The guard is what makes BJJ so unique and appealing, at least for me. It allows you to put your opponent off balance, throw or sweep them and even submit them with a choke or a joint lock when you are basically at the bottom with your back on the floor.
I like the guard better than playing on top because it allows me to conserve energy. Very good guard players are deceptively lazy and deadly at the same time. This means that most of the time, they look like as if they are just lying there on their back doing nothing but when they find the right opportunity, they can take you into the depths of the ground game and submit you.
Developing a good guard game is not easy. You will get smashed very often as a white belt (like me). Your hip will sore and you will develop a lot of back pain everytime you wake up after a hard training from the previous night. It will all be worth it though, especially when you can sweep a higher belt or even submit one playing from the bottom.
I am still developing my guard game. Other than regularly attending classes and sparring with higher belts, I also like to watch Youtube videos on various guard techniques before I go to bed.
Now, watching videos can be overwhelming. There are literally thousands of guard technique videos and it is impossible to memorize them and their detailed steps as a beginner. One of my coaches told me that as a white belt, it was better for me to learn concepts first rather than detailed steps. He added that in the long run, learning concepts would allow me to adjust my game and technique in different situations.
A couple of months ago, I stumbled a great video on the open guard concept. It is 26 minutes long and it really should have been a premium video because its content was so good. It was like a seminar on the open guard and I like to rewatch it to see if I miss some details. You can watch the video below and it is completely free. All I need is some support for this blog by sharing this post on your Twitter feed. Enjoy!