Big thanks to John Simon of Dominance Mixed Martial Arts in Melbourne, Australia for sharing his guard game with us.

I thought I’d put up some of my favourite guard techniques from my own game.

The first picture is the standard way I use my guard, which I based off Margarida, although I do some things differently to him.


My right hand is in the collar. This allows me to do a few things:

  1. Stop him putting his head on my hips to pass
  2. Keeps him wary of my chokes
  3. Gives me a good handle to control his posture.

My left hand is controlling his sleeve to:

  1. Stop him controlling both of my legs
  2. Takes away one of his arms for passing.


The first sequence has me pulling my opponent forward. From here I can underhook the arm, move my body underneath his and sweep him to my left. Make sure with this position that you keep pulling the guy forward really hard with the hand controlling his belt so he has to post with his hand. You can also go to the back quite easily from this position as well as do a whole bunch of other sweeps.





The next sequence is one of my favourite submissions from here. When the guy posts after I pull him forward, I underhook his arm and apply a cutting armlock.




This next sequence is one I use a lot to get the butterfly sweep. After I pull the guy forward, he pulls back and postures up. I grab his wrist with my right hand, join my left shoulder to his body and pull him in tight with my left hand then sweep him to my right.




This next sequence is for when my opponent is trying to posture up and back off.


I change my grip from his sleeve to his knee.


I then drive with my right hand and pull with my left.


From here, go straight into a knee-through guard pass.

I find the problem with the underhooks and overhooks that people show for butterfly guard is that they don’t show how to get them. Anyone can sweep somebody if they’ve got the grips, but how do you stop someone passing while you’re attempting to get those grips?

Another advantage of the grips I’ve shown is the cross-lapel choke. I probably get this submission more than any other from the guard.


With the grips I’ve shown, if the guy starts to turn to pass to my right and exposes his neck, I can go for the cross-lapel choke.
The first thing I do is straighten my right leg to hook his right knee and buy myself some time.


Then I nearly strike the guy’s neck with the blade of my left hand.


After that, I grab a bunch of his gi (with my thumb NOT in – it takes too long) on his back.


Then fall back and make myself like a ball so he can’t get past my guard or mount me.