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Defending and Passing Lasso Guard
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Defending and Passing Lasso Guard

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Of the different forms of open guard used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, spider guard and lasso guard are two of the toughest ones to defend and pass from. Although some grapplers consider spider guard and lasso guard to be two different guards, they are actually very similar. Lasso guard is really just a modified version of spider guard that provides the guard player with a greater extent of control over their opponent. 

Too many students (especially blue belts) focus on the new fancy techniques, guard sweeps, etc. But don't ignore the old school fundamental jiu jitsu that just works.

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The strength of spider guard and lasso guard come from the grips. In these guards, the guard player has control over both arms in both a pulling and pushing form. This gives the guard player the ability to force their opponent forward, over them, and side to side. When these guards are combined with other guards like de la riva and reverse de la riva guard, the guard player generally has full control over the defender.

One of the biggest mistakes people try to do when they are stuck in these guards is rush and try to force themselves out. Against a white belt, this might work, but if you are going up against a skilled grappler with a good guard, you will only be giving them what they want. Passing these guards needs to be done with patience and intricate technique.

The first thing you need to do when you are stuck in lasso guard is look for ways to escape your wrist. This is usually done by rotating the hand and bringing it front of the hamstring. Unfortunately, if the guard player has a strong and deep grip, this won’t work, and something more technical needs to be done.

In the following, Lucas Lepri, one of the best gi grapplers ever, shows how to defend against these guard, properly escape the lasso, and finish with a technical pass. Lucas goes into a lot of detail here, so make sure you try to absorb it all.

When doing the finish of this technique, the part where you do the pass, it is important to have your hand that was lasso’d free. If it is not and you go for the pass, the guard player can sweep you easily by bringing you to the other side, which is a sweep that is usually taught early on when learning lasso guard.

   You’ll be able to start surprising everyone in your gym with old school brilliance that still works and with Kurt’s unmatched style that can include excellent details and even some well placed shouting and swearing – you’ll remember well what you learned..

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