Attacks from your guard when your opponent is upright?


Yellow Belt
Aug 19, 2004
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I am very good with submissions from my guard when opponent is bent forward, i can armbar, triangle, guillotine and omoplata very well. But my problem is when the guy is upright and passing my guard, and too powerful for me to pull forward with my legs and hips. What is the best option in this situation?
sit up, bear hug both his arms or torso, and lay back into your full guard. There arent many reliable subs or sweeps when your opponent is postured up. This is gonna sound gay, but your best weapon is keeping your head and waiting for the right time to strike. Just break his posture and look for an opening from there.
Sit up and gor for a kimura. Either that or sweep the person.
That's the trick to being in someones guard maintaining good posture and protecting your arms while attempting to pass. That being said there are still options from the guard if your opponent has good posture.

1. Scissor sweep or push sweep (if you have a hold of their collar and can isolate an arm)

2. If he posts one hand on the ground try for a kimura and if he defends transition to the timing sweep.

3. Try the guillotine choke from the guard.

4. Move from closed guard to spider guard which will create many options (triangle for one).
BulldogSIX said:
1. Scissor sweep or push sweep (if you have a hold of their collar and can isolate an arm)

You can also look for the keylock when setting the scissor sweep up.
monkey roll said:
You can also look for the keylock when setting the scissor sweep up.

Absolutely correct. Give the man a cigar. I've never tried it though.
sit up and force yourself on him and mount him. or slip out to side control.
chase him, go for a kimura and if you can't get it try a hip heist. or to prevent him from getting upright, work your guard higher.
Like Jahred said. Get a good Kimura hold and than sit up. As you are going up open your guard and drop your foot (on the side thats doing the Kimura) Look over your shoulder (kimura side).

By looking over your shoulder, rising up, and controling the arm, the opponent will should get swept if he is leaning back even slightly. Looking over the shoulder is the most neglected part. If you do this you will automatically twist your back/hips, and add enough power to the sweep to make it work.

Once the person is wise to that he will start pushing you back down the moment you start to sit up. In that case, work you legs up and do the subs you are good at.

Hope that helps.
If someone postures up, I sit up, overhook one arm and cup the back of their head with my other free hand and pull them close to me..
You can also go for an armbar from the scissor guard.

What I do is bear hug them then overhook their head and keep it down. I usually let them go back up and then bear hug them again to make them waste energy a few times then when I am going for a sub I will overhook an arm and work from there. I usually go for triangle, into armbar into omoplata flow. Or when the arm is overhooked just start messing with it to get them focused on it and attack the other arm.

Another thing you can do is the knee in chest series. You can do this without having to pull them down and if they are a bjj player that likes to keep you down with their arms on your chest/stomach area. Just push their shoulder back and get your knee in (slide the knee in and rest your foot on their hip, not to be confused with the scissor guard) from there a lot of submissions open up and I usually go for the half triangle position.
If the guy postures in my gaurd i'll usually try to control his head and arm or failing that if i really want him down i'll just double grab his head.
Another thing i've found useless is when a guy is going to posture, shrimp up and push off and get to your feet/knee's if you feel more comfertable there like i do.
open your guard and make him start workig again instead of just posturing up.
some people look at the closed guard as a stalling position so they will stall back by posturing up and sitting there.
In a no gi situation, I think it very beneficial to break the guy down and start to work. MMA too, if he's upright, he can punch the shit out of you
Switch your game up a bit- jiu jitsu isnt about what you want- its about what your opponent gives you.

In the positions you're describing, its difficult to land submissions because your opponent is doing the correct thing (keeping his posture).

Consider trying for sweeps/reversals in these positions. When people are upright, they're often difficult to submit, but give you a better chance of getting under them (say, with a butterfly, half, or X-guard).

It becomes a game of chess- if you can keep attacking, you eventually have the chance to catch your opponent if he doesnt keep up with your attacks- by defending your sweeps, he lowers his base and offers submission opportunities and by defending your submissions by posturing up, he lessens his base and can be more easily swept.
I know it by a different name but the "hip-heist" sounds best.
At my gym we do what we call a hip reversal (a quick shrimp basing with one arm and pushing your hips over top of his pushing him on his back on an angel) its hard to explain. But against a strong opponent that stops you from getting the sweep you can guiltine him, Kimura and then with enough moment an omo plata. also in Gi grab the lepel wait for one of his legs to go up for a guard brake and try for a pendulum sweep.