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Embrace the Smash With Z-Guard
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Embrace the Smash With Z-Guard

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Attacking the legs seems to be the go-to for most No-Gi grapplers today. This has caused old to be new again. Many passers will start to avoid the leg attack game by passing off of their knees. For some people it seems like a no brainer. Don’t want to get your legs attacked? Pass off of your knees.

 The Reality for many a practitioner is avoiding leg attacks at all costs. A common response to this is to work passes from the knees. However, as we have seen sometimes there is no avoiding them. This, for Craig Jones, involves using his z-guard.

Jones has been making noise ever since ADCC ’17. So if you want to add a little thunder from down under click Learn More!

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In a recent mini-documentary from Stuart Cooper, Jones expressed his willingness to utilize his Z-guard because so many of his opponents will refuse to pass standing against him. Anymore, people know who Craig Jones is and understand his leg attack game will be easily entered into if they pass off of their feet. So a common response is people engaging him on another plane of battle that he is equally formidable in.

Most BJJ folks who utilize a knee shield from half guard will be very hesitant to allow their shield to drop due to the dominance many passers possess with their leg weave pass. Craig usually starts with Z-guard instead of a traditional knee shield. A typical response for the passer when they encounter knee shield or Z-guard is to pressure in and smash. When this happens one of the first things Craig does is trap the opponent’s posture. This will start the downward spiral for the passer because of traps waiting for them.

One of those traps include this nice little attack the Australian boys call the Choi Bar. As you can see here Jones relies on the pressure from Lachlan here to assist him in going from the Z-guard to the attack. This leg swing over the top is something that Jones will utilize in many of his attacks from Z-guard.

Overall there is a game at play here that takes advantage of what the passers intentions are. Let’s call it a series of unfortunate circumstances. First the passer drops to their knees almost in a prayer position, one that they pray to the Jiu-Jitsu gods Jones doesn’t rip their leg off. Next they are met with a low knee shield, so they think hey why not pressure into this and smash right past. Nope. Jones now has your posture trapped. From here it is a matter of choice, not for the passer mind you.

There is ample competition footage of jones performing this sequence only to end up finishing with a litany of attacks including Kimuras, arm locks, and triangles. The way Jones does this is pretty unique. Craig will shoot his top leg (the shield leg) out from under his opponent and step over and across their head. This is made easy because of how low and flat the passer becomes due to the leg weave attempt.

Craig Jones has continued his hot streak as of late with a victory over the ALWAYS formidable Keenan Cornelius at Polaris 8 with a decision. Thankfully we have what you need to study right here at BJJ Fanatics!

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