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Discover The Donkey Guard with Jeff Glover
The modern BJJ game is chalked full of innovations and outside the box thinking. As our art has progressed, practitioners from all over the world at all levels have continued to develop jiu-jitsu that suits their own unique style and needs. From bizarre forms of guard that confuse and tangle up passers, to interesting configurations of the body that seem to only make sense to the inventors, the shy is the limit. Whether you choose to accept these wild fantastical ideas or not is your prerogative but as the great Bernardo Faria often says, “whatever works for you, is what works best”.
Unorthodox has become the new norm in many BJJ forums and the rapid rate at which jiu-jitsu continues to evolve is exciting and interesting. Though some of these new concepts don't fit the traditional molds of jiu-jitsu technique and training, it cannot be denied that there is effectiveness among these new themes.
One of the seemingly more outlandish positions of BJJ that's surfaced over the past few years is Jeff Glover’s “Donkey Guard”. We’ve seen Glover implement this system over the years in various competition settings, with success I might add. We’ve also seen it frustrate some competitors to a fairly extreme level, even being deemed as disrespectful. But the reality is, the donkey guard is effective and it does have a rather large array of utilities. From leg lock entries and entanglements to off balancing, and even submission opportunities, the donkey guard is as versatile as any guard configuration out here. It just may look a little different than most.
Glover has recently released a complete blueprint for the donkey guard that details all of its main components and the techniques that Glover has relied upon most from the position. The Donkey Guard is now available at the BJJ Fanatics Online Store. Finally, Glover has provided us with a comprehensive guide to navigating this unorthodox and thought provoking position and through this content we’ll get to see the inner workings of the system.
Let's take a look at a few excerpts from the series to get an idea of what to expect.
In this first clip, Glover demonstrates what he calls a bear bait. With The donkey guard, Glover receives different reactions. As he presents his backside to an opponent they have the option to either move forward and try to engage or to retreat. For this particular technique his partner has chosen to engage. Check it out!
The fact that the entire system of donkey guard is predicated on essentially giving your opponent a clear shot at your back side, makes baits like this quite enticing. It creates confusion and because the idea is so unorthodox, the traps are often walked right into.
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Here, Glover turns his backside and puts his arm behind his back, with his palm facing his partner. As his partner comes forward to engage, Glover uses the position of his arm to pummel for an underhook and incrementally travels to the side to establish a body lock position. Glover also turns this into an opportunity to snatch a single by simoy dropping his body down a bit lower and securing the leg.
In this next segment, Glover uses this exact same theme to secure guillotine. Once again, his partner has decided to engage and Glover is taking advantage of the opportunity. Check out the finish on this one, it's definitely unique!
Again, Glover sets up the donkey with his hand behind his back. As his partner moves forward to engage him, he spins his body and uses his free arm to wrap the neck and secure a guillotine. In an interesting variation of the finish, GLover immediately locks his hands, still behind his back, and finishes the submission straight away. He also throws out the option of the standard finish if that suits you better.
Not only has Glover created an opowstutiny to snatch aguilltoine, he's also established a front headlock position, from which he can pursue a variety of options and different transitions. Glover even throws in a traditional leg sweep from the origins of jiu-jitsu that we'd see in response to a bear hug from the rear.
Let's take a look at another utility of the donkey guard with the “hurricanrada”. I love these descriptions! Here, Glover walks us through a unique way to implement the donkey guard that gets us into leg lock territory and just a general good position as well. Take a look!
This is really cool. With this one Glover establishes the “all fours'' variation of the donkey guard to begin the entry. As he loads his weight into his hands, he jumps up with his feet and encapsulates the body with his legs. Now, Glover tucks his chin, reaches through his partner's legs and then drops down to his back, so that he's now facing upward.
As you can clearly see, this puts Glover in a fantastic position to entangle the legs in a variety of ways and gives him the ability to establish a variety of great positions. Glover admits there is an element of danger here when using this moment and that you'll need to rely on some upper body strength but that's why he's tucking his chin and reaching through with his arm, to carefully transition and land without any issues. This is incredibly dynamic. There are so many options here when Glover arrives, it would be tough to decide what to do next. Very cool!
So, there you have it! An inside look at one of the most unorthodox and mysterious positions in BJJ. The Donkey Guard is available now!