The Guard as We Know It Will Disappear in Jiu-Jitsu, Too

via ADCCbarcelona.com

At the elite level, anyway. ADCC 65.9 kg bronze medalist Ryan Hall makes the case:

"The way Marcelo Garcia plays guard, is, in my opinion, how it should be done," Hall said. "Your whole job is to pull them off of you and stand up into a single leg. I’m finding more and more that the traditional sweeps don’t really work at the high level, at least not in the way that you normally think of them: you cut me over, and I fall like kaboom right on my back. That doesn’t really happen. It’s like a 20 point touchdown. It just doesn’t usually work like that when both guys are at a truly elite level... I guess I’d say my approach to the guard has changed drastically. It isn’t to pull some whacky sweep or triangle out of my ass anymore. My whole goal is to just make you off balance to the point that you can’t, for a moment, stop me from standing up—and now I finish from a positional advantage. I feel that’s the truly reliable way to do it. You can replicate it against a high-level opponent who knows what you’re doing. That’s when you know you’ve got something.

"People come to me all the time and say, ‘Teach me the inverted guard." I’ll show them if they really want to know, but I generally prefer not to. Instead, I’ll try to sell them on this: learn how to wrestle a little bit, and I’ll show you how to pass. The guard is an important position, but the purpose of the guard is not so that I can triangle you; the purpose of the guard is so that I can get on top. It’s the proper strategic choice, seeking the mechanical advantage."

Maybe the catch wrestlers were onto something.

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