To the fans, Leandro Lo, Langhi and Rafa Mendes are the top guard players right now

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O campeão peso leve Leandro Lo (de branco) contra Lucas Lepri na final do Mundial 2012. Foto: GRACIEMAG

Lightweight champ Leandro Lo (in white) against Lucas Lepri in the 2012 Worlds final / Photo by John Lamonica/GRACIEMAG

GRACIEMAG.com inquired to thousands of fans on Facebook about who currently has the best guard in sport Jiu-Jitsu.

After hundreds of votes poured in, three São Paulo State natives, all world champions, came out on top: Leandro Lo, Michael Langhi and Rafael Mendes each had more than ten votes apiece and hardly any difference between them.

As we promised our readership, we’re chasing down the “elected” to produce future TRAINING PROGRAMS, the technical, step-by-step-instructions section so beloved by our readers.

(In the meantime, take the chance to subscribe to your favorite Jiu-Jitsu magazine.)

Other names that came up were Roberto Cyborg, Rubens Cobrinha, Marcus Vinicius Bochecha, Kayron Gracie and João Miyao. You can check a bunch of these beasts out in action at the Worlds No-Gi next Saturday in California.

What do you think, agree with the poll results? Who’s got the greatest guard in sport Jiu-Jitsu to you, gentle reader?

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There are 13 comments for this article
  1. Michael Quariadi at 3:34 am

    I have always disagreed with the traditional approach to teaching guard in most BJJ schools. It seems like they first teach offensive submissions from guard, then guard sweeps, then open guard, then defense from the guard. In fact, some schools don't even teach open guard or defense from guard. I think it should be: 1.) teach defense from closed guard, 2.) teach defense from open guard, 3.) teach guard sweeps, and lastly, 4.) teach offensive submissions from guard.

    • Ari David Paul at 4:50 pm

      The problem with that approach is that it makes it less educational and more boring when white belts spar with each other or with higher belts. With your system, if I'm a 6-month white belt sparring with a blue belt in my guard, all I'm doing is defending which is unrealistic, and deprives the blue belt of training his submission defenses. Besides, part of guard defense IS offensive submissions. The threat of submissions/sweeps makes it much harder for your opponent to pass because they have to constantly worry about their base, arms, neck etc.

  2. Michael Quariadi at 3:36 am

    I also think BJJ teachers should force all their students to fight from the guard. Many students just focus winning in class in the short term, so they do not work on their guard. They just fight from the top. Good teachers know how important it is to work from guard in order to build a foundation.

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