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Why You Need To Learn The Williams Guard
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Why You Need To Learn The Williams Guard

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When John Danaher gives a guard its own name AND it's named after one of the most iconic American Grapplers: Shawn Williams, you pay attention to the transitions.

Shawn Williams was the 5th USA black belt under Renzo Gracie and John Danaher (awarded in 2002) and now runs his own grappling academy, emphasizing the importance of technique, strategy, and flexibility.

The story is that around 1999, and by mistake, Shawn Williams discovered what would become his trademark position, the “Williams Guard,” gaining an unexpected advantage.

The Williams guard is almost like Rubber Guard except for people who don't have gumby legs, hip and knees.  It has also been called a Shoulder Pin Guard.

Shawn Williams continued to refine and develop the Williams Guard through a variety of competitions and traveling around the world, training and competing, incorporating effective sweeps into his arsenal.

Here are 3 of our Favorite Williams Guard Instructional BJJ Videos - besides the ones in the 3 Part DVD / On-Demand Series :) - click learn more.

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Shawn Williams Guard Video #1 - Triangle Choke from Williams Guard

Being a smaller grappler in a school of larger students keeping your opponents posture broken down in guard is one of the biggest struggles.

Because of this, some grapplers switch to other martial guard games - that is until you discover the Shawn Williams Guard. With the Williams Guard, I found that the weight of my legs and the rotational pressure isolated on the opponent's shoulder actually gave me a martial guard, and that is a great thing.

Personally, when I use the Williams guard I am looking to attack an arm or the Omoplata, but in this video the great Shawn Williams himself is teaching an awesome triangle setup for when your opponent is still strong and able to put you on your back while still in the Williams Guard.

Normally, I would abandon the guard and move on to something else, but this is an amazing offensive option that I have started utilizing to great success in my rolls. If you are a smaller grappler struggling with guard, the Williams Guard is definitely worth a look.

Shawn Williams Guard Video #2 - Sneaky Simple Choke

As I talked about in the last clip of the Williams Guard, personally I am usually
going right for and arm when I am using the Williams Guard, but we like options
with our attacks and options is what I am going to present. 

In this clip Yosoy JiuJitsu starts off showing a slick transition from half guard to Williams guard that I am going to start playing with myself, he then shows a very sneaky and simple choke that I’m a little upset I never thought of before. He then shows the tried and true arm attacks and omoplata that have carried my Williams Guard a long way.

Shawn Williams Guard Video #3 - Williams Guard and Rat Guard

This video is what revolutionized my nogi guard game. As I wrote in an earlier clip, I was almost exclusively a half guard player until I discovered the Shawn Williams Guard. From there, I was introduced to the Rubber Guard, but was not flexible enough at the time to use it effectively. Now, incorporating these techniques has become a crucial part of my overall nogi guard strategy. 

Then after that I was shown the Rat Guard and that became my go to no gi guard and was able to use it with pretty good success, but I wanted to learn more and get extremely dangerous with my Rat Guard.

That’s when I found RadicalMMA’s clips, and it changed my world. Learning that I could and should transition between my 3 favorite guards was a huge game changer and made me infinitely more dangerous with my full guard skills and offense, a position I had put aside for many years in the beginning of my Jiu-Jitsu journey.

If you are struggling with your full guard, I cannot recommend looking into the Shawn Williams, Rat, and Rubber Guard systems enough. Each one is very dangerous on its own, but learning to transition between them effectively will help make your full guard skills super deadly.

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If you're ready to learn directly from the source, then you have to check out the 3 DVD Series by Shawn Williams. This DVD set was announced years before it was actually released, and it lived up to it's expectations.

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