3 advantages to learning first the defensive aspects of the guard

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Rubens Cobrinha plays the open guard vs. Augusto Tanquinho in Abu Dhabi. Dan Rod/ GracieMag.

One of the chief mistakes made by beginner guard players in BJJ gyms is, due to anxiety, to reverse the order of technical learning. Instead of dedicating themselves initially to the primer of defenses, blocks and recoveries, students spend too much time studying techniques of sweeping and finishing.

Well, if the best defense is in fact the attack, it is, however, necessary to comprehend that learning to defend is the best way to understand the mechanics of attacks.

Here are three advantages to learning first the defensive aspects of the guard.

1. If you believe in your recovery, you will attack more coolly, improving the potential of your offensive moves. The worst thing for a BJJ fighter is the fear of making mistakes.

2. Often, in order for you to induce your opponent to open holes for you to attack, it is necessary to let them progress a little in the positions. To let them open your guard and expose some error. Defensive confidence is necessary for the guard player to allow their opponent to move. And that is where the guard player conceals their trap.

3. When you master the defense part of the guard, learning the offense part becomes more efficient and promising. After all, as in a game of mirrors, you will know much more precisely what moves a passer makes and what the ones are that can somehow hinder your strategy. Mastery of defense is useful for you to also know what they do that can favor your counter-attack from the bottom.

Just so we’re not confined to the theoretical realm here, Graciemag compiled three video lessons for you to study defensive techniques that will enrich your guard game. Check them out.

1: Guard recovery in BJJ

2: Keep the pressure up even on the open guard

3: Breaking the posture and using the closed guard

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