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Single Leg X Overview

Single Leg X Overview


One of the best guards in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu today is the Single Leg X Guard.   The Single Leg X guard has several benefits and has proven itself effective at the highest levels of competition.  Many World Champion Black Belts utilize the Single Leg X guard.  Some of the people who have made it infamous are Felipe Pena, Marcelo Garcia, Leandro Lo and more.

The Single X is great to use if you enjoy playing X guard as well, they go hand in hand, if you’d like to learn more on the X guard check out our post, “X Guard Overview.”  The Single Leg X can be an extremely offensive position with very many submissions, sweeps, and good control.  Single leg X is the guard that most people will set up their leg locks from.

Single Leg X Submissions

Single Leg X is one of the most popular attacking guards today; it is considered an open guard by many.  One of the most difficult things when adding the Single Leg X to your bjj arsenal is working on entries to get into the position.  Once you get into the Single Leg X, there is a multitude of different submissions you can look for.

 In the gi and IBJJF tournaments, you can attack the strait foot lock, the Estima Lock, the toe hold, the knee bar, and more.  When it is nogi, people will primarily attack heel hooks, strait foot locks and toe holds.  Heel hooks have taken over the submission only scene and learning to get into Single Leg X will help you develop a dangerous leg lock game and become more familiar with them.  Check out this Toe Hold attack from Black Belt World Champion, Felipe Pena, below.  He does a great job breaking down the mechanics.

Single Leg X Sweeps

Many people constantly assume the Single Leg X or “Ashi Garami” is only a position for submissions and overlook the sweeping and control capabilities of the guard.  Some people actually don’t even consider the Single Leg X a guard and consider it similar to being in an armbar when their opponent is defending, or in the diamond position before a triangle is locked up.  If you want to check out an awesome sweep from Single Leg X, check out our post “The Best Single Leg X Sweep.”

The Single Leg X guard has been proven time and time again to be one of the best and most effective guards for sweeping your opponent.  It’s actually one of the most effective and utilized guards in the Black Belt World Championships every year.  Check out this awesome sweep below, also shown by Felipe Pena, Felipe just had a nogi super fight against submission only Phenom, Gordan Ryan and constantly swept him from the Single Leg X eventually leading him to a submission victory.  

Single Leg X Control

Another immense benefit of the Single Leg X guard in both gi and nogi is the amount of control it allows you to have over your opponent.  Like with the X guard, you are relatively safe in the SLX position. Meaning, there are not many ways to pass the SLX, and there are not many submission opportunities from inside someone’s SLX.

Like the X guard, it is extremely difficult when learning this position to find set ups.  There are several entries from butterfly guard that can help you get into the Single Leg X.  They are hard to learn, but once you take the time to do so, you will reap the benefits.  Check out this entry from the Single Leg X king, Marcelo Garcia, below.

Also if you want to learn more sweeps and entries for the Single Leg X, check out Black Belt World Champion, Felipe Pena’s DVD set, “The 50/50 Guard.”  He talks a lot about 50/50 and Single Leg X, these guards supplement each other EXTREMELY well.


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