BJJ Tips: If you're under the guard, consider yourself losing

I don't have my book infront of me but the concept is echoed around Renzo-Danaher's book Mastering Jujitsu

Yesterday saw the first session at the BJJ LABS, and Martyn couldn't have chosen a better topic: The Guard.

The reason I like the choice of topic is for two reasons: the way he taught it and the reason behind why he did it the way he did. Martyn treated the guard as a transitional position between being under someone in a disadvantageous position (mount, side control, knee on belly) and having the upper hand in a scramble.

The way he focused the session was on the get-up strategy. Get the hell up and out from under your opponent. If along the way they give you a present (an arm or the neck) then take it. It's a great strategy that we just didn't drill at all before, which leads me right into the second reason I really like it.

On the same mat we had white, blue, purple and brown belts rolling and learning. Some had their main interest in MMA, some in gi/no-gi BJJ and also some just do the art for fitness and health purposes AND THEY ALL GOT IT! The principle of getting off your back and out from under someone in a fight is universal and Martyn captured that perfectly in our first session at THE BJJ LABS.

Yes you can sweep from the guard. We covered three options off the get-up.

Yes there are some excellent submissions. We covered two of these as well.

Did everybody pick up the same details? Of course not. It’s ridiculous to expect white belts to pick up the same details of techniques as the brown belts. They just haven’t developed the awareness for it yet.

Did everybody pick up the strategy and the postures, pressures and possibilities available from that strategy? Hell yeah!

We all learned something new about the art of BJJ, and we also got the chance to conduct our own mini-experiments within the session.

Do you see where I’m going with this last bit?

THE BJJ LABS just made their mark on the map.

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A.D. McClish said...

Sounds awesome! I love it when instructors teach more than just techniques and add in the philosophy behind the moves.

The Part Time Grappler said...

Thank you Allie. It was awesome.

One thing my Karate coach told me years ago when we were watching the European Championships in Germany: "We had to steal small bits of information and strategy from our instructors back in the day by closely watching every detail of their hip-, hand-, foot- and knee-movements, and now you guys get everything on a silver platter. If not in excellent detailed books then on YouTube."

I've noticed that I can turn most sessions into privates if I chose to pay close attention to the why and when and not just the what and, just like you said, the sessions become full of philosophy, strategy and awesomeness :)