1. The Sherdog Forums are currently experiencing technical difficulties, and we are working on it. We apologize for the inconvenience.

My Take On X Guard

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Gerbiljiujitsu, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Gerbiljiujitsu

    Gerbiljiujitsu Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Charlotte North Carolina
    X Guard can be a fantastic position for sweeping an opponent with really good base. Any time that you can get your hips under your opponent your ability to challenge their base becomes increased.

    There are literally countless ways to enter into X Guard. Over the next series of videos I use the same entry. This is a very easy entry and it focuses on good hip movement and body angle. Please do not think this is the only way to enter, nor do I think it is universally the best way to enter into X Guard. For me it works and for a lot of my students it works.

    Make sure that you start off with both feet on the hips and push your partner away. I refer to this space made after pushing your partner away as "thinking space". This is very important because it stretches your opponent out and gives you room to move angle your hips.

    Once I make that "thinking space" I move one of my feet to the back of my partner's knee. Then I take my free foot and place the top of my foot on the hip (please reference the video). Some people are concerned about ankle locks here. You will be fine for a number of reasons. Primarily because you your opponent has no isolation over the knee and secondly because you are controlling both of your opponents sleeves.

    Once your feet are in place it is important that you angle your body. This is the most overlooked part of entering into X Guard. The knee scooping motion is the most important and if you angle your body correctly it becomes EXTREMELY easy. Make sure to reference the video to see what I"m talking about.

    Once the knee does clear under your opponent's thigh it is time to bring the ankle up to the ear. Make sure that when you do this you do it by swinging your arm in a "raising your hand motion" and NOT by using your palm to grab the legs. If you do this correctly it should be very easy. If for some reason it is very hard you can stretch your partner with your legs before you raise your hand. Anything to make them light on that leg.

    Choosing wether to lift or stretch your opponent is going to be based your body length, the length of your legs, the length of your opponent and how he/she has their weight distributed. There is no clear cut answer to tell you when you do what it is something that you learn from being in the position and experiencing the pros and cons of both of these options.

    Once you have your partner stretched it's time to enter a sweep. In this video I specifically look at the Roll to Knee on Belly.

    Once you have them stretched I like to feed the sleeve to the hand on the back side of the leg. This is easier than you would think but if you have problems doing it you can honestly skip this step. It's MUCH more dominating but requires more time. Again, a balance of control vs viability.

    Once you feed the hand it's important to take the now free hand and grab the far collar of your opponent. This, coupled with the challenging of the base, will make it extremely easy to rotate your opponents back to the floor. You'll find that it is incredibly easy to do fast but takes some work if you want to do it slowly like I do in the video.

    Once you get your thumb in that collar and you're ready to sweep, allow your training partners the opportunity to base their hand on the floor or they might face plant into the mat. Although you dont care about this (typically) in competition, it's important that all of our training partners can turn their heads the morning after training this technique. I highly recommend doing it slowly, even though it's more difficult, until you have the technique down.

     
  2. ronbro

    ronbro Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2012
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    0
    dis gun b good


    love your vids
     
  3. Knock Out Ned

    Knock Out Ned el mero mero

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    4,458
    Likes Received:
    848
    Location:
    펜설배니아, 미국
    Great video Gerbil, thanks.
     
  4. thapa

    thapa Guest

    Dudes and dudettes... it's like he's teaching us and getting better and better at teaching at the same time.

    High five to you, Prof. Arel. And pizza too.

    Thank you for the excellent write-up, the video, the consideration you show us and the care you show towards your students.

    I had a headsmack moment (a good one) when you showed your entry to x-guard. I know it's astoundingly basic, but it connected perfectly with my struggles with my instructor in DLR/RDLR. Sometimes the answer isn't to switch back and forth between the two, but perhaps to change it up sometimes with x-guard.

    Or just get up, single leg him and pray that I avoided the insane guillotine this time.
     
  5. Vitamin C

    Vitamin C Black Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    5,805
    Likes Received:
    706
    Awesome sweep. I would have liked to see you show one rep at live speed.
     
  6. Einarr

    Einarr Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    6,609
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    Osoto Gari'ing your mom.
    Thanks. I'll try this tonight. I like X-Guard when I'm in it but I find getting to it very difficult.
     
  7. Shemhazai

    Shemhazai Black Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Messages:
    6,153
    Likes Received:
    23
    X-guard is the king of open guard positions, IMO. At least of the ones that aren't reliant on the gi, anyway. It's just a total domination of the inside space with your entire body. As for getting there, it's not always that easy to just pull X-guard (though certain setups allow it), but it's like getting a really dominant position in wrestling on the feet; a good opponent isn't often going to give you double underhooks right away, but if you use 'lesser' attacks in order to open him up, it becomes much easier. In my game, (some variant of) X-guard is the culmination point in which most sweep series end if the opponent doesn't let me score at first, be it from RDLR, deep half, DLR or butterfly. Once X-guard is in place, my chances of getting either a sweep, back take or straight footlock are pretty good.
     
  8. beamlord

    beamlord White Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Germany
    That's pretty awesome, even though too advanced for me. Thanks for the vid.
     
  9. Gia

    Gia White Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Biloxi, MS
    Thank you. The amount of detail in the video was great.
     
  10. Steve3730

    Steve3730 Green Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    993
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Chicago
    great video, i use the same entry. I also like to squeeze my opponents thigh with feet(hooks) this stops him from stepping out of it and when i shoot for the knee scoop i use it to pull myself way under him.

    Never used the cross grip tho but I will be now! Thanks
     
  11. KGB256

    KGB256 Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,728
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    It's a great position, and I'd like to learn more from there. I find myself able to work into x-guard and deep half during rolls, but I really need to become more proficient at my basic open guard and butterfly before I put any real focus into x.
     
  12. Dedication

    Dedication White Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    3
    The cross-grip, why did I never think of that. I've controlled the arm but never once thought about passing it off to my other hand. Another excellent video Gerbil!
     
  13. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,585
    Likes Received:
    4,180
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Why? X guard isn't necessarily 'less basic' in some way than spider or DLR. I find myself in X all the time, and it works well on people of all body types. I find that using X and butterfly together improves both because they're so interrelated...X is almost a 'deep butterfly' in some ways, I find that it's usually the best option if they get extended over you while you're playing butterfly.
     
  14. GiBurns

    GiBurns Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2012
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    2
    Interesting, never really thought of it that way.
     
  15. 100%Jiu-Jitsu

    100%Jiu-Jitsu Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    His statement might literally be true, in that if you don't have a decent open guard and butterfly, people won't respect your sweep attempts, and therefore you may have trouble forcing the reactions needed to get into x-guard. If you don't have experience playing x-guard during rolling, your x-guard is not going to be very good.

    But I agree they all complement one another. So I would advise trying to drill all of them, even if you aren't yet using them all successfully in live rolling.
     
  16. Shemhazai

    Shemhazai Black Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Messages:
    6,153
    Likes Received:
    23
    You don't have to be amazing at 'regular' open guard before learning X-guard. Learn the hook sweep and the 1LXG sweep, for instance (taking Marcelo's approach), learn how to transition to X-guard from both of them, and learn 2 sweeps from X-guard (standing up in base with the opponent's leg and sweeping the opponent backwards being the most obvious). That's a total of six specific skills, and you could base your entire bottom game off of it.
     
  17. BJJArsenal

    BJJArsenal Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    3,694
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    London
    Straight footlock? I hit them all the time from single leg x-guard, how do you hit them from regular x guard?
     
  18. chaps

    chaps Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2008
    Messages:
    3,959
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    This.
     
  19. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,585
    Likes Received:
    4,180
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    If you can get comfortable in the position, you'll find yourself getting to it from almost anywhere. Basically, to get into X-guard, you need one of these things to happen:

    1. Have a butterfly hook in and have his opposite leg get close enough to your head for you to underhook. He can be standing or kneeling.
    2. Have a leg underhooked and be able to work either leg under his other leg

    These can happen so many ways. I used to get to X from butterfly a lot, but now I find it's much more common for me to get to it from Z-guard or deep half. I usually prefer the Glover/Hall style deep half where your arms and legs are attacking the same leg, but when I get deep under in normal half for a Gordo sweep and they sprawl out I'll underhook their leg and work a hook in to go to X. It's very easy once you realize it's there. If you just start playing half guard with the top leg in as a butterfly hook rather than wrapping his leg, you'll find X is there all the time.

    I also get to it a lot when someone stands in my open guard. Spider is the most common transition, Lo style, since if they step either leg near my head I can underhook that leg and quickly drop the X hooks in, but I get to it from RDLR a great deal as well...if you try to invert but can't you're often far across their body enough to underhook their opposite leg, and then it's pretty easy from there to shift from RDLR hooks to X hooks. I also really like helicopter sweeps, and if you go for those from one foot in a hip and the other butterfly hooking and you can get them forward but not lifted, then their other leg is usually in underhook range from which the X transition is easy.

    The key to all these is looking for the leg underhook and recognizing that once you have that and one butterfly hook, it's very very hard for them to prevent you from transitioning into the X guard.
     
  20. BJJArsenal

    BJJArsenal Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    3,694
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    London
    All of what Uchi Mata said there was gold.

    For me, however, I hold one leg at the knee, one at the collar, shoot myself underneath and spin directly to x-guard or wrap one leg up for a single leg x-guard while they're in the air.

    But I like the sound of transitioning from RDLR.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.