Open Guard Efficiency with Lucas Valente
The open guard is as exciting as it is versatile. The prospects for advancement here are many and there is literally a world of possibilities at the ends of our limbs. The open guard can be tough to understand at first, with so many options and different approaches, it seems that getting our guard passed takes up the bulk of our early experiences here. But once we begin to funnel all the information into the right channels, we can begin to develop a game that’s very dangerous and effective.
Good guard retention skills and getting connected here is key. Without these skillsets in our wheelhouse, our efforts here will be futile. We will obviously gravitate toward certain methods in the open guard as our interests guide us, and sharpening these skills will become a primary focus as we delve into the vast world of the open guard.
In Lucas Valente’s new instructional, Classic Open Guard, Valente takes us through some of the most traditional ways to submit, reverse, and transition from the position. He adds his own incredibly special seasoning to the mix to bring you a very comprehensive look at the open guard position with plenty of exquisite detail. Its been years since Lucas Valente has had his guard passed and his competition record reflects his extremely high level of BJJ proficiency. Now, it’s time for us to learn what’s making his guard so impenetrable and add some value to our own open guard games.
In this segment of instruction, Valente presents us with a sweep that leads to the acquisition of the back. Anytime we can string a reversal together with achieving a dominant position, this is going to put us ahead of the game. Have a look at this!
Any time we mange to sweep a guard passer, the reactions vary. In this particular instance the sweep causes the passer to scramble away from Valente to avoid being caught in side control. This is an incredibly common scenario and one that Valente will show us how to take advantage of.
Beginning in a deep De La Riva type position, Valente stretches back to create some energy then extends his body, followed by an adjustment of the hips out to the side. Here he can work his instep under his partner’s thigh and use his grips at the collar and the sleeve to perform a simple reversal.
Classic Open Guard can CHANGE YOUR GAME! Click Learn More!
Valente hopes to solidify the position by establishing the knee on the belly, but his partner begins to turn away from him. Keeping the collar grip to slow his partner’s momentum, Valente looks to now connect his hands to form a seatbelt grip. He then connects his chest to his partner’s back and his chin to the shoulder to solidify the early stages of the back take. Here, Valente is in a kickstand configuration with this lower body, but he must switch his legs here to continue. The leg marinating a kickstand will now tuck tight to his partner’s back and become Valente’s first hook, sneaking the foot in underneath his partner’s body. As he rolls his partner all the way through, he inserts his second hook and establishes classic back control.
This is a great variation, accessible to all levels. Its very common that we have a chance to find the back after a good reversal and I think many times its preferable!
Let’s continue on with some more content from Valente. This next video gives us a look at an armbar from the open guard and it is slick! Check this out!
Playing off of a common reaction that everyone must become comfortable with, Valente begins by explaining the use of opposing forces to get what he wants from the guard passer. With a traditional open guard configuration, Valente controls the sleeve and collar grip with his feet connected to his partner at the hip and just below the shoulder.
As he creates a reaction by pushing his partner away at the hip, Valente now waits for him to begin coming forward again. As this occurs, he allows the foot that’s planted on the shoulder to penetrate through the space between his partner’s arm and ribcage. With this free leg Valente now begins to guide his partner to the angel necessary for an arm bar. He keeps his grip in the collar rigid and straight to keep the arm in good position. Valente then “shaves” his partner’s head with his leg, keeping very close contact and limiting his partners ability to pull the arm free. With a pinch of the knees and a bite with the heels, Valente raises his hips, bringing the arm to full extension. Its here that he relinquishes his grip on the collar and looks to finish the lock.
Basic is always best and these concepts and ideas will serve you for years to come. Valente’s approach is accessible to all levels and will be sure to connect some important open guard dots in your game. If you’re looking to become more familiar and proficient in the open guard, pick this one up, you won’t be disappointed!
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