The Beauty of BJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a multifaceted gem with many sides to it that anyone can adapt to their personal preference be it based on personality, body type, mood etc. You’ve literally got hundreds of ways you can develop your game. You could be the judo trip guy, the wrestler, the pressure passer and that’s just before you’ve gotten down onto the ground. You could completely skip standing and pull guard. That’s where it gets seriously interesting.

Ground Control System

In the past, when Jiu-Jitsu had still been in its infancy stage there had only been the simple classification of open and closed guard. Different academies would focus on different aspects of both. Since then, especially since the emergence of social networks like instagram, there’s a massive sharing of information. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is rapidly becoming the complex system of technique and principle that it always had the potential to become.

Youtube and Social Networks

If we go ahead and look up something on youtube or instagram we’ll get thousands of results. In fact, I’ll do that now. I’m looking at 58,851 results #Delariva. I could go ahead and watch each and every one and cross-reference recurring grips, body position, counters etc. I’m not saying don’t listen to your coach. Chances are there’s nobody that can help you the way your coach can. However, they can’t always be there for you. You might not have the funds to attend each and every seminar. Work might get in the way. Family life might not allow you to dedicate more time to BJJ. Fear not. The internet is a thing of magic. Use it.

We give you a reference list of the various types of guard that make up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

The Closed Guard

The closed guard is perhaps the most complex guard system there is and there’s no one better at it than the Gracie family. People have tried attaching their name to different types of sub-guard, but the closed guard is the one thing that’s been constant throughout the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Its secrets have probably been the first thing you covered in Jiu-Jitsu class.


The half-guard used to be a stalling position. In fact, someone with no experience will probably close a knot on a leg and use it to stop the pass. This has changed. It connects to single leg takedowns, knee taps, log-rolls, the butterfly etc. Recently, it’s been used to great effect as an ashi-garami entry.

The Open Guard

This is where the money is. The first thing you’ll need to work the open guard is understanding of the concept of hooks. That’s where the butterfly guard steps in. The butterfly hook can work on anything: lasso, thigh, De La Riva, reverse De La Riva, X-Guard, Ashi-Garami, Saddle etc.

If you’re starting out at open guard, go over the butterfly hook first.

Arm control – Hooks

  • Spider Hooks
  • Lasso Hooks

Leg Control – Ties

  • Ashi-Garami (Single Leg X)
  • Outside Ashi-Garami (50/50)
  • Saddle (Inside and Outside)

Leg Control – Hooks

  • De La Riva
  • Reverse De La Riva
  • X-Guard