Feb 05

The first thing I would teach about guard retention

There are many ways to pass the guard.

Let us count a few:

* You can go over the legs (over under)
* You can go around the legs (bullfight/torreando, leg pin, leg drag, etc)
* You can go through the legs (knee cut)
* You can go under legs (double under, over under)

The specific purpose of all of them though is to bypass the legs. But even when that is accomplished, the pass isn’t complete because there is another line of defense.

The passer now has to get through the arms (the frames), but it’s a situation that is little different from a charging army of swordsmen blasting past a line of well armored pikemen before hitting the second line of hastily drafted farmers.

The farmers can only do damage if they have good leadership (know what to do), proper formation (know how to support each other) and strong resolve (reinforced by belief). Likewise the power of frames only truly shows itself when they have similar elements.

But the major difference is that the reinforcement comes from base.


One arm frames and the other is used for base, but after that the analogy crumbles.


It’s because frame and base are not enough to slaughter a pass dead in its tracks. There’s one more element that must be added to the combination, and it’s almost effortless if you do the first two right.

What is it?

Movement, pure and simple.

Frame, base then move. That strategy is the first thing that I would teach anyone who asked me about guard retention. And if you understand it, it’ll be easier to make sense of the specific tactics that are used to kill passes.

Of course though, that’s assuming that they get past you first line of defense.

Stopping them there will make everything easier.

And there are many lessons exactly how you can do that in half guard in a certain place.

Discover it here: