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Defending and Breaking Rubber Guard
The rubber guard is a modified version of the traditional closed guard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It was created by 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu founder Eddie Bravo and popularized by many of his students. Because of its success in competition, many students outside of the 10th Planet system have begun utilizing it in competition and in the gym. This type of closed guard works really well in MMA as well.
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The major difference between rubber guard and closed guard is the increased use of the legs to keep the top player’s posture broken. As we all know, if we are stuck in closed guard, we need to have good posture to begin a guard pass. This is part of why rubber guard works so well, as it can be really difficult to break out of. More so, there are a lot of submissions from rubber guard that are not used in the traditional guard which can make it confusing for many students.
Because the rubber guard has gotten popular, learning how to defend and break out of this guard needs to be a fundamental technique all grapplers learn. The first part of defending this guard, outside of breaking it, requires the defender to remain forward and be patient. A lot of attacks from rubber guard require in part the defender to be pulling back and forcing themselves out, which can be dangerous.
In the following video, Gordon Ryan shows a great way of breaking out of the rubber guard, which involves what I mentioned above regarding remaining forward.
Essentially, what Gordon is doing in this technique is making his upper body small enough to where he can slide out of rubber guard. As you can see, instead of trying slide out and escape by going backwards, he does something unique in that his escape is actually straight up. Make sure when trying this technique that you slide out quickly and are paying attention to the potential transitions to armbars and triangles.
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I think its important once more to mention that it is vital to be patient in rubber guard. If you watch high level grapplers defending rubber guard, you will notice how patient they are to get out. Rubber guard is great at making defenders anxious and getting them to make mistakes, so just relax and focus on the right technique to escape.
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