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Bad BJJ???

Drew Foster

Silver Belt
Feb 27, 2008
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I'm in a situation with my training where whenever I'm in the guard, I findmyself working for subs and sub combinations. Particularly, I'm looking for triangles/armbar/triangle/omaplata/kimura combos, etc. I don't look for too many sweeps whe rolling. But I've heard from several people that this is "bad BJJ" to not work for the superior position (Side control, Mount, Scarf, etc.)

Is this true? I've also read online that in Brazil, top players often look down at guard players. Is this true as well? I had always thought that I had to obey "position before submission" and that even in the guard, as long as I follow the rules of a good guard, that it is okay to hunt for subs. Am I wrong?

Thanks guys!
i dont think its frowned upon or bad jiu jitsu to play the guard, if you pull guard then automatically look for the sweep and only keep looking for the sweep that wouldnt be bad either. everyone has their own style of jiu jitsu and everything wont work as well for everyone equally
Working your strengths is a good idea.

Diversifying is also a good idea. Your partners are probably annoyed that you sub them from guard.

Learn some good sweeps. Then they'll say, "All he does are sweeps. It's bad bjj to just go for sweeps all the time."
having effective sweeps is a very important part of a well rounded game. sometimes you'll have a difficult time submitting from guard, what will you do then?
if all you do is go for submissions opponents will know whats coming and they will pick apart your game.
besides, sweeping is fun!
Guard is an essential component to BJJ. IMO if you are training for MMA/self defense verse sport jiu jitsu then you should focus on the superior positions, however always keep training your guard.
Thanks guys. I'm gonna try subs from guard as a last resort next week and just experiment and see what happens. I usally just drill sweeps, but next week while rlling, I'll try and hit my elevators, scissors, armdrags, etc. I'll see what happens. Who knows, maybe I'll find a new favorite thing to do fr guard. :icon_chee

I appreciate the advice fellas.
The nice thing about going for sweeps is that it lets you work on other aspects of your game as well. Once you hit the sweeps more often, you'll get to work more on your top game and guard passing. Those are essential components of a well-rounded game as well. If nothing else, learning the top game gives you better ideas of how to counter your opponents top game from the bottom.
Keep going for subs off your back, but look for sweeps that work when your opponent counters your subs.

Then learn some go to subs for when your sweeps get countered.

The trick is to keep them guessing.
If your mentality is "oh i'm not going to drill, train, or even think about side mount, mount, back, etc. because my guard is so awesome" then yeah that's a bad way to approach your jiujitsu.

If you're just comfortable in guard and like going for subs from there, that's perfectly fine. Should work to expand your game, but having strengths is NOT something to be frowned upon.
it's bad bjj in the sense that you are taking a very important weapon away from your arsenal. Let's be clear, as much as bjj guys are confident in their guard they would always rather be on top via side mount or mount. Don't worry, as you relax more you will see the sweeps and your subs willl set up your sweeps and vise a versa.
Use your subs to set up your sweeps and vice versa!
Can't emphasize enough, how important sweeps are to know. I myself find them boring to practice. But when you use one correct with proper technique and it works. You feel great.
I've always been better at sweeps than submissions honestly, its kind of annoying lol. I just tend to be more of a positional type of grappler and it seems to take me forever to tap people but I can usually sweep them no problem.

But sweeps really are vital to learn. Sooner or later you're going to get that guy that you just can't tap from the bottom, however your attacks-and his counters-will set up sweeps.

Playing from on bottom, there isn't anything wrong with it. I have noticed though that some grapplers tend to be very dominant top players and others vice versa.

I can count on one hand how many times I've seen Ricardo Arona on bottom, and the guy I'm going to be training with soon, Helio Soneca, I've seen a bunch of his sport jiu-jitsu matches and he's never been on bottom. I asked my buddy back home who trains with him if Helio ever plays guard, and he said not really. Helio just always says, "do you want to be the cow boy or the cow girl?" Its just kind of a mind set I guess. In fact I'm looking forward to studying under him specifically because my guard is pretty decent, but my top control and passing could use some work, both things that Helio are great at.

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