You’ve heard of the closed guard, the butterfly guard, and maybe even the rubber guard, but what the heck is the Williams guard in BJJ? Well if you have never heard of the Williams guard or simply want to learn how to use it in your game then you are in luck.
The Williams Guard is a type of guard used in BJJ named after Shawn Williams. The Williams guard is similar to the rubber guard but requires less flexibility. The Williams guard is also known as the shoulder pin guard.
This is simply because the Williams guard requires that you pin your opponent’s shoulder and use your legs to keep them down in your guard.
Like the rubber guard, it is an excellent alternative to the closed guard in no-gi BJJ where you do not have access the gi grips.
That said, it can also be effective in gi jiu-jitsu as well. Here is an excellent example of what the Williams guard looks like.
Who Is Shawn Williams?
Shawn Williams is a world-famous BJJ black belt under the legendary Renzo Gracie. In fact, he is one of the first black belts under Renzo Gracie along with John Danaher.
Not only that but he is actually the fifth American to ever achieve black belt status. Like many Shawn was a fan was a practicing martial artist who got intrigued with BJJ after watching the early UFC fights with Royce Gracie.
That said, when he really felt compelled to learn the art is after watching his future professor Renzo Gracie fight. He left his home state of Indiana to go train under Renzo Gracie and the rest is history.
Though he is a well-known BJJ professor in many ways, he is probably most known for his Williams guard. After all, not too many people get a BJJ technique named after them.
Williams Guard Vs the Rubber Guard
The Williams guard and the rubber guard both work and look pretty similar to each other. However, one small difference is that the Williams Guard might work better for people who are not as flexible.
This is something that I am very familiar with. As someone who has very tight hips and used to train at a 10th Planet gym, I could never pull off the rubber guard.
Of course, I am sure that I could have put more work in to become more flexible but flexibility is something that never came naturally to me. So sometimes it is best to use the techniques that best suit your body type.
Submissions From The Williams Guard
Since this guard requires that you pin your opponent’s shoulder it offers some unique submission opportunities. There are actually a large amount of submissions you can use from the Williams guard but we will just cover some of the most common.
As you can see from the video above the armbar is a great attack from the Williams guard. This is especially true if they use their weight to drive into you.
The Neil Knot
You can always count on Neil Melanson to create very interesting and non-conventional submissions. The Neil knot is a crafty and effective submission that works great from this position.
The Triangle Choke
Another great submission is the triangle choke. Though there are many other great submissions to learn from this position these are some great ones to start with.
If you want to learn more I would suggest checking out Shawn William’s BJJ fanatics instructional on the Williams guard.
* Note that I am an affiliate for this product. This simply means that I may earn a commission if you purchase through one of my links but this will come at no extra cost to you!
The Complete Williams Guard Instructional
If you are wondering how to learn and master the Williams guard then you are in luck. The Complete Williams Guard instructional by Shawn Williams has over 8 hours of content.
Of course, there is a decent amount of material for free online. But you are not going to find this much great content from Shaw Williams himself.
This 8-volume instructional covers a ton of material both offensive and defensive. You will learn attacks, sweeps, and so much more!
The Williams guard is great for everyone but works really well on larger opponents and is great for older grapplers that might not have the flexibility they used to.
So whether you are a new young grappler who needs to improve their game or an older BJJ veteran, this instructional just might be the game changer.