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Bloody Elbow DVD Review - The HeisenGuard by Malachy Friedman

ATT’s mad scientist adds another layer.

We’ve covered Malachy Friedman’s work before, and I’m glad to share the verdict on his latest work, the HeisenGuard DVD.

Previously, he devised a system around defending the D’Arce choke, as well as a whole mini-system focused around the Flower Sweep. Different from his previous two works, this is going to be centered completely around the HeisenGuard, an unusual position that relies on grips and being under an opponent’s side.

The HeisenGuard position

While somewhat unorthodox, Friedman breaks down how to work different entries and setups just to get there, and then works some magic from there. Omoplatas, armbars, triangles, and sweeps off this position are made to look effortless.

Part of what makes this system work so well is the use of grips and shifting of weight on one’s legs to keep an opponent controlled. There’s even a set of leg attack setups for those that are so inclined, but that’s not central to the instructional.

Let’s get the negatives out of the way - this is strictly a BJJ instructional. Anyone looking for anything that is more applicable to MMA or no-gi grappling will have to learn to adapt these to no-gi, as that’s not covered here.

Other than that, everything else is great. The recording and audio quality are consistent with what Friedman has delivered up until now, which is to say that it’s great. The menu options are bare bones, and that’s fine as there isn’t much use for more than that. Yet it’s the content that truly matters. Everything clicks nicely, and the sequences make sense. This also extends to the order in which the techniques are presented. Everything is absolutely solid on that front.

The biggest takeaway here is that despite the unconventional position, it’s much more versatile than it may initially appear. As long as you’re able to get used to using your grips and legs together, you should be absolutely fine. The position keeps you largely out of any real trouble, and Friedman takes the time to troubleshoot why things are the way they are and how to defend or counter any attacks or attempts to break out of the position.

To demonstrate, here’s a sample from the DVD:

While this may not be as beginner-friendly for say, a white belt, it works well for anyone that’s a blue belt or above. It’s easy to follow, and not content for novices. That’s not a knock, just a piece of advice. Anyone that’s already worked some good fundamentals for their guard game would be quite comfortable making the adjustments here.

The HeisenGuard DVD is now available for pre-order at, for only $39.95. No word available on digital editions as of yet

Note: This review was conducted with a DVD copy provided by the author for review purposes.