the grappling and locking, trapping and boxing. the training, the sweating, the starting, the stopping
I hope that people are getting real use out of my series on hand to hand fighting. In this part, Imma introduce the guard position. If you find yourself put on your back, this is the one position that can turn the tide in your favor and allow you to win from there. This is especially important for women to know, because it's a vital part of rape defense.
What is the guard position?
Anytime you are on your back but are controlling your opponent with your legs and hips, you are using the guard position. There are a couple different types of guard, including closed guard (legs wrapped around opponent's back), butterfly guard (feet under opponent's legs, ready to sweep them over) open guard (feet on opponent's hips or stomach, controlling from there) and spider guard (feet on opponent's biceps, pushing them back).
For this chapter I will focus on the open and spider guard positions, because these are easiest for a begginer to learn.
Open guard, opponent standing
Open guard, kneeling opponent
Another way to use open guard on a kneeling opponent
Another open guard, just so you get the idea
Movement in the guard:
Notice that in all of the above pictures, the person using the guard is in control of the top person's wrists. If the opponent is wearing a short sleeve or no shirt, grab their wrists. If they are wearing a long sleeve shirt, jacket, or martial arts gi, grab their sleeve cuffs or lapels. It's vital that you do this, to prevent punches and to enable your own kicks.
You should also shift from side to side to try and offbalance your opponent. If they grab your wrists, use circling motions to regain control of their wrists. If they try to run around your guard, spin on your back.
You should think of and use your feet like an extra set of hands and your legs like an extra set of arms. Use them to push your opponent back. You can also use your knees and shins to push them back. Do not feel restricted on where you can push off from. The knees, biceps, stomach, head, neck, you can push off from all these places.
Striking from the guard:
I'm having trouble finding pictures of kicks from the guard, so try to visualize what I say. Once you have control of your opponent's wrist, it becomes easy to kick them. The most basic is the straight thrust kick. Curl your toes back, bring your knee close to your chest, then thrust your foot forward, kicking oppponent in the head or stomach. Repeat with the other foot. Like riding a bike.
Another kind of kick: Circle your foot over top of their head and chop down with your heel at the back of their head an neck.
Up kick from guard
Effect of a good kick from the guard to the head in a real match
If you drag one of your opponent's wrists to the opposite side of your body so you are holding opposite side hand to opposite side wrist, one side of their body will be vulnerable to being punched or elbowed, since they can't defend on that side.
Even though you have a big advantage, you can still be struck from the guard. The biggest strike to watch out for is punches. As I said, the best punch defense is control of the wrists. You can also block punches by putting your feet in your opponent's bicep or shoulder. Sometimes a good offense is the best defense, so if there's an opportunity to kick your opponent, take it.
This one is useful against an opponent who tries to run backwards. Don't worry about the side pin at the end.
If the last sweep fails. You can't see it, but the lower leg is doing a reaping or chopping motion
Against an opponent who leans forward, trying to crush you with his weight
Sweep to the side, from sitting[/url]
Another sweep. Again, don't worry about the submission hold at the end.
Practice these techniques with a friend until you feel comfortable with them. Once you feel like you got the techniques down, start adding in resistance. Have your partner try to use his (or her) weight on you or throw your legs aside, run around and pin you down. Practice pivoting on your back quickly to maintain the guard position. Once you got that down, start adding in strikes. Your partner tries to slap you to simulate punches, you do the same back and lightly kick them. You can increase the contact to full with a motorbike helmet.
For more advanced training, see a jiujitsu instructor.