The more you train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), you realize just how infinite one’s library of knowledge must be to truly master it. To make things more difficult, new techniques are developed everyday. This makes it practically impossible for any student, even at the black belt level, to know BJJ inside out. Perhaps one of the most complex positions you’ll come across is the open guard. This position offers many possibilities, especially for those who choose to master it. The greatest BJJ practitioners and competitors such as Leandro Lo, Rafael Mendes, Paulo Miyao and Michelle Nicolini have some of the best open guards in the history of the sport.
As a BJJ blue belt, you will notice that the open guard is a great way to attack your opponent. It offers many opportunities for sweeps and submissions, giving you multiple ways to defeat your opponent. However, the more you use the open guard, the more you become aware of how difficult it is to maintain, especially against an opponent who is skilled at passing. If you want your open guard to be functional, the first step is to learn how to maintain it.
Thus, it is essential to drill guard recovery in order to have the best offense possible. To help you in your journey, today, Evolve Daily shares Open Guard Movement Drills Every Blue Belt Should Know:
1) 7 Basic Guard Recovery Drills
In this video, BJJ World Championship Silver Medalist and ONE Superstar Almiro Barros shows how to recover the guard against some basic guard passes. Notice how Almiro creates space first before escaping his hips and replacing the guard. To create space, Almiro uses his forearms to frame and push so he can recover his guard. Almiro is active the whole time and never flat on his back.
When you play open guard, you must ensure that your legs and feet are always active. You should always know when your guard is about to be passed and initiate the next guard before your opponent attacks.
2) 7 Critical Drills To Improve Your Guard Game
In this video, BJJ No-Gi World Champion Bruno Pucci shows 7 movement drills to improve your open guard. Just like Almiro, Bruno uses the hip escape to make space and recover his guard. Notice how Bruno’s hips are aways facing his opponent, even as he escapes his hips to replace his guard.
As you can see, one of the most important aspects of the open guard is good hip movement. Using your hips to make space and get back into position helps you control your opponent. It also reminds you of the importance of staying active when playing open guard.
There’s no doubt that these drills would help you improve your open guard game immensely. Not only do they help you work on the speed in which you execute your techniques, but also in making your movements more seamless. These drills will also help you work on your timing, being more observant of the way your opponent transitions just so you can make your move and get into a better position to recover your guard.
Drilling is the fastest way to improve every aspect of your game, whether you choose to play open guard or not. It helps you become more thoughtful in the way you choose your attacks and how you defend.
So tell us, which of these drills will you try out today?