How to Pull Guard for BJJ Competition

Updated on February 11, 2017
revolutionbjj profile image

Andrew Smith is a 3rd degree BJJ black belt based out of Richmond, VA (Revolution BJJ). He runs the BJJ Tutorial Encyclopedia here.

Pulling Guard, the Necessary Evil

Pulling guard in sport Brazilian Jiu Jitsu might be considered a necessary evil, but it's also an incredibly practical one to understand, whether you determine you're overmatched on the feet and are about to be taken down, compete better from your guard, or want to understand from the other point of view so that you can prevent the guard pull from happening in the first place. Note: we are not going to cover how to jump guard, because I've seen more serious injuries from jumping guard in sport BJJ competitions than any individual submission, and people often dramatically underestimate how unsafe the process is. Instead, we'll look at how to get both parties to the ground safely here, and cover some quick attacks you can hit during the transition.

The Basics

Here's the most basic version, and a great "home base" to start working on some fancier stuff. Start with a basic judo-style collar and sleeve grip. If you're holding your partner's right sleeve with your left hand, plant your left foot in their hip. This will help you keep them at bay during the next part. Now sit down, and while sitting, pivot as much as you can so that your head goes in the direction of your sleeve side (and where your foot is planted). This will allow you to climb your hips up considerably higher, preventing your partner from establishing a combat base position, and ending up in your closed guard.

Ko Uchi Feint

One issue you are likely to encounter while trying the basic guard pull is that your partner's right leg will be too far forward, making it logistically difficult to get your right foot on their hip without them either grabbing your leg, or establishing a knee up on the way down. Here's where the ko uchi gari feint comes into play. Try for an inside trip on their lead leg. When your partner reacts by stepping back, they'll give you the space you need to get your foot up on their hip. From here, it's just a matter of following the previous steps.

Overhead sweep

Starting with that same ko uchi gari feint, once your partner reacts backward, plant your foot on their hip as before. This time, when you sit, scoot your hips a little further under your partner, and try pulling them forward with both upper body grips. If your partner's weight is forward, it will be easy to take them overhead, and you can make this even easier by planting your right foot on their hip as well. Try to establish full mount once you land on top (if you just end up in their guard, you are still generally awarded 2 points in a sport BJJ context, though).

Yoko tomoe nage

Another simple variation here is to exaggerate your head placement even further toward their foot, and then elevate them over your head. Use the same off-balancing concepts from before, but this time just shoot them up over one of your legs. When you come up on top here, you'll probably have more success going to knee on stomach (as opposed to full mount) due to the angle. Alternatively, you can extend your left leg and go for an uke waza sacrifice throw (shown at the end of the video).

Do you prefer to pull guard or go for takedowns?

See results

The Big Picture

I come from a wrestling and then a judo background, so it might surprise you that I emphasize properly pulling guard, but I came to two realizations over time. First, it's great to understand what people are doing when they sit to guard, so you can pass, or at least not get caught in closed guard (or submitted or swept!). This is reason enough to understand any "modern" or "sport" BJJ concepts you think you might never use. Second, I also decided that when I was competing in jiu jitsu, I was going to use jiu jitsu as much as I could and try to win that way. Of course, takedowns are a huge part of the game, but I also had a strong competitive advantage over most people I competed against initially (predominantly at white and blue belt) due to my background. It's up to you whether you want to become "one of those butt floppers", but the knowledge is useful, and it's here for you! As always, let me know if everything makes sense, and if you have some success with these techniques.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, howtheyplay.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://howtheyplay.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)