BJJ Tips: Guard attacks are sweeps, submissions, back takes and standing back up

I don't have my book in front of me but the concept is
echoed around Renzo-Danaher's book 
Mastering Jujitsu
My jiujitsu teacher professor Eddie Kone has me teach classes under observation and gives me regular INVALUABLE feedback on both content, class management and lesson planning. Recently I taught a lesson on the clinch and the leg hook takedown under his supervision. As part of the warm up, I taught the technical stand-up and then we drilled it against resistance*. Sounds simple right? You try it.

Perform the technical stand up while someone is laying their weight on you. Not even trying to pin you. Just laying some weight on you.

The reason I like the choice of topic is for two reasons: the way the curriculum is taught and the reason behind why it's taught the way it's taught.

In sportive jiujitsu, unless you have a sweep happening, the guard players seldom chose to stand back up. Below is an example of a sweep from the X-guard build around the technical stand-up:

Why? I'm only guessing but I think it's because you're not rewarded in jiujitsu competitions for standing back up (again, unless a sweep is involved)

In MMA and from a self defence point of view, however, the guard is often treated 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. Strikes change the guard game considerably!

Master Rickson Gracie demonstrating his open guard
retention tactics against a striking opponent on me
If along the way they give you a present (an arm or the neck) for a submission, sweep, back take or strikes, then take it. Below is a nice transition from the half guard to the DogFight position all the way back to the feet by jiujitsu black belt and MMA fighter Frank Mir:

On the same mat we had white, blue, purple and brown belts rolling and learning. Some had their main interest in self defence, some 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.

In this short video, BJJ black belt and MMA fighter Mr Alan Belcher shows one method to get back up from the closed guard:

Yes you can sweep from the guard. 

Yes you can take the back from the guard.

Yes there are some excellent submissions from the guard.  

But it is important not to forget the fourth option: Getting back up safely.

*This helped everyone, especially the beginners, get to grips with handling and controlling another person's weight in a vertical movement.



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