Tag Archives: guard

8 Basic Positions for Beginning Grapplers

With all the unique attacks and moves in jiu jitsu comes plenty of positions. Learning all the advanced positions in jiu jitsu can be confusing at first but Head Coach of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys Alder Hampel and I have come up with eight basic positions to get you started. After learning and mastering these, you’ll be ready to go on and learn all the other fun stuff in the vast world that is jiu jitsu.

The most basic position out there is where every fight starts… standing. With both fighters on their feet, people have a variety of options. Grapplers can lock up for a clinch, shoot for a takedown, or go for a trip or throw in order to get the fight to the ground. If you’re looking to develop your grappling game for self defense, MMA, or competition, you should be familiar with at least 1 or 2 takedowns to start with.

After the takedown, the most common position to land in, is the infamous Guard position. This is achieved when one fighter is kneeling in between another grapplers legs and the legs are around the waist. What makes BJJ so unique from other grappling arts is the ability to attack from the bottom position which most of the time, is deemed “inferior.” From here, the person playing bottom has a variety of sweeps and submissions depending on the type of guard they want to play. With things like Standard Closed Guard, RubberGuard, Overhooks,  Underhooks,  and more, the guard is an incredibly versatile position with endless moves. However, start by familiarizing yourself with the standard guard position and from there, you will prepare yourself to learn all the other guards. Some of the attacks that are well known in the guard are the armbar, triangle, kimura, or the guillotine choke. The top player however, should be looking to stay safe from attacks and eventually pass the guard.

One of those other forms of guards is the downed or Open Guard with your opponent still standing. If you are on the mat and your opponent is standing in front of you, they are in your downed open guard. This can happen many ways. The person on top can complete a trip takedown of some sort to drop their opponent or they could have just stood up from inside the bottom persons guard. Also, the bottom player could have initiated this by simply siting to their butt without contact with their opponent. In MMA, the standing fighter could have landed a powerful shot sending their opponent crashing onto the mat. And the list of possibilities goes on and on. Also, it’s important to note that there are multitudes of different Open Guards: XGuard. De La Riva, Reverse De La Riva, and more.

From here, the person on bottom will be playing the same game as the previously mentioned closed guard working for sweeps or submissions. The person standing will also be doing the same as before by trying to pass the guard to gain a more dominant position.

While attempting to advance to a dominant position, the top grappler can often get trapped in the bottom fighters Half Guard. Half guard is when the bottom player has their legs trapping one of the top fighters legs, preventing them from fully passing the guard. Although it’s still a bottom position, this position is perfect for sweeps. There are a few submissions to hit from half guard, but sweeps are the go-to move for most half guard players. The 10th Planet system is known for developing an incredible sweep game for bottom players by utilizing the Lockdown. What other positions?

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Jason Scully Stapling Concepts

Hey guys, just a quick post here!

Jason Scully has an extremely popular YouTube channel amongst the Jiu Jitsu community. While the majority of his videos are a quick reference guide of techniques or movements, this one is a bit longer and more detailed about one of his key concepts to passing the guard, stapling.

“Stapling,” is a great idea to implement into your passing game. It can increase your passing percentage by quite a bit to simply apply this stapling technique and control the leg on the side you are passing to.

The beautiful thing about passing the Guard in Jiu Jitsu is that the concepts apply towards all different kinds of guards and just need to be adjusted accordingly. So, everything from Open Guard, Half Guard, etc. all have similar concepts to being passed, you just need to put the concepts into play to be successful. For example, controlling the hips and knees or keeping your opponent flat are all concepts that are essential for any kind of guard you find yourself attempting to pass.

Anyway, if you guys are having some trouble passing, this is a great video that explains this concept and you should all try it out no matter where you are having trouble passing from!

Also, last month at 10th Planet Van Nuys we worked quite a bit on our Full Guard Passing. Now, we are focusing on finishing the year strong with some Half Guard passing techniques. So, if you need some help with your passing game, come down to 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys and we’ll be more than happy to help you guys out!

Happy rollin!

Monday Morning 11/26 Guard Passing!

Hey guys & gals, it’s been a few days since my last post and I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and had some good time off! I munched down this weekend with the family and wrecked shop on several plates of Turkey, yams, and more for the holiday!

But, it’s Monday and back to practice! I attended this morning practice and we had a solid group. It was good to see some new faces in there today as well as all the usual suspects!

We started off with some great stability ball drills. Now, if you’ve never worked with the stability ball to improve your jiu jitsu, check it out! There are plenty of video clips on YouTube of drills and exercises you can do on the stability ball to improve your ground transitions, balance, and overall fitness (Expect an article soon on more ways the Stability Ball can help YOUR game)! Or, you can always come down to 10th Planet Van Nuys and watch my training partner, Mike “Lobes” Frausto kill it on that thing!

Anyway, after a few drills, we partnered up and worked on our Guard passing like we have been all month long. First was the Knee Slice Pass (My personal favorite. check out the link to the video I posted of it here) and we all got plenty of reps in! We even covered the sped up variation that you drive through in much faster fashion, landing you in the Kesa Gatame position.

Next was our Half stack series and our cover of the style of passing GSP uses in virtually all of his fights! For those of you UFC fans, George St. Pierre uses a style of passing that is extremely effective and he inches his way from Full Guard all the way to Side Control, bit by bit.

After all of our technique drilling, I got some rolling in and it was a great training session overall.

Another great day @ 10th Planet Van Nuys in the books and I can’t wait to get back on the mats tomorrow! Gabe out!

Importance of Guard Passing & My Favorite One!

Learning to Pass the Guard in BJJ can be a very difficult task to say the least. The frustration that ensues after several attempts at advancing to a superior position is immense! So, focus on your guard passing ability!

The option to attack off your back is what makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu such a unique martial art and therefore, attacks from the Guard tend to be a bit emphasized at many BJJ schools. However, to be a well- rounded grappler and even better your understanding of Jiu Jitsu as a whole, you must drill a few solid guard passes relentlessly so that they become muscle memory.

A few articles ago, I wrote about what exactly “perfect side control,” is and how to improve your side control once you have passed the Guard (5 Tips for Perfect Side Control). However, remember that Perfect Side Control only exists once you have passed your opponents guard!

So, to make things a bit easier, here’s a video of my favorite guard pass from David Avellan. Alder Hampel has had us drilling a variation of this particular pass, in addition to a few others, all month long at 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Van Nuys and I feel that everyones passing game has gotten much better! In addition, people have gotten better at their sweeps, submissions, and guard recovery skills to counter all these improvements in our passing game!

So, check out this video! I really enjoy David Avellans’ stuff and this pass is one of my favorites! If you need any help learning more about how to pass the guard in Nogi Jiu Jitsu or MMA, come on down to 10th Planet Van Nuys and we’ll start improving your passing game right away!

5 Tips for Perfect Side Control

What is perfect side control?

Here at 10th Planet Van Nuys, you might occasionally hear our guys yell out during one of our rolling sessions, “Perfect side control!” Because of this, some of our newer students have asked me “What is perfect side control?” Well, perfect side control is basically the best side control position you can obtain. When you have the side control (side mount, cross body, etc.) position, there are several different ways to tighten it up by eliminating space between you and your opponent. Remember, this is always the goal when you find yourself in a top position. So, here are a few tips to do just that:

What are the 5 Tips for Perfect Side Control?