Ditch Your Guard

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When you play the guard, you want to be a few steps ahead of your opponent.

You should sense how they want to pass your guard and what they are doing to make it happen. If you understand this, you will be able to prevent them from getting closer to passing your guard.

Active prevention is way better than reactive guard recovery attempts.

But sometimes (or in many cases depending on your guard skills), your opponent manages to control your legs and then your hips… and you will be put in a situation where you can’t keep your guard anymore.

In such a situation, beginners tend to make Hail Mary explosive escape attempts, which often only end up leading them to a worse position.

What can you do instead, if not some desperate attempts to stop your opponent from completing the guard pass?

While you don’t want to give up your guard too early (and most people do), you should realize that sometimes the best course of action is to ditch your guard so you will be able to take the best defensive posture before your opponent pins you down in a secure manner.

You could say this is an example of active prevention, too. Instead of thinking about how to escape from your opponent’s perfect side control, you get into the best defensive position for yourself by ditching your guard quickly, with the understanding that your guard will be passed shortly.

It might take some time and practice to understand exactly when to ditch your guard and go into the ultra-defensive mode, but it will be helpful if you find the balance between trying to keep your guard and ditching it for a better overall outcome.