The Top 7 BJJ Guard Positions You Should Learn as a Beginner – [2021]

There are seven basic guard positions that need to know whether you are a beginner or an expert level BJJ athlete to win all the competition this thing is a must. This is the most crucial thing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the people learn the skill but performing guards well is not possible without tons of practice.

To know the ins and outs of the guard are very important and there are many guard techniques and variations that you can learn but we will tell you the seven basic ones. These guards allow you to utilize the power of your upper as well as lower body on the opponent.

There is a guard closed guard that allows you to launch many sweeps on your opponents and this is how every guard is separate and also very important so, we’ll explain all seven guards in detail now

1. Closed Guard

Closed Guard

This is the very basic guard in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that is also very important to learn for beginners. The purpose of this guard and all guards are to control the opponent’s movements. When the opponent starts to come forward you have to stop him so, you won’t be in some dangerous place and that is possible when you put him at some distance.

Because if he came closer to your legs there is a chance that he will try to lock your legs by the wrapping techniques which is not suitable for you that is why you need to keep him on distance.  This is the most powerful self-defense technique that you can use against your opponent.

Closed guard allows you to keep the opponent at some distance by utilizing the power of the upper and lower body. While applying closed guard you have time to apply the sweeps and many submission techniques on your opponent.

The most important thing in the closed guard is the use of your legs and the lower part of the body. If you know how to use it you might do wonders but doing this guard properly needs dedication, hard work, and practice any other thing that won’t help you.

When you are going to apply the guard there are chances that your opponent will grab you by your hip and try to lose your lock but if you are the closed guard player then you know when is the right time to respond and open the attack on your opponent. These things are what comes with practice ad experience.

There are two most common sweeps and submissions in the closed guard and that is the hip-bump sweep and the triangle choke if you know how to apply these two things then you are the experienced player of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

2. Butterfly position

The previous one is the closed guard position this one is known as the open guard position and if you are dealing with an opponent who is standing or even kneeling then this might be very effective for you.

This is also a very effective guard position that involves the use of shin and legs. What you need to do is grab your opponent and put the shin around his thighs and push now control the back thigh with your feet.

This is that great technique that would bring any of your opponents down on your legs and you can take him down by sweeping, back take, or any other submissions techniques. This guard also allows you to shift from this guard to any other ones like you can move from open guard to the half guard, close guard, or the X guard.

3. Half Guard

Half Guard

There was a time when this guard was the most famous in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and whenever any top player enters the ring this was his first choice but as time passes nowadays it is one of the most researched guard positions and it is applied on its own position.

This is the most traditional guard in the whole Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. There are some people that might know how to apply this guard so, this guard was applied on your opponents through your legs. You just need to roll your legs around the player’s thighs and then cross them firmly so that he can’t free them.

If we look strategically then if you apply this half guard properly on your opponents then you have many options open to attack on your opponents you have many sweep options that you won’t even need the full guard.

If you are an experienced half-guard player then you might have the range of submissions available that you can apply on your opponent and choke him but that needs real practice because while doing that you have to avoid the power your opponent would be applying to be free from your guard.

4. Seated Half-Guard

This is when your opponent is trying to apply full guard on you and he is trying to grab your neck with his hands and he is trying to be above you. Now your opponent is standing and if he will apply his guard successfully then there will be problems for you.

So, now what you do would take your knee and put it on the chest of the standing opponent this will prevent him to grab your neck and apply full guard but you can also have some chance to attack and apply different ranges of sweeps on him but this needs to be professionally otherwise you can be a piece of cake for him.

This is one of the most favorite guards for the wrestlers because with only this guard there are many single takedown options available for you, so you can utilize them.

5. De La Riva Guard Position

De La Riva Guard Position

If you are a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player or you are just interested in it you might know Ricardo de la Riva who was a very famous athlete of the BJJ and on him, the name of this guard is De La Riva Guard. This is also a very common guard technique that can be applied in this Guard.

When your opponent is standing between your legs and trying to grab you can apply this guard in which with you one leg you will grab the legs of your opponents and from the other leg you can push on his knee from back or even you can push him from the shoulder.

These techniques also help you to apply many types of back takes and sweeps to the opponents. This guard is a more focused traditional guard and this can be smoothly applied on the No-gi or gi because of the firm sweep grip.

6. X-Guard position

As we have just described the de La RIVA it is more common and the same as that one in this one we also do the same we try to grip the opponent’s legs by wrapping our legs against his and then try to apply sweeps or takedowns.

If you are trying to apply the closed guard or butterfly guard and your opponent is free from it then you can try to apply the X-guard. This is used when your opponent is standing against you and you can also apply sweeps and takedown after this X Guard.

7. Single-Leg X-Guard Position

Single-Leg X-Guard Position

This is the attack of the modern era the person who tries to learn the BJJ now the trainers teach him this guard first because the legs trends are now in trend. If we look honestly then the single leg X guard is way more simple and easy than the X guard position and you have plenty of ranges and different techniques to apply.

If your opponent is standing and his one feet is on the other side of your leg then you can apply this technique. Wrap your leg around the leg of the opponent firmly, your other leg will be pinching the opponent now when you have a firm grip on your opponent you can take him down on the right side or left side and then apply other sweeps down techniques.

This is the most suitable guard for every athlete and you can play it any time when your opponent is standing firmly between your legs. If you do it properly then this would be the match changer for you but that won’t happen in a day you need a good amount of practice and dedication to be at that level.


The guards are one of the basic positions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and to be pro in these guards you need to do a lot of hard work they are hard but not impossible to be done against your opponent. When you will be able to do this you will be a great player in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

There are many other guards of the BJJ but the most common ones are these seven that we have described in this article. Do you find this article helpful or not don’t forget to tell us in the comment section.


Who has the best guard in BJJ?
These are the top eight best guard passers in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu • Saulo Ribeiro • Rigan Machado • Rafael Mendes • Márcio Feitosa • Royler Gracie • Rodolfo Vieira • Fernando “Terere” Augusto • Mário Claudio Tallarico These are the top eight passers of the best guard in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
How many positions are there in BJJ?
There are six most common positions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and we will list them below: • Guard • Side control • Knee on the belly • Mount • Rear mount • Turtle
What is closed guard BJJ?
The other name of the closed guard is the full guard in this you wrap your legs around the back of the opponent when he was on your top and you don’t allow him to stand in this full guard or closed guard techniques there are many takedowns or sweep techniques that can be applied but if you lose the grip the opponent will be free from your leg nest.
What is butterfly guard BJJ?
The butterfly is also very important to guard it is when your opponent is in a standing or half-standing position. You need to adjust your leg’s inner side of the thighs or knees and then over a hook or under hook from the upper body and this is called the butterfly guard. It is the most common guard that is used by professionals.
What is there to do at Mount BJJ?
If you are on the mount then there are many submission techniques that you can apply. Just took your hands and put deep into the opponent’s collar and same with the other hand and now give him a very good firm neck choke. This is the only one there are many that you can apply when you are in the mount position.


Leave a Comment