The x-guard, as popularized by 5-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Marcelo Garcia, is one of the best open guard positions to off-balance your opponent and sweep him. It requires you to be underneath your opponent’s legs as you trap one leg with one arm while both your feet trap his far thigh with crossed feet.
It is very difficult to escape from the x-guard, hence its effectiveness. Marcelo Garcia often uses this guard against bigger and stronger opponents, utilizing momentum and grips to put them in a vulnerable position. In this video, 2-time BJJ World Champion Teco Shinzato shows 5 effective ways to sweep from the x-guard.
Interested in using these sweeps in your next class? Here are some important tips you should remember in order to execute these sweeps properly:
1) It is easier to enter the x-guard position if your opponent has a wide base
It will be difficult to get into the x-guard position if your opponent has a narrow stance – which is very unlikely, especially if he knows what he’s doing. Most of the time, BJJ practitioners like to adopt a wide base to maintain their balance.
2) Your hooks have to be in deep
As tricky as it may seem to get those hooks in, they are important if you want to execute any x-guard sweep properly. To make sure your hooks are in deep enough, remember to flex your feet as you hook at the hip and behind the knee. The deeper your hooks, the harder it will be for your opponent to prevent the sweep from happening.
3) Ensure your grips are tight
When your grips are tight, it will be difficult for your opponent to posture up and disengage from your x-guard. The minute he breaks your grips, he can easily push your head to free his leg and try to pass your x-guard. Remember, his legs are much stronger than your grips, so make sure you use your head to control his foot and neutralize his strength.
4) Use momentum and leverage to sweep
As you use your feet and legs to push and off-balance your opponent, use the momentum to finish the sweep. This makes it easier for you to finish the sweep. The more you push, the lighter your opponent becomes!
5) Anticipate your opponent’s next move
Anticipation is key in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. If your opponent lets you take complete control, then immediately sweep and go for his back or his side-control. Should he post on his hands, kick up, pull his sleeve and try a tomonage sweep. If he tries to base out with his free leg, use the sickle sweep. When he tries to stand up and recover his posture, use this opportunity to grab his leg and go for the single-leg takedown.
Remember, drilling is the fastest way to integrate these techniques into your repertoire. If you are having trouble with any of these moves, do not hesitate to ask your instructor for help!
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