Single Leg X Guard
When it comes to playing guard or going for leg locks, one of the best positions to get good at is the single leg x. What is single leg x? For those familiar with x guard, it is a version of that guard, using a leg in a singular manner. For leg lockers, it is almost a standing ashi garami. The position is so useful because it can be used to set up a variety of leg attacks or sweeps to get on top. Another beneficial aspect is that it transcends styles. It can be used in gi or no gi, which is useful. There are some awesome techniques from single leg x. Let’s take a look.
My personal most used attack from single leg x, is the simple standing sweep into ashi garami and finishing with a heel hook. If you play butterfly guard or De La Riva, you can easily transfer to single leg x. Once you go to the position, you can get a secure connection with your inside knee connecting to your outside foot. The inside knee connection will direct your leg out towards our partner’s other leg. You can throw your hips up, and very simply sweep your opponent over. From there, you can finish with whatever leg attack you like, with mine being the outside heel hook.
One of the best BJJ and Submission Wrestling competitors ever to step onto the mats, Marcelo Garcia also used the single leg x with much success. Marcelo played a lot of butterfly, which caused his opponent’s always to lift a leg to attack. As they would post a leg, Marcelo would enter into single leg x. If he didn’t get a leg lock, he would use it to sweep on top. He would control his opponent’s hand that was trying to control his neck, pull it aside and sweep him over. Once again, it is a simple, yet very effective technique.
As I mentioned earlier, the single leg x also works in gi. Two of the world’s best gi competitors, Lucas Lepri and Leandro Lo have used hybrid versions of the single leg x to beat many opponents. Lucas Lepri, frequently uses a mix of single leg x and spider guard called the one x-spider to easily sweep over opponents, get on top and play their world class top games. The spider hooks off balance your opponent and control his upper body while your single leg x gives you a secure control of the lower body. Working together, the one x-spider is one of the most effective guards to play to gi, if you like to play off of your back to get on top.
You will see single leg x a lot in competition. It is IBJJF legal, but also used by the best leg lockers in the submission only world. It is the best of both worlds. It is universally legal in pretty much every tournament, yet it also can set up many “banned” techniques such as heel hooks and toe holds. If you’re looking for a controlling and applicable guard, single leg x might be the one for you.