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Add the 92 Double Sleeve Guard to Your Game
Having a powerful guard game is much more than having super strong legs that can clamp onto the torso of an opponent in closed guard or require you to have the flexibility of one of the Miyao brothers. The recipe for a solid guard that's nearly impossible to pass and also allows you to be capable to launch sweeps, submissions, and positional attacks requires great grips, frames and foot placement that affords you the highest number of 'points of contact' onto your opponent at all times.
The 92 Double Sleeve Guard developed and popularized by Jay Wadsworth is an ultra-simple guard modification that can revolutionize your bottom guard game in a matter of minutes. Jay Wadsworth is a black belt jiu jitsu athlete and police officer with a no nonsense approach to controlling bad guys, even when they're just your training partners and opponents on the mats. Once you've made yourself comfortable with the elements that make this guard unique, you will open yourself up a whole new menu of sweeps, submissions, and back takes that you will be terrorizing your training partners and opponents with in absolutely no time at all.
Let's take a look at the basic elements of the position.
Double Sleeve Grip
From the standard closed guard position the first thing that needs to be accomplished is to secure control of the opponent's sleeve. By utilizing a double sleeve grip with four fingers rolled into the sleeve, you maximize your ability to move the opponent's arm across your center line as if you are placing their hand in your pants pocket on the opposite side.
Once the arm has begun moving across the center line, one of the two grips is released and it is replaced by a same side grip near the tricep, holding the materials that collects on the seam under the armpit. This combination of four finger sleeve grip and tricep control, provides a very powerful and controlling grip that will have your opponent feeling extremely vulnerable and like they could lose their balance at any moment.
As an additional grip tip, occasionally your opponent will attempt to control your belt at your waist and it will be difficult to establish a control that pulls their arm across the center line. In this case, you can both utilize a figure four grip over their wrist which will put great pressure on their wrist and force their grip to break and also lift up your hips which minimizes the control that they can have on you.
The image below demonstrates the placement of the grip in the tricep area on the fabric.
Bottom hook and foot on hip
Once a solid control on their upper body is achieved with the two on one grip at the sleeve and armpit, it is now safe to open up the closed guard, place the far leg's foot on the mat and hip escape slightly bringing the near side foot to the hip on the same side as the arm that is being controlled. It is key not to hip escape or shrimp out too far and over extend the leg. A bent, yet strong leg position will be key for mobility and strong, stable control of their hips.
It is important to not remain flat on your back once you've secured this position. You must be on your hip which is the strongest position from which to launch attacks, sweeps or positional changes. If your shoulders are on the mat, fix it, immediately or be in danger of having your guard passed.
Active Vertical Knee Shield
Now that you have the sleeve controlled and the near-side foot on the hip and you've established a stable position on your side, what do we do with our other leg? In this particular position (image above), you will establish a very vertical knee shield that is kept either completely vertical or possibly gently (or not so gently) driving into the cheek of the opponent.
This knee shield will be extremely dangerous to your opponent and be very difficult to eliminate. It will create a powerful counter pressure, when coupled with the powerful sleeve grip and the pressure on the near side hip. Your partner should constantly feel as if they are about to fall over or be stretched and sprawled out on the mats, even though they are in the top position. This is the magic of the 92 Double Sleeve Guard and the system of techniques that can be built from it.
In the video below, Jay Wadsworth shows 5 time world champion Bernardo Faria, the elements of his 92 Double Sleeve Guard that make it so effective.
Once you become familiar with the fundamental elements of the 92 Double Sleeve Guard, namely, a powerful two on one sleeve grip that controls the end of the sleeve as well as the armpit area (much like an underhook). By pulling this grip across the body and angling your body onto your hip, placing that nearside foot into your opponent's hip, you will keep them in a precarious position at all times. Finish it all off with a powerful, vertical knee shield and you've got all of the elements of the guard.
From this position, you will have access to powerful back takes on both the near side and far side that will efficiently flatten them and allow you to sink your hooks without much fight from them. If the opponent attempts to smash the vertical knee shield you will be able to open your hips up and sweep them towards your feet. There is also easy access to a simple scissor style sweep on the near side which with only the push of the knee will have them tipping over and allow you to take mount. And finally, the cross body control of their arm puts them in a very precarious position which allows you to set up a very tight triangle, armbar, wristlock combination. Your training partners will hate you. It is a beautiful thing.
Now that you understand some of the key principles of the 92 Double Sleeve Guard, you will want to check out Jay Wadsworth's full 2 volume instructional available here in On Demand format. Make your guard game a thing to fear!