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How To Get Z Guard By Baiting Your Opponent With Craig Jones
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How To Get Z Guard By Baiting Your Opponent With Craig Jones

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Baiting Opponent Into Z Guard by Craig Jones

Craig jones is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Lachlan Giles, he fights out of Austrailia and with the Absolute MMA Academy. Craig had an astounding year in 2017 and he took the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community by storm. Although many people claim he had a rapid rise to stardom, there early signs of his future success. For instance Craig won the No Gi worlds as a purple belt in 2015. Craig is known for his vicious lower body attacks, aggressive style, and calm and collected demeanor. Craig has taken the BJJ community by storm but he has an extensive list of accolades. Some of his biggest accomplishments are IBJJF NoGi World Champion Purple Belt 2015, AFBJJ Pan Pacific Champion weight and absolute Purple Belt 2014, EBI Absolute Finalist, UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro Bronze Medalist Brown Belt, Multiple time EBI veteran, ADCC veteran, 3x ADCC Trials Winner.

Craig Jones is a master of the half guard and foot lock attacks. His DVD the Z Guard Encyclopedia gives you a variety of different set ups and attacks from half guard to get the sweep or submission.

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Today Craig Jones is here at BJJ Fanatics headquarters to demonstrate how he likes to bait an opponent into Z Guard. The Z Guard is a position in which the guard player has an open half guard with their top leg framed at an angle across their opponent. Z Guard is a great guard for managing your training partner’s distance with greater efficiency than just using your hands and arms to frame. Watch the video below of Craig Jones demonstrating how he baits an opponent into Z guard and then we will break down the technique. Check it out now!

A lot of BJJ players have trouble getting the Z guard position. Even more, once they get the position they have trouble getting the knee guard. Craig Jones prefers to play his Z guard on his opponent’s weak side, which I think is a really interesting concept. Most BJJ players tend to try and pass with their right leg forward, so Jones likes to make it so they have to play with their left leg forward. This way he can attack them in positions they are uncomfortable with. To force his opponent to play to the side he wants, Jones will hook the inside of their lead leg with his left foot. Typically an opponent will be trying to pass your other leg. By hooking inside the leg and behind the knee you can keep your training partner from being able to step inside and pass. This forces Craig Jones to go to his left hip which allows him to play Z  guard against his training partner on his less preferred side. It is important to remember when establishing your Z guard to get your knee inside, otherwise it will be easy for your opponent to go for a knee cut pass. From here there are a few options. You can go for a reverse De La Riva hook, with a shallow hook around your opponent’s thigh. Or you can go straight leg across to behind your training partner’s opposite knee. As long as you have your knee shield you prevent your opponent from being able to do anything with their left arm as well.

The next part of the Z guard technique is how to get your training partner’s knee to the floor. Craig Jones explains that while their knee is on top of your leg you are still technically vulnerable to a knee cut pass. You can change your foot to the reverse De La Riva hook to stop your opponent from being able to move forward. That paired with the knee shield will prevent them from pressuring you. From here you can use an in step with yeah De La Riva hook to push your training partner’s leg back, forcing his knee to go to the floor. It is important to remember that you do not want to hang out here too long, otherwise you allowing your training partner and opportunity to counter into top half guard.

As you can tell, this is a really cool bait into Z guard, and some great instruction on how to play Z guard efficiently. The best part about this technique is obviously the concept of attacking your opponent’s weaker side and forcing them to play in a position they are uncomfortable in. There is a lot to be said about Craig Jones’ methodology, but his brilliance really shines here. So play around with this the next time you are on the mats in a live roll. I hope you find this bait into Z guard a useful technique to add to your bag of tricks. Thank you Craig Jones for demonstrating this amazing technique for us here today!

Craig Jones has a secret weapon in jiu jitsu... his Z Guard. He was virtually unheard of until recent ADCC and EBI competitions where he shocked the world with his Z guard and foot lock attacks. His approach is simple, and makes sense. After watching it, your approah and execution from the Z Half Guard will dramatically change for the better.

Craig first developed a stellar closed guard. Like many people in Jiu Jitsu before him, he wanted a strong foundation. Over time he found it to be increasingly difficult to get good people into his closed guard. As his status grew and as the competition got better, his opponents were avoiding his closed guard like the plague. Craig eventually found entering the Z Guard much easier than entering the closed guard. At first he used the Z guard as a segway into his closed guard.

As he progressed he no longer needed to use his closed guard at all; he simply adapted his closed guard techniques to the Z Guard.

We don’t think you’re ever going to get a more honest and “open book” look into a top-level grappler’s thought process and actions than with Craig’s Z-Guard Encyclopedia.

It contains an arsenal of Z-Guard techniques most grapplers don’t even know exist… If you are a serious grappler or even a recreational grappler who’d simply like to dominate at your gym and get your due respect, then this series is a must have for you.

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