How to Play and Stop the Dreaded Lasso Guard
The lasso guard has quickly become one of the most popular positions in bjj. We see the lasso guard being utilized at the height of competition. Many of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu’s best competitors are using this position. Some people criticize the lasso guard by saying that it is ineffective in self-defense altercation, but does this really matter? How often do you find yourself in a self-defense altercation? Probably not much, how often do you find yourself either getting your guard smashed or getting stuck in lasso at training? Probably a lot more then self-defense altercations.
So why would we play this guard? Well, the lasso is an excellent guard to help you from getting smashed. You can use the lasso to create and control distance, it is effective for smaller guys to keep their guard against bigger guys. If you are able to get the lasso then it will be very difficult for your opponent to put their weight on you and smash you. This is why the lasso is an excellent choice of guard.
And what about passing the lasso? Why is it so difficult? Well, the lasso is a very controlling guard. Once a tight lasso is established it can be next to impossible to get out. This is because of hos much control over your upper body you will have. The lasso can be annoying, but it is something we need to know how to beat. Let’s take a look at a simple lasso sweep from top and also how to beat this wretched guard.
Playing the Lasso Guard
Why is the lasso guard so dominant? You have so much control over your opponent and you can make it very hard for them to pass. The lasso also offers a lot of options to play hybrid guards. For instance, you can use a lasso with spider guard, you can use a lasso in De LA Riva, X-Guard, or Reverse De La Riva.
The lasso itself is a great guard but combined with other guards it becomes an excellent source of control and a great position to sweep from. You can also use the lasso to set up submissions such as the omoplata, the triangle and the arm bar. The submissions from lasso come on quick and surprise your opponent. Check out our article “Attacking from the Lasso Guard.”
The lasso guard also allows people to have excellent guard retention. Just when you think you can pass someone with a lasso, they invert back to guard or sweep you. Check out this sweep from Gregor Gracie where he uses the lasso below.
Passing the Lasso Guard
Passing the lasso guard is no easy task. It is one of the hardest positions to pass, especially if your opponent is good at using the lasso guard. A good conceptual rule of thumb to think about is that you should almost always pass to the side of the lasso. So if your left arm is being lassoed, pass to your left, if your right arm is in a lasso, pass to your right.
This is easier said than done because when passing the lasso, you must be aware of many attacks. Posture can make your very difficult to deal with from lasso. Keep a low base and stay in a squatted position. Check out our article “Smashing Spider Guard with Pressure Passing” we talk about spider and lasso in it. Also, check out this excellent instructional video of passing the lasso below with Bernardo Faria.
If you would like to take your guard game to the next level with simple principles and high level fundamentals check out Gregor Gracie’s DVD Set “High Level Fundamentals” also available ondemand. Gregor has been at the top of the competition circuit for a long time and has always been admired for his understanding and application of fundamental bjj techniques. Even if he is going to play complex open guards, he sticks to the fundamental sweeps of these guards. Check it out below.
If passing is more your thing, Bernardo Faria’s bestselling DVD Set is “Battle Tested Pressure Passing.” This is also available on demand below. Bernardo is admired for having a pressure-based system that does not require flexibility, athleticism, or anything crazy. Just patience, timing and technique. Check it out below..