8. NOVICE KNOWLEDGE: How do I submit someone from inside their guard? (Don’t).

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How do I submit someone from inside their guard? (Don’t).

If you’re looking to submit your opponent from inside their guard, as if this is some sort of end –game scenario, then you are depriving yourself developmentally of 99% of jiu-jitsu or submission grappling. What are you really learning?

You may have heard it before, and if not, you’ll hear it now;
“If you open your guard, you’re playing guard.
If your opponent opens it, they’re passing your guard.”

So taking that into account and moving forward, during the earlier stages of your grappling life it is most beneficial to engage in guard passing strategies that are displayed below. Sure you can submit someone from inside your guard, but any grappler worth their salt will be able to sweep or even submit you and look good doing it.

White, with no posture or available arms to post, attempts a choke from inside the guard

Without a post or posture white is swept

Swept and mounted, oh no!From bad to worse!

Adding insult to injury, a sweep with a one handed armbar.
How appealing does the choke from in guard seem now? Ouch!

White uses his frames to break the guard.

So rather than ending up swept and/or submitted, let's begin by breaking the guard.
Perform a basic guard break by framing on your opponent’s hips with a knee on their tailbone and driving away from your frames. The idea here is not to break the guard open with your arms, but to pin the opponents hips in place and remove yourself from the trapping of their closed guard. It is critical to "kill" a leg on the guard break as shown, with whites left forearm creating a frame, and to maintain strong posture.

Uh oh....

Failure to perform the killing of the leg (essentially a frame like last week’s blog) or provide strong posture can end in disaster e.g. Triangle chokes as seen. If you perform this guard break with the aforementioned precautions, you should be more than fine.


Guard wide open!

Black's guard is now broken wide open and is ripe for the passing with strong forearm frames keeping it so. Take note as white exchanges his right forearm for his knee, still killing the leg only now the right hand is free.


Magic! Black's leg remains killed plus white has a free hand and the guard is no more.

White utilises the knee-through pass and takes an underhook with his left arm, while removing a possible frame from black's left arm. Notice the leg of black is still killed and in turn so is any sort of guard.

And presto!
Just like that the guard is passed.
Instead of trying to go for a cheap sub inside the opponents guard, white can begin to establish control complete with higher percentage submissions. As this was a crash course in strategy/technique/concepts/procedure, we will touch base again on passing in grappling. 

So break the guard, kill the guard, pass the guard and I'll see you on the mats.
Until next week, Oss.

 - Jake Anderson

BJJ Concepts fight grapple Grappling Improving novice Technique white belt

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