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BJJ Instructional Videos
John Danaher Leglocks
John Danaher Back Attacks BJJ
Half Guard BJJ Instructional Video
How Butterfly Guard can Enhance your Lower Body Attacks

How Butterfly Guard can Enhance your Lower Body Attacks


The butterfly guard is one of the most important guards to learn if you are interested in learning lower body attacks.  The butterfly guard is the guard that you are going to use to be able to transition into stronger leg attacking positions like the single leg X guard and the X guard.  

What makes the butterfly guard so effective for lower body attacks?  It is the safest place to be when you are trying to go for the legs.  When attacking leg locks one of the most important concepts to remember is to leg pummel.  You have to be able to keep your legs inside your opponents.  This is referred to as "inside leg position."  Butterfly guard is one of the best places to maintain inside leg position and keep yourself out of harms way from your opponent's leglocks. 

The proof is in the pudding.  We have seen many of the most infamous leg lockers today utilize this guard time and time again to be able to attack the legs.  Members of the Danaher Death Squad have a relentless butterfly guard game and constantly use this guard to enter into their leg locks. If you watch Gordon Ryan or Garry Tonon, you can see them constantly battle for the inside leg position while using the butterfly guard.  Check out this video below of John Danaher Breaking down Gordon Ryan's win against Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu

As you can see in the video above John constantly stressed the battle for insdie leg control.  In this scenario specifically, the battle for inside leg control ultimately lead Gordon to be able to heel hook Cyborg.  The butterfly guard plays a critical role in allowing you to get to positions like Single Leg X and X guard safely so you can attack the leg.  Single leg X and X are some of the best positions to attack the legs from. 

Butterfly to Single Leg X

Single leg x may be the best guard that there is to attack the legs from.  some people refer to this position as the "ashi Garami."  From the single leg x you are able to attack a multitude of different leg locks like the toe hold, the estima lock, the heel hook, the achilles lock and many more. 

Today, we are not focused on discussing the possibile leg locks from the single leg x but rather the entries into single leg X from the butterfly guard.  The butterfly guard goes hand in hand with the single leg x.  Perhaps the best example of this is Marcelo Garcia, a man that many consider to be the greatest pound for pound grappler ever.  

Marcelo constantly utilized a combination of the butterfly guard, single leg x, and X guard to beat all of his opponents.  There is a method to his madness.  The reason he used all of these positions with one another is because they work together so well.  When you use the single leg X with the butterfly guard it is very easy to go from one to the other. 

When you use the butterfly, you can enter the single leg X from a failed butterfly sweep, from the shin to shin guard, from an overhead sweep and from many other positions.  The similarities that the butterfly guard and the single leg X share are the fact that with both of the positions you are completely underneath your opponent and inside their legs.  This sounds kind of funny, but it means that if your opponent is standing squared, in butterfly or single leg X you would be under them and in between their legs.  This is a HUGE detail with these positions because it provides safety from leg locks and gives you the advantageous position.

Linking the X Guard

The X Guard is one of the most popular guards in sport Jiu Jitsu today.  There are several reasons that make the X guard an incredible option for the open guard player.  The X guard has incredible sweeping power, and it is one of the best guards to play for attacking the lower body, but there are not many traditional submission opportunities from this position.  The X guard is best entered from the butterfly guard and if you hope to develop a good butterfly guard one of the best places to start is going to be finding some X guard entruies.

The X guard, like the butterfly and single leg X was popularized by Marcelo Garcia who utilized its effectiveness in the highest level competition.  The benefits of the X guard include how functional it is in both gi and nogi, the high percentage sweep success, leg lock attacks, and the defense.  There are a few submissions that may present themselves from X guard, but at the highest levels of competition, it is rare to see them.. The X guard goes hand in hand with the butterfly and when used together can become devastating.  Especially if you are doing leg locks.  The X guard much like the butterfly is excellent for leg locks.

The X guard may be one of the best guards to play if you are trying to attack the lower body.  Lower body attacks have exploded with popularity in the last few years.  There are several contributing factors that have made the lower body attacks so popular lately.  There are many submission only tournaments that are giving grapplers and opportunity to perform like professional athletes.  Tournaments like the Eddie Bravo Invitational, Metamoris, Fight to Win and other have given us a platform to utilize leg reaps and heel hooks.

The increasing popularity of leg reaps and heel hooks has not only led to an increase in lower body attacks but it has also led to a dramatic increase of opportunity from the X Guard.  The x guard is one of the best places to get to the heel hook, the toe hold, the knee bar, and many other attacks.  Prior to the introduction of a lot of these tournaments we did not even get to see the X guard being used to its true potential.

In the X guard you are completely underneath your opponent and this will allow you to elevate them and attempt to get some leg locks.  The X guard also goes hand in hand with the single leg X Guard which may be the absolute best position for leg locks.  These two guards supplement each other very well.  If you are aspiring to become the next Gordon Ryan and want to learn some leg locks, one of the best places to start you adventure would be with the single leg x guard and the x guard.  Both of these positions are the most promising for attacking the lower body.

Enough talking about it.  If you want to develop a top notch butterfly guard then you need to check out Adam Wardzinski's new video series "Butterfly Guard Re-Discovered."  Butterfly guard remains as one of the most effective, explosive, and efficient positions in the world for those who know how to unlock its potential. It’s a perfect way to manage the pressure and weight of someone bigger and it doesn’t take any special skill or attribute like height or flexibility to do, making it a great choice against a wide variety of opponents. The problem is then… how do you sweep or submit from there?  

Adam has created a systematic approach to the butterfly guard that makes it not only easy to learn but also very effective when you use it.  This system based approach is one of the best ways to learn bjj and it will assists you in developing a game plan from here.  IF you are into leg locks, it is better to learn how to play guard before jumping the gun and just learning the actual leg locks.  Learning the butterfly guard, the single leg X and the X Guard can provide you a foundation for your leg attacking system. That’s where Adam Wardzinski comes in. As one of Europe’s top black belts, he has spent years mastering this position. Cehck it out below.


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