to establish solid grips on their opponent quickly. Experimenting with different guard positions is essential to finding the one that best suits your game.

We hope this article has helped you develop a challenging guard game and solved your jiu-jitsu guard problems.

Recommended: Most takedowns are brutal, putting a lot of strain on the knees. As a result, practitioners must carry reliable knee pads to protect their joints and avoid injury. Click here to learn more!

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