Having done focused on open guard during July, we decided that there is so much to the position that it warranted another month (keep in mind that the new free women’s class will not stick to open guard in August, following a condensed positional overview instead). That means we will continue to explore some of the numerous variations in the guard when your legs are open. Spider guard and butterfly are two of the most popular options, which Can will be exploring at Bristol Sports Centre.
Spider guard provides excellent control, as you use your opponent’s gi against them. The simplest version involves grabbing their sleeves and curling your feet around their biceps, pushing firmly into one arm with your leg while pulling on the other with your sleeve grip. You can achieve even better control by using a ‘lasso’, where you wrap one of your legs around an arm. We’ll be looking at how to get into that position and some options from there.
Butterfly guard is in some respects simpler, but it requires a greater sensitivity to your training partner’s movements, as your grips are more fluid. The dynamism of this position means that it can take some getting using to, but once you’re comfortable in butterfly, it becomes a powerful platform for submissions and sweeps.
Dónal is away for the first two weeks of August, but classes at Impact will be running as normal, covered by Can. He will be sharing some of his basic open guard classes from July with the students at Impact Gym: if you want to know what to expect, have a look at his open guard lesson plans over the last month, here.
Dónal will be back on the 19th August to guide you through his take on open guard, building on what we learned last month.