BJJ / Grappling Tips: How to pull guard in competition

While most fights go to the ground (self defence, MMA and / sportive grappling with or without the gi), they all start standing. Pulling guard at jiujitsu competitions is the subject of many jokes of meme. Some are even funny:

Fact of the matter remains that you will spend the majority of your grappling career (BJJ, nogi submission wrestling, MMA and to some extent even Judo and Sambo) either using the guard position and all its variations (Open, Close, De La Riva, Half, Spider, Galaxy, Ping Pong...etc.) to attack your opponent or trying to deal with and pass your opponents' guard.

The guard is NOT an artificial position created by one or two fighters to gain the element of surprise but rather a naturally occurring  geometry of two bodies:

With that said, there are many ways we could reach the guard position in a competitive or friendly grappling situation. To start us off, here's Mr Leandro Vieira's take on the simplest and most fundamental way to pull guard against a standing opponent at a tournament:

Once you're comfortable with this, you want to start adding "venom" to your guard pull. Why pull guard first and set your attacks second? Why not work on merging the two into a 1-2 combination? Here's a nice combination by Gracie Barra black belt Mr Otavio Sousa. I chose this clip because he flows from the same guard pull that is explained in the above clip by Mr Vieira but he quickly blends his body motion into a smooth armlock:

These two clips will provide enough jiujitsu food-for-thought for many lessons and are well worth investing drilling time into. When you feel that you've got a good grasp (pun intended) on this collar-sleeve opening, start experimenting with other entries, such as the 2-on-1 one detailed below by the great Mr Marcelo Garcia below:

It's not whether you pull guard or not. It's what you do with your guard.



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