Obscure Guard Study: The Mantis Guard

Obscure Guard Study: The Mantis Guard

Praying to learn some new guards?

What’s your guard of choice? Every so often a new form of guard will hit the internet and make its rounds through all the social media channels. BJJ players all over the world continue to revolutionize the way the guard is used, and configured. The De La Riva guard for example was a trail blazer in the inception of alternative guards. Ricardo De La Riva found he was quite successful in using, what later became known as a De La Riva hook, to off balance his training partners, and the idea caught fire from there.

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Since that time, we’ve been exposed to a large number of different guard configurations. Some withstand the test of time, others don’t. It’s really all about preference. The DLR guard is obviously an excellent example of a guard that’s made the cut, continues to be a staple in academies all over the globe, and will be for years to come. But what about more obscure guards? Are we too quick to judge their effectiveness? In many cases your body type will decide if a guard fits into your game or not, but there’s only one way to find out.

Take this video for example on the “mantis guard’. Silly name? Maybe. But give it a look.

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From the mind of Keenan Cornelius, and earning its title from the orientation of the hands on the shin, the mantis guard is an interesting take on entangling the leg of a would-be guard passer. Ironically the mantis guard is displayed here partly as an offshoot of a failed DLR hook. The position appears to be quite constraining for the opposite party, and any attempts at passing will seemingly lead you straight into another form of guard.

In this video Keenan Cornelius demonstrates some additional techniques from the mantis guard. But what’s different here from the first video? He’s using the reverse DLR position as his jumping off point to establish the mantis guard. Check it out!

Cornelius covers the kiss of the dragon back take, and a sweep for an idler opponent in his breakdown. Both are seemingly great options from a position that we do not yet have a ton of resources on. A YouTube search doesn’t yield much info on the subject, but there’s a good chance some savvy players have been developing more for the mantis guard behind the scenes. Interesting stuff! Is it for you? Experiment and keep an open mind. Get to work!

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