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X-Guard Leg Trip
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X-Guard Leg Trip

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The x-guard is unique guard in jiu-jitsu.

Aside from single leg x, x-guard is the only guard where the goal is to be directly under your opponent. It sounds counterintuitive at first, allowing all their weight on top of you. Most open guards are based on distance management to keep your opponent off and away from you. But you can effect an opponent’s center of gravity very well if you’re underneath them. However, it is not a great place to hang out in, because one mistake and suddenly all their weight is one top of you. 

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So, let’s look at a very quick entry to sweep, with ten-time world champion, Bruno Malfacine:

Starting from butterfly guard, Bruno takes a cross collar and pants cuff grip. He goes shin to shin with one leg as he pulls his partner diagonally forward with the cross collar hand. Then with the pants grip lifts the leg up, and the shin on shin leg comes through to the top x-guard hook. The other leg slides in behind his partners far leg, foot hooking behind the knee. 

This is an important positional detail. Bottom leg always hooks behind the knee to prevent the top player from back stepping away. The top curls around the front of the opponent’s thigh. Together, the legs provide a structure against the top person’s weight, impede their movement, and effect their base. To finish the transition, Bruno swims his arm under leg closest to his head and lets it rest on his shoulder, hand cupping the knee cap.

To start the sweep, Bruno passes the leg on his shoulder over his head to the other side. Gripping the pants grip again, he lifts the leg up, swims his other arm under it, which then turns into an overhook on the leg. Next he reaches and grabs the fabric right at his training partners tricep, since the lapels are too far away to reach. Bruno begins to rock his opponent like he is going to sweep him to the left. 

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With his leg trapped, the top player doesn’t have any posts going that direction, so their main defense is to keep all of their weight tilted backwards. Exploiting this, Bruno kicks legs out, starting to unbalance the top player riding on them. The top leg comes out, and Bruno’s bottom leg slides forward, before kicking out in a small circle motion. Because its already hooked behind the knee, it drags the leg out from under them, knocking them over and allowing Bruno to come up. 

From there the pass is up to you. It is a decent set up to go around the legs to a side control, or to move into a leg drag position. Just remember, keeping good leg structure  

Join 10x World Champion Bruno Malfacine, and learn how to beat bigger opponents with ease! Check out his DVD "How To Beat Bigger Guys" from BJJ Fanatics. These techniques will make your time on the mats a lot more efficient and effective! Have a look here!

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