Luiz Panza & The 50/50 Guard
Luiz Panza, who is becoming one of the most well known Jiu Jitsu champions in the sport spends a lot of his matches in the 50/50 guard. While there is some controversy around the 50/50 guard around the topic of stalling, Panza is one who uses the guard extremely well, without stalling. Luiz Panza uses the 50/50 guard like an absolute expert. One of his best matches and examples of the 50/50 was back in 2014 at Copa Podio. The match was against another BJJ star, Claudio Calasans. Let’s take a look at how he used the 50/50 guard to take the win.
Slowing down the pace
While some say that the 50/50 guard promotes stalling, Luiz Panza disproves that issue. He does indeed use the 50/50 to slow the pace down, but he never stalls. By slowing the pace down, he can think about what he needs to do next. He also can then get the correct controls that he needs to get such as lapel grips, sleeve grips and pant grips. His 50/50 use is tactical and quite strategic. Panza can also use the slower pace against overly aggressive opponents to make them fail.
There is a moment in the match, at two minutes and twenty seconds in, when he attempts a sweep on Calasans. While he abandons the sweep to go for a submission instead, he showed another reason that his 50/50 guard works. He has the ability to get sweeps. Luiz has a good amount of sweeps in his arsenal from 50/50. While he only attempts one in this match, in other matches, he is able to go for them more often.
The most noticeable aspect of Luiz Panza’s 50/50 guard game is the his leg attacks. He has kneebars, calf slicers and most importantly, his straight foot lock attacks. The 50/50 guard of Panza immediately puts his opponents in danger of being foot locked. The technique is right there due to the mechanics of the guard. And unfortunately for Calasans, he fell to the foot lock attack as well.
Learning to use the 50/50 guard both aggressively and in a technical way can give you a great advantage over your opponent. Luiz Paza proved that against Calasans at Copa Podio. Luckily for us Jiu Jitsu competitors, Panza has a DVD set out which has a whole disc dedicated to foot lock attacks, many of them being from the 50/50 guard.