Seriously. If you guys haven't started learning rubber guard and high guard, learn this shit immediately. I hear some people complain that they're not flexible enough. Then GET FLEXIBLE! Is "I'm not fast enough to do an armbar" a good excuse? No. So then why should flexibility be an okay reason to completely miss out on such a great control point? If I've learned one thing about playing from the top in guard, it's that posture is everything. Once you have your hands in a safe spot, keeping posture eliminates any possibilities of the bottom man getting a submission. RUBBER GUARD AND HIGH GUARD ATTACK THIS. The other thing rubber and high guard work well against is when guys "hide" in your guard; they hide their face in your abs and bring their hands to their neck, so that you have nothing. High guard and rubber guard make this a bad position for them. Break the guy's posture, and you have so much available. Typically I go for a New York to triangle, because it's almost inescapable. But the high guard (which is different from rubber guard) is a great set up for arm bars, into sweeps. Just sitting here thinking about it, I bet if I went into a rubber guard, because his hand is forced on the mat, I could easily go for a kimura. I'll try it tonight. Stretch more often, and seriously get good with rubber guard. It has only helped me since I've started using it. I've turned my guard from a defensive position to an offensive one. I'm easily able to break my partner's posture and tie up his arms, leaving him pretty much trapped. I won't even go into how good this is for MMA, when you can start hitting him. Using rubber guard, I actually came ridiculously close to hitting an omoplata last night. If I had trained that move, as opposed to just glancing at it in a book, I'm confident I would have finished it. Just thought I'd share that with you. Pick up Eddie Bravo's book, and learn rubber guard. Seriously. The more people we have doing it, the further we can advance rubber and high guard. I'm working on inventing my own setups and moves with it. The only thing you need to be careful of is not to get too lazy with the rubber guard. Some guys who I roll with, who are beginners, like to roll full force (which I have no problem doing, but they really wind themselves), like it's a fight. I'll get lazy with a rubber guard, and they'll pull themselves out of it. So just be careful of that; it's a strong position, but you need to hold on to it firmly. Need a quick explanation on how to do rubber guard? Alright. Step 1: He's posturing up in your guard, with his head high and his hands on your hips. Open your guard. Step 2: QUICKLY from your opened guard, reach up, and bear hug him around his arms, and lean back, bringing him down on top of you, thus breaking his posture. Step 3: With him down on the mat, keep him there by bringing your more flexible leg (usually this is your non-dominant side; I'm a righty so my left leg is more flexible) up to the back of his neck with the aid of your hands. Grip around your ankle, so that now you have an opened guard, while grabbing onto your ankle that is on his neck. Step 4: He shouldn't be able to posture up now, but you want to prevent him from escaping the back door. If you don't have it already, you need to work an OVERHOOK on the same side of the leg that is over his neck, holding him down. If you have an underhook, just try to punch your arm through for an overhook. Step 5: You now have what's called "Mission Control." He's totally unable to move in any direction, and he's at your mercy. From here you can work mainly triangles and omoplatas, but there's still more to be discovered with rubber guard. HIGH GUARD This is a more simple technique. Just climb your guard up. Your legs are crossed at his hips, so work on climbing them up until your legs are around his body, under his arms, but your ankles are crossed at the base of his neck/spine (just around the shoulderline). This stops him from posturing up, and it also prevents him from pulling his arms out, if you wanted to go for an armbar. Have fun, and good luck! And let me know if you came up with any new moves. Eddie Bravo doing the rubber guard (this is before working for the underhook) This is a variation of the rubber guard called "New York." I like to go for this every time I have rubber guard. It's great for setting up triangles.