Bernardo Faria’s Tips For Guard Retention


For people who like to mainly play some type of guard style for their game, retention is important. At some point in your training or competition, you will get your guard passed. But if you know the tips for guard retention, having your guard passed will become less of a possibility. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing closed guard, or any type open guard. If you have no ideas on how to retain your guard when someone is attempting to pass, then your game can land in a stand still. Bernardo Faria is a competitor who proficiently plays many different guards. Here is some excellent points that he brings up.

Don’t play your guard lazy

No matter what guard you play, you need to play it strong. This means you cannot let your guard become lazy or soft. When you play your guard soft, it will lose most of its effectiveness. If you play closed guard, you need to have tight control on sleeves and collar. If you play butterfly guard, then you need to stay tight and really work your under hooks. When it comes to spider guard, you need to make sure your sleeve grips and bicep hooks are strong as can be. If you play your guard this way, you will not get passed. Don’t be loose and easy prey. Be tight, be controlling and know the in’s and out’s of your guard(s) that you like to play.

Don’t wait and know your fundamental movements

Bernardo, who is a world class black belt even says that mistakes happen. When a mistake happens while you’re playing guard, that is when your opponent will attempt to pass. But there are two important aspects that can still stop that pass. You cannot wait. Once you make the mistake, and your opponent is moving, then you need to move too. Don’t let him move by and just put you in a dominant position. Also you need to know your fundamental movements and use them. That means, using your arms as frames to block the opponent’s arms and legs. Also, using your hip escape and bridging movements to get away from who you are face. If someone is trying to get side control on you, you must hip escape strong and create space so that you re-guard.

I feel that guard retention is single handedly one of the most important areas of Jiu Jitsu, but it is often the most neglected. It isn’t the cool finishing techniques we see on TV or online, but it is just as effective. If you cannot develop good guard retention, then you will be in big trouble when someone is trying to pass. You’ll never be able to feel the battles of Jiu Jitsu and truly learn the art. Bernardo goes over some of these ideas and techniques in his DVD set, Escapes From Everywhere. It is a must for any serious Jiu Jitsu competitor.

Click here to see Bernardo Faria’s Escapes From Everywhere.