Viciously Pulling Guard Against Bigger and Stronger Opponents

Fighting from the feet is one of the most important areas to work on and integrate into your training. It’s also one of the most neglected areas of grappling and jiu jitsu as well. In competition, the match will start from the feet, and if you get off to a bad start, it’s all downhill from there. As a competitor, you should definitely be starting your training sessions from the feet as much as possible. This is especially the case if you plan on competing on an absolute division against competitors who are much larger than you.

Pulling into a Sweep

If there is one word that should describe your guard pulls, it’s vicious. Vicious guard pulls are the best type of guard pulls. Let’s look at a few examples.

Example 1: You’re in a match against a guy who looks more like a world champion body-builder than a grappler. You close the distance, get a grip on his wrist, then you pull guard by sitting down very passively. Schwarzenegger senses that you’re not fully committed to the guard pull, so he bum-rushes you and flattens you to the mat, squeezing out every ounce of air in your body, maybe popping a few blood vessels in the process. He passes your guard, and now you’re stuck in side control under a guy that weighs the same as a Harley Davidson. It’s pretty evident that this is NOT what you

Ok, now for Example 2: You slap hands with Arnold, and you hit the switch. You see an opening and you viciously pull guard on him, sending him backwards and completely surprising him. As he staggers backwards looking bewildered and violated, you immediately invert on him and latch onto his leg like one of those face-huggers from the move Alien. Before he knows what to do to counter your attack, you grab his foot for one of the most beastly toe holds he’s ever felt, and before he can think of a way to escape it, he’s feverishly tapping the mat. This is an example of the perfect guard pull. I executed a guard pull like this in my match against the Giant which can be viewed below.

In example 2, I didn’t just pull guard. I pulled guard viciously, and I went right into a sweep. This brings us to our next concept, which is pulling guard right into a sweep. When you see people pulling guard whether it’s in the gym or in a tournament, you usually see a few things.

One thing you might see is the traditional jumping to closed guard method. It’s pretty common and we can even see some very high level black belts doing it. Another thing we might see is when a competitor gets a grip on a collar or wrist, and either sits down or puts a foot on the hip and works from a butterfly guard or a half guard. This is also pretty common, and you have probably seen it before. Don’t get me wrong, these are good ways to go about pulling guard, but against a bigger opponent, this route might prove to not be advantageous for many reasons. If you are interested in more little man Jiu Jitsu strategies check out my article on Science of!

If there is one thing I would like you to take away from today it is to always viciously pull guard into a sweep. Personally I like X Guard and inverted guard. I wrote a book all around defeating larger and stronger opponents which turned out to be an Amazon top seller! You can check out the full review of the book here! If you implement these tools you’ll have no problem making the giants fall.

Dan Faggella

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