Author : Kesting Stephan
Title : A glossary of guards
Year : 2009

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Brazilian Jiu-jitsu terminology can be both confusing and intimidating to people beginning their grappling careers. Some martial arts – Kodokan Judo for example – have a central organizing body and relatively well-defined terminologies. Jiu-jitsu, however, is a young art that is constantly evolving and as a result, produces limitless new positions and variations. Of all the positions, techniques and submissions in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, the guard position has spawned the greatest amount of variations and terminology. There are many different guards: Closed Guard, Open Guard, Spider Guard, Half Guard, Butterfly Guard, de la Riva guard just to name a few. Furthermore, guard positions usually have further variation, depending on exactly how you grip with your hands and where you place your feet It is important to recognize that there is no single superior method of guard, and also that all guards are not created equal for every environment. Some positions work best with the gi, others work with or without the gi, and the presence or absence of striking can completely change the value of a position. Certain positions are great for winning submission grappling tournaments, but may be very risky in a self defense or mixed martial art (MMA) context. Ultimately the type of guard(s) you specialize in will depend on many things, including your physical attributes, your competitive environment and the style of your instructor. The purpose of these three articles is to provide you with a reference for some of the more common guards, to help you understand some of the terminology used in class, and maybe give you some ideas on how to develop your own game. ...