Fundamentals of Position



The techniques and strategies used when controlling your opponent from the top, and not in the opponents guard i.e., head and arm position, or mount

Keys to the Top Position

1) Put your weight where the other guy wants to go, i.e. if he trys to bridge put more weight on his hips

2) Block out the hip with your hand, knee or hip, i.e. maintaining control from a cross mount with your knee/hip on one side and your elbow controlling on the other or north and south position and controlling the hips with your hands

3) Keep everything tight and pull your opponent in. Don't give your opponent space to get away or do a sweep or counter to your techniques.

4) Kill the arm with your hand knee or hip, i.e. take all mobility away from your opponent's arms so they can't reverse the position and so you can attack it with a submission. One of the best ways to do this is to attack the arm at the elbow and push it down, up, or to the side, with your hands, knee, or hip but don't let it get in your hip.

5) Control the elbows so they can't turtle. From turtle they have several escape options especially in no gi competition

Whenever you're using the guard you must realize the guard is not a static position, it's not a chance to lay there and catch your breath.


Point 1

When using the guard you must use 3 pressures to control and eventually submit your opponent,
1) the pressure to submit i.e. a armbar, or triangle
2) the pressure to sweep, i.e. a butterfly sweep, hip bump, or elevator
3) the pressure to stand up i.e.. if you just abandon the guard and try to stand your opponent will have to either back off, or commit harder but the important thing with all three is getting a response out of your opponent, especially if they just turtle up.

Point 2

Keep your legs high on the back of your opponent whether its open or closed guard, Your legs should not be on your opponents waist, but instead on their lats/upper back, taking, away their posture, and ability to defend themselves from submissions.

Point 3

Stay active, using the 3 pressures you should be like a machine gun going from one technique to another, always trying to tap out your opponent or get better position vs. the top game where since you have a dominant position for striking and weight distribution you can take your time and set up your submissions like a sniper picking his shot

Point 4

Keep your hips free and mobile, once you're smooshed or your hips are still, then it's much easier for someone to pass your guard, and harder for you to attack.

These are just suggestions that have helped me out a lot, at first they may seem odd, and people will pass your guard but that's not a bad thing either, it gives you a chance to work your escapes, and by being dynamic in a relatively short time your entire guard game will change. Give it a shot. It's worked for me and everyone I've trained.