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Unsuspecting Entry Into X Guard From Bottom Side Control With Darragh O’Conaill
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Unsuspecting Entry Into X Guard From Bottom Side Control With Darragh O’Conaill

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Transitions and entries can make or break your Jiu Jitsu game. Realizing you have hit a dead end with a technique or submission and having the ability to transition to something else, or entering into a better guard from a bad spot add such a major element into your game.


The key to successful entries and transitions is having the vision. The way to achieve the vision is to drill these techniques relentlessly in training. The more you drill them, the more familiar they become and the more likely you are to be reminded to use them when you are in certain spots during a roll.


One place that no one likes to be stuck in is bottom side control. If your opponent knows what they are doing, this is an easy place for them to stall during a match and maintain control. Luckily with the evolution of Jiu Jitsu, there are tons of great techniques for both the top person to maintain control and the bottom person to escape.


In terms of escapes from the bottom, more often than not the top person is expecting their opponent to try and bridge and hip escape to create space to bring their legs in and retain half or full guard. There is nothing wrong with doing this, but it is predictable and there are also other great options.


In this video, Darragh O’Conaill shows a creative entry into the X Guard from the bottom position of side control, check it out below!


 

The Technique

The most important first step in this technique is to get the far side underhook. Other than bridging, it is hard to move and manipulate your partner’s body from the bottom as gravity and your partner’s body weight are not in your favor. The far side underhook provides a great opportunity to both move your partner’s body as well as your own to start getting to a better position.

As you will be chest to chest with your partner in bottom side control, a simple bridge should suffice to create some space to bring your arm under your partner and secure the underhook. Pause here for a moment while drilling this and practice moving both yourself and your partner with that underhook, feeling the control it offers and taking note of what movements put you in a vulnerable position; such as getting too low on your opponent an creative a ton of space for them to easily transition to the mount.

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Once you have obtained the underhook, use one more bridge to get low to his leg, grabbing his shin with your underhook. As soon as you get to the shin, you should be rolling towards him first to your belly and then up to your knees. As you are doing this, you should notice that your grip on your partner’s shin is preventing him from sprawling so you can see the technique through to the very end.


As you come up to your knees, maintain that grip on your partner’s shin. At this point you should post on his far leg with your free hand and start to push into him. This distributes his weight in a way where his leg that you are gripping becomes light and easy to manipulate. Next, pull that foot up right into your hip to begin your entry.


When you have his foot secure in your hip, you are now going to shoot your hips under him, bringing his shine across your belly and to the other side of your body. Now that your hips are under him and you have his foot on the opposite side, there is plenty of room to bring your legs up to the single  X guard position. This presents with your outside leg wrapped around his leg with that foot in his hip, and your inside leg should have your instep against his butt with your knees pinching keeping everything tight. It is much easier to watch this part be demonstrated rather than trying to understand it with words…


From here you have a ton of options. You have your single X sweep, as well as straight ankle locks, heel hooks, or entries into other leg attacks. This is such a great option from bottom side control and you can pretty much bet that most of your opponents are not going to see this one coming.


About Darragh O’Conaill

Darragh O’Conaill is an Irish Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Saulo and Alexandre Ribeiro. O’Conaill is an EBI veteran and was the 2018 European No-Gi Champion. He has a long history of success in competition, and currently runs the East Coast Jiu-Jitsu Academy which is one of the most successful Jiu Jitsu gyms in Dublin, Ireland. 


About Darragh’s Instructional

Darragh has devoted this entire instructional to unlocking the X guard. Included you will find techniques such as  standing entries including 2 on 1 with a foot on the hip, entries from the knee shield and De La Riva, how to control and maintain the position, as well as numerous high level sweeps.


Darragh has done an amazing job unlocking all of the options and potential of X guard. He has this unique vision that allows him to see these techniques as a whole and successfully put everything together to get his desired outcome. Discover all the X guard has to offer and start implementing it into your game, check out his instructional here!

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