Pulling Guard Is For The Weak?
But is it really? This is a statement I have heard many many times and it has always made me wonder if there was any truth to the fact that pulling guard couldn’t land you in a good position.
This is ridiculous. It is all about having a plan, training that plan time and time again until the plan is so ingrained in your head that you wouldn't mess it up if you tried. Having a plan of attack going into a match is what will provide you with the best chance of success.
If your plan is to pull guard, that’s fine, as long as you have practiced that and have a plan on how you are going to sweep based on which guard you land in. Professor Bernardo Faria has a great option for pulling half guard, from the knees, certainly a guard pull that no one likely thinks about… until they need it. Let’s check out the details behind this video clip “Pulling half guard from the knees”.
Starting out Bernardo, and his opponent are both on their knees in front of one another. There are 3 options from here when it comes to grips. Option 1, we can control the lapel with our right hand and the opponent’s hand with our left hand. Option 2, we can control the lapel with our left hand and the opponent’s hand with our right hand. Finally, Option 3, we can control one lapel with both of our hands.
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Bernardo chooses to go with both hands on the same lapel for this demonstration. Next, he steps up with his right leg and immediately pulls the opponent towards him as he almost jumps backwards. Bernardo mentions it’s important to “bring him to your half guard”. As Bernardo is pulling his opponent in he quickly slides his left leg under the opponent and figure fours his legs behind the opponent’s left leg.
The speed is not the takeaway, it is not all about the speed to accomplish this technique. Having the details to the technique are what will determine how well the technique works, or if it even works at all. A few of the important details mentioned are that you must step up before trying to pull the opponent into your half guard. Stepping up creates immense amounts of leverage and puts you in position to pull your opponent into your half guard, even if they are much bigger than you. Additionally, the pull itself is a detail because Bernardo mentions a few times that the pull needs to be a strong pull. Remember, you are pulling another grown adult that likely weights close to the same as you do, you are going to have to pull hard in order to get anything accomplished here.
Now that you have made it to the half guard it’s time to look at what comes next. What is your plan for sweeping or attacking the opponent? This may be a good time to check out this 5 time Black Belt World Champion’s video instructional that is sure to transform your game. “The Battle Tested Half Guard” – by Bernardo Faria shows all of the tips and tricks that have led to Bernardo’s highly effective Jiu Jitsu game as he showcased on the world stage more than a handful of times.
Have a plan, train the plan, execute the plan when the time comes. Studying the games of the best of the best out there will certainly put you a step, or two ahead of the competition whether that’s friendly competition at the gym, or more serious competition like at a tournament. You can not go wrong with adopting some of the fundamental principles from Professor Bernardo Faria, after all, like it says in the title, these techniques are battle tested.
Next time you’re playing half guard, keep the two on one in mind, and see how you can make it work for you!
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