Is Guard A Good Position In BJJ?

Is guard a good position in BJJ?

In BJJ there are a variety of positions that a player can be in. Some positions are considered good positions and some are considered bad. However, there is some debate as to whether or not guard is a good position in BJJ. 

Guard in BJJ is neither good nor bad but is actually considered a neutral position. There are both top and bottom guard in BJJ both being considered equally advantageous. 

That being said, it depends on the game you like to play. I like to play the top game in BJJ so I would personally rather be in top guard than bottom guard.  

Why Guard Is A Neutral Position In BJJ

The guard is one of the few positions considered neutral in BJJ. Which is better really depends on the game the player likes to play.

The bottom guard is at a disadvantage because the top player can pass the guard into a superior position. 

However, many people prefer the bottom guard because there are more attacks and sweeps from the bottom guard. On the other hand, there are very few attacks from top guard in BJJ.

Different positions are always going to be considered superior positions in BJJ. Understanding the positional hierarchy in BJJ will help you understand which positions are better than others. 

BJJ Positions From Best To Worst

  1. Rear Mount
  2. Top Mount
  3. Top Knee On Belly
  4. Top Side Control Top
  5. Top Half Mount
  6. Guard Top and Guard Bottom
  7. Turtle Top And Bottom
  8. Half Guard Bottom
  9. Side Control Bottom
  10. Knee On Belly Bottom
  11. Mount Bottom
  12. Rear Mount Bottom

As you can see the very best position is opposite the worst position. This is because if you are in the best position the rear mount top that means your opponent is in the rear mount bottom. 

The second best position is the top mount the second worst is the bottom mount and so on. If you follow this process you will get to the guard which is considered a neutral position. 

Is Guard A Good Position In MMA?

Though the bottom guard is considered neutral in BJJ, I would not recommend being in the bottom guard in MMA. This is simply because it is easy for the top player to throw down punches or elbows from the top position.

In the early days of MMA when fewer people knew BJJ, jiu-jitsu fighters were winning fights more often from the bottom guard. 

This is because they had many attacks from the bottom guard and most of the fighters from non-grappling backgrounds did not know how to defend it. 

However, today any MMA fighter that is at a top level has a pretty good defense and is less likely to get submitted from this position. 

Though it certainly does still happen. That said, most fighters will not voluntarily go to the bottom guard in an MMA fight. Of course, they do still need to know how to fight from the bottom guard in case they end up there. 

After all, it might save you like it did Anderson Silva when he was losing to Chael Sonnen and pulled out a triangle choke to win the fight.

How To Get Good At Playing Guard 

Knowing how to grapple from closed guard or even half guard is something you need to master in BJJ. The best way to get better is to focus on mastering the guard.

There are some great instructionals on how to play guard, however, the only way to get good is to practice it.

Instructionals can help you know what to start practicing but doing it is key. To improve my bottom guard I purposely went to that position and worked on it.

Since the top game is my go-to, I would purposely go to bottom guard when facing an opponent of a lower belt. This way I was more likely to pull it off.

That is what I would suggest. That is work on your weaknesses when rolling with people who are not as good as you and work your A-Game when you opponent is better than you.

Joshua Paul

Joshua Paul is a BJJ purple belt who lives in Austin, Texas. Joshua loves all forms of grappling and when he is off the mats he is likely spending time with his wife and son.

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