This month at 10th Planet Van Nuys Coach Alder is showing some X Guard Sweeps. In the video below Stephan Kesting shows 3 common errors that people make in the X Guard.
The X Guard is a position I don’t normally play but it is a very powerful position that opens up a ton of sweeps and even some submissions. After drilling the position I found Kesting’s video and found myself nodding in agreement as I watched it. I 100% agree with all three errors that Kesting points out. Below is a break down of each error.
In the video Kesting talks about the importance of your foot and knee placement. A common myth I have heard about X Guard is that the control point comes from your foot placement on your opponent’s hips. During our live drills I have found that your knee placement in the X Guard is more important than your foot placement. If you do not flair your knees out your opponent can easily escape you controlling your hip by back stepping out of the position. Having your knee flared out also helps create push and pull tension on their hip which ultimately leads to better control and easier sweeps.
During drilling I have also noticed that another key to controlling this position is your ability to make your opponent do the splits. In the video Kesting talks about the importance of making sure that your opponent’s ankle is on your shoulder. Having the ankle on your shoulder helps stretch out your opponent and in my opinion gives me better control of their leg. Instead of relying on my arms to control their leg, I can use my entire torso to control the leg. This becomes extremely important when your opponent starts desperately trying to escape the position.
My biggest takeaway from drilling the X Guard is that you can not let your opponent settle their feet and plant on the mat. Once they plant both feet on the mat they can start to escape your position. By making the position dynamic instead of static you are keeping your opponent off balance and making your sweeps very easy to hit. I have also found that off balancing your opponent can make it easier to grab the far leg when they step into try and regain their balance.
If you are interested in learning more about the X Guard or anything else about no-gi jiu jitsu fill out my contact form to connect with me.