Jun 26, 2009

Basic Hand Position and Posture for Top Guard

This is going to be a short and simple BJJ post without video, but it is something that all beginners need to know and keep in mind, because improper hand position is all a good jits guy needs to own your ass when you're in their guard. Also, it's very easy to forget these rules when you first start or after a long period of not sparring.

Let's look at the ideal proper posture for top guard:

1. Good back posture, not hunched over and looking down

This alone will give you more time and will force your opponent to work harder to do anything. Having your head down makes it easier to pull you down to work submissions and sweeps.

2. Hands on opponent, not on ground

Unless you really enjoy giving your arm up to your opponent to do as he wishes, likely in the the form of a Kimura, or at the very least, an overhook, don't put your goddamn hands on the mat. Be proactive in this, because it's likely the other person will be trying to force your hands there.

3.Each hands on respective side, not crossed over

Often I see shitty crossface attempts and guard opening attempts that make me cringe. Unless you know what you are going for and know what's coming, don't leave your arm dangling across your centerline. Otherwise you are going to be victim of a whole assortment of things such as armbars, triangles, arm triangles, and getting your back taken.

4. Hands palm down, right underneath the opponent's ribcage

This makes it much harder for your opponent to sit up and just grab you. This is a very integral part of the top game in terms of establishing position and helping you move on to passing the guard and preventing submissions. However, I'd suggest keeping your fingers together, unlike the picture above. Also, try to line up your elbows with just outside the center of your opponent's thighs.

5. Both arms over legs (Or both arms under when passing), not one in and one out

To top it off- not really shown in the picture, but remember, arms on the same side of the legs, always. Either they are both over or both under the legs, otherwise your opponent gets a triangle served on a silver platter.

Hope you guys keep these things in mind next time you roll, and if you're playing guard, look for the opportunity when your opponent doesn't follow one of these rules.

Also, buy this book: Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro


Mark James said...

Realy like this blog.

Anonymous said...

Very good tips for beginners to bear in mind when starting ground grappling.