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Give Your Open Guard A Facelift With John Danaher

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When working from the open guard, we’ll encounter many different passing postures from the opposing party. Things can change here very quickly as the top player begins to make decisions about the type of pass and pathways they’re going to choose. They may prefer to stand and move quickly or come down to the mat and impose some pressure style passing. Regardless of their intentions, we must be prepared to deal with these different configurations of the body as they present themselves in varying exchanges. 

The open guard is a big world with many possibilities. Anything can happen and its on us to assess and respond accordingly. Luckily, John Danaher has just released his latest installment in his “Go Further Faster Series” on the open guard. This could be the most important information we’ve seen from Danaher to date, as we spend so much of our time working in the open guard and honing our skills from this dynamic position. Danaher has once again constructed an incredibly comprehensive blueprint for what may be the most important position in BJJ. 

As a beginner you may find working from the open guard difficult. You might be getting your guard passed quite a bit and you might be unsure of where to begin. With disconnection providing so many unknown elements to the open guard setting, it’s easy to see why this position gives us headaches. But with Danaher’s guidance, your struggle from this position is about to be greatly reduced. 

You’ll find with Danaher’s instruction on the open guard, that he details all of the most common scenarios we encounter and instructs us on how to deal with them accordingly, thus reducing the learning curve for those of us that wish to become more proficient with our open guard. There’s a great deal of content ranging from off balancing ideas, to basic sweeps, and more modern guard concepts. This is not one to be missed. We’ve been getting some quick snip-its of the material and even in these short videos the amount of helpful information is staggering. Here’s one you can check out on the hiza guruma, sweep variation that we can apply when we have a passer in front of us choosing to go down to one knee. Take a look at this! 

 

One of the most common passing postures we encounter from the open guard is displayed right here. Positioned with one knee down and one knee up, Danaher’s partner begins his approach. As Danaher explains this particular variation of the sweep may be even easier than when both knees are on the floor. One knee up allows access to the underside of his partner and as Danaher describes it, a little more “amplitude” can be achieved during the reversal.

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Danaher secures a grip the seam of his partners gi, specifically the backside of the left arm. He then also grabs a handful of material on the opposite side closer to his partners shoulder. He covers his partner’s knee using his foot and then begins the action of pulling the elbow toward him as he pushes the knee away. These opposing forces produce a great reversal and the ability to move from the bottom of the exchange to the top. Danaher explains that typically we will fall only to our elbow so that we can keep our head high during the application of hizu guruma. This will keep us in proper position and with our head high over our partner at the completion of the sweep an easier transition to the top can be made as well. 

This is a phenomenal entry level concept that we can use as a platform to begin our study of the open guard. Danaher goes into great detail on this sweep and several others in the open guard instructional. The open guard should make up a great deal of our guard studies and serve as the hub of our work from the bottom. 


Don’t sleep on this one. Pick up your copy today and start adding value to your open guard toolbox right now!

Open Guard: BJJ Fundamentals - Go Further Faster by John Danaher

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