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Simple Open Guard Sweep
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Simple Open Guard Sweep

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The first level of open guard, especially no-gi, is shin-on-shin guard. This guard is kind of the spider guard for no-gi. It allows you to maintain a certain level of distance from you partner while having some form of control whilst also giving you tons of options for sweeps and transitions. As the name suggest, shin-on-shin guard is a position in which your shin is attached to your opponent’s same side shin as you grip or hug that same leg.

The most common use of shin-on-shin guard is entry to leg locks. Without the gi, it is hard to get other grips in this guard so traditional sweeps are difficult. It is still easy to lift your opponent’s legs and is a great reason this guard can be used to transition to leg locks or X-guard.

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The shin-on-shin guard can be a difficult position for new students because they have not mastered the concept of posture. Without good posture, maintaining shin-on-shin position and defending guard passes is extremely difficult and poses a lot of problems for grapplers. Not only must posture be maintained, but the leg you are holding has to be very well controlled to prevent the top player from escaping.

There are a variety of different shin on shin positions when playing open guard. Usually if you start shin on shin and the top player begins a knee slice pass, you can end up in a shin-on-shin reverse de la riva hybrid guard. Watch the following video to see what I mean and also for a demonstration of a great sweep.

As Dante mentions in the video, shrimping out is essential to get the appropriate angle to enter the position but also to get the sweep. If you try this sweep without getting that angle, you will be limited in your leg extension and will allow the top player to pass.

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