January 10, 2012

Spotlight on Training: Open Guard

Your journey through bjj will inevitably lead you to experimenting and utilizing open guard. The open guard can be one of the most difficult skills to master and will provide you with an endless feeling of frustration as you struggle with all of its nuances. Take solace however in knowing that when you do develop your open guard it will increase your mat exffectiveness exponentially! To help you along the way we turn the spotlight on to three concepts that if followed will help your open guard development come to fruition more smoothly.

1. NEVER allow more that 90 degrees between your torso and your thighs.
It can be less (i.e. knees pulled tighter into your chest) but never be
more than 90! Example: if you opponent goes for a bull fighter style pass by
pulling/pushing your legs to one side, you must sit up to maintain your 90
degrees.

2. Always maintain foot control through active hooks on at least one side of your opponents body (feet on the hips, on his shoulders, spidered around one arm & one hip, legs X’d on either hip, etc.).

3. Knees always flared out. This makes passing around the guard much more
difficult and leaves the best option for the opponent to pass through the center
where your arms and hands can come into play more often and with greater effectiveness.

If you find when someone passes your open guard you have most likely violated one of the above rules; determine which and work to fix it! Don’t give up, you will get that open guard you desire – but it won’t be easy.

Check Out A Few Pictorial Examples of Open Guards: