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Tips For Developing An Impenetrable Guard With Alec Baulding And Bernardo Faria
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Tips For Developing An Impenetrable Guard With Alec Baulding And Bernardo Faria

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Guard retention is a popular subject, and for good reason. It’s probably one of, if not the most important aspect of BJJ there is. Understanding how to compose and maintain your guard can have a massive effect on the outcome of your match. I remember hearing one time that having a good guard is like being a lion tamer. The more you keep the passer at bay the more mentally and physically taxing it becomes for them to continue pursuing the guard pass. If someone cannot pass your guard, they will likely not be successful in other aspects of the match.  Guard retention is a paramount skill and should be studied often.

We sometime see the guard being given up too easily. Often times a lack of knowledge causes some beginner BJJ students to give up the pass at a time where there’s still hope. We have to be careful to exhaust all of our guard retention options before haphazardly giving away a dominant position. 

Knowledge is key. There are lots of ways to retain the guard. There are drills, principles, and different theories that we can study to enhance our familiarity of guard retention. With much of this knowledge at our fingertips, its easy to click and start learning from some of the best BJJ players on the planet. Let’s take a look at some of these guard retention ideas and see if we can pick up some important details to help us on our way.

Let’s look at some instruction from Alec Baulding first. In this video he gives us a quick beginner crash course on guard retention. Take a look!

Baulding starts by addressing a common issue. When to give up on playing the guard and when to start becoming defensive. Depending on how far a pass has progressed, we need to be aware of what measures we should be taking at a given moment. 

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IN these critical moments, as Baulding explains, the hands become very important. Baulding likes to create frames with his forearms to keep his partner at bay as he crosses the threshold and begins to attempt to settle in. The next order of business is to create some distance between himself and the passer. To do this, Baulding uses a different method of the shrimp which he refers to as the forward shrimp. Using his outside leg, Baulding uses an explosive shrimping motion to turn back toward his partner, creating a ton of space. As his bottom knee reenters the fold, Baulding aims it at the ceiling to make sure its not easily folded as pushed by. Here he enters his other foot and secures an open guard position, or any configuration of guard that he chooses. 

This is a great place to start. There are some very accessible themes being covered here, and some simple concepts we can all adhere to! Great stuff!

Let’s move on to some more instruction. This one is brought to us by Bernardo Faria. Faria knows a thing or two about guard retention. He has one of the most acclaimed half guard’s in BJJ. Check out this video with Faria on how to stop the guard pass!

IN the case of any type of guard, Faria suggests that we stay very tight. For example, Faria has an incredible half guard, and here he shows us how he prefers to set up. With his knee shield in place, he curls his body under his partner and creates an incredibly strong connection to his partner using a grip on the lapel and strong frame to keep the cross face from connecting to him. No matter what type of guard you’re using, get tight, stay tight, and let your opponent know you’re there. 

When the top player is about to pass, Faria sees us with two options. We can turn the knees back to our partner, or we can turn them away. The second option being a bit risky, because of the threat of having your back taken. 

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In this scenario, Faria’s guard is in danger of being passed, but he’s still alive. Here, before his partner settles in to the side control Faria makes a quick decision to turn his hips, go belly down, and come up on a single leg. 

With a similar motion, Faria can also get back t the half guard by using his heel to catch his partners leg and pull the limb back in to the guard. Coupled with an under hook, Faria is now in good position to begin playing his game.

This last option is a bit unorthodox, and may be unique to Faria’s incredible game. Here, his partner has made his way a little further through the guard pass than Faria would like. He could do a standard roll away, getting up to his knees and in tot eh turtle position. This does work of course, and its not a bad option, but what Faria does is a very interesting! As his partner begins to settle, Faria stays flat, and barrel rolls away from his partner, causing his partner to chase him, and in the process slip up a bit. This allows Faria to get his feet and knees back in to the mix and recover the guard in a very unique way. Commit to this one. If you’re going to try it, you’ve got to go! If there is any hesitation here, you may find yourself on your belly with an angry guard passer on your back! Great stuff from one of the best in the world!

So, there you have it. This should be enough guard retention ideas to get you starter and keep you strong in the guard! Give this area of your game lots of attention, it’s incredibly important to your progress and your overall BJJ health! Good Luck!

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Alec Baulding teaches the UNTEACHABLE in Keeping The Guard! Keeping and maintaining the guard is one of the deciding factors in MOST MATCHES! Stop your guard from getting passed and if it does....GET IT BACK! Keeping The Guard By Alec Baulding Has you COVERED!

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