Guard Pull: The Blueprint for This BJJ Strategy Revealed!

Last updated on 11.08.2023 by

If you’re not good at takedowns, then you should really start learning guard pull techniques. One of the most popular methods of attack used by BJJ students.

For those with good guards or a weak takedown game, you’ll need a blueprint for your guard pulling strategy. Read below to see how to implement and defend against the BJJ guard pull.

What is Guard Pulling?

Guard pulling is a strategy implemented by grapplers with good guard games. Instead of straining themselves to get a takedown, they prefer to get their opponents right into their guards.

Using various setups to get their opponent in their preferred style of guard. Once they’ve established their guard, they can begin setting up their attacks to either sweep or submit their opponent.

Some grapplers have strong feelings about guard pullers, as we’ve seen in memes mocking guard pullers. Although they may get teased, but their strategy is effective, and the others just hate that they lost two points.

What is a Guard Puller in Jiu Jitsu?

In jiu jitsu, there are two types of practitioners. You have guard pullers and guard passers.

A guard puller is a person that decides to take a match right into his guard, where he’s comfortable. There are many ways to detect if you’re dealing with a guard puller.

Square Stance

The first tell that you’re facing a guard puller is their stance or lack thereof. They will generally stand in a square stance with their hands out. Immediately indicating their intentions to pull guard.

The Sitter

Some guard pullers will just cut to the chase and sit down on the ground. Giving you the top position as they try to set up their guard.

Guard Jumper

A guard jumper is a type of BJJ player that will aggressively pull guard by jumping right into you. They will aggressively look to establish Gi grips, break your posture, and throw themselves at you and into their guard.

The Slider

There are other types of guard pullers that neither pull nor jump guard but choose to slide into the position. Looking to establish a grip and slide into the guard of their choice, as well as leg entanglements.

The Fake Shooter

Then, other guard pullers will hide their guard pull behind a fake takedown attempt. Acting like they’re trying to hit a takedown, but it’s really a fake to get close enough to pull guard.

There’s also the type of guard puller that goes to guard after failed takedown attempts. Both of these types of guard pullers may also attempt to go into a leg entanglement.

What to Do When You Pull Guard?

If you’re going to pull guard, you must plan a strategy to get to your guard. Here’s what you’ll need to do if you want to start pulling guard.

Get Your Grip

All guard pulls start with a grip of some kind. You’ll need to get a hold of your opponent in order to get them into your guard.

Be Active

The worse thing you can do when you pull guard is not being active. If you’re lazy or not engaging, your opponent will easily pass your guard.

Have a Plan

You need to know exactly what you want to do once you successfully pull guard. Follow a plan to right into your sweep or submission setups.

Also, have backup plans to set up other sweeps and submissions if you don’t hit your primary attack.

Do You Get Points for Pulling Guard BJJ?

No. You get no points for pulling guard in BJJ competition. Not in the IBJJF nor in the UAEJJF are points rewarded for a guard pull. The ADCC will actually penalize grapplers that pull or jump guard in their sanctioned events.  

So for white belts, just know that you can pull guard, but you won’t get any points.

Are Guard Pullers Human Garbage?

You’ve definitely seen the countless memes making fun of guard pullers. Calling them everything from cowards, cheaters, and subhuman garbage.

To be fair to guard pullers, your style is effective, but it’s incredibly annoying and we that like takedowns hate it.

Guard Pull 

There are various ways to initiate your guard pull. Here are some guard pulling methods and important details for pulling guard.

Get a Grip 

Whatever guard pull set up you try, they all start with a grip. You have to make contact with your opponent, whether it’s gripping their gi or their body.

The Foot on the Hip Guard Pull

The foot on the hip guard pull is a common guard pulling method, but it’s one that isn’t done correctly. Many use this guard pull method by just putting their foot on the hip and sitting down without a setup.

Add movement to this guard pull by starting it with a cross step. After your step, turn on the ball of your foot, and place your foot on your opponent’s hip.

Planting it on their hip firmly as you use it and your grips to pull yourself into guard. 

Guard Jump

Some grapplers use a tactic called jumping guard to get the fight to their guard. Here are the details you must know in order to hit this technique successfully.


We wanted to make a subsection on the dangers of jumping guard. It is an effective technique, but one that can lead to serious injury. Many grapplers have knocked themselves out from jumping guard and hitting their heads on the mat. Even worse, seriously injuring your opponent’s knees when you jump guard. There is a danger to jumping guard, so please be careful if you attempt this technique.

Get a Grip

All guard pulls and jumps start with a grip. Either grab hold of their gi or their head and arm if you’re attempting to pull guard in no-gi. 

Get in Range 

Before you start your jump, you will need to get in range for your jump. The range is right next to your opponent. Don’t attempt a jump from far out, or you will most likely miss.

Jump Forward

The correct way to jump when jumping guard is right at your opponent is right at them. Going horizontal towards their body as your legs wrap around their waist.

Break Opponent’s Posture

Once you’ve jumped guard, you will need to continue breaking your opponent’s posture. Break their posture, pulling down on their head and arm in a rapid motion.

How to Defend a Guard Pull?

Guard pullers are annoying to deal with, but there are ways to deal with them. Here are some ways to defend against a guard puller.

Don’t Let Opponent Establish Grips 

The first defense against a guard puller is to not let them establish a grip. They need to establish a grip in order to pull you into their guard.

Win Grip Fight

Guard pullers look to get dominant gi grips in order to pull themselves to win guard. That’s why you have to win the grip fight. Winning the grip fight makes it easier for you to block their guard pull attempts.

Block the Hips

If your opponent attempts to jump guard, focus on your hands. Block your opponent’s guard jump by stiff-arming their hip or grabbing their belt.

Grab the Plant Foot

If your opponent pulls guard the traditional way, they will need to plant a foot on your hips. One of your main objectives is to control their base leg.

You can either grab the pants or grab your opponent’s foot. If you grab the foot, you can throw your opponent to the side and go into side-control.

When you grab the pants, use your grip to plant the opponent’s leg to the mat. Once you have established this control, you can enter a guard pass.

Keep Good Posture

If your guard pulling opponent successfully gets you down into their guard, your only option is defense. Keep a good posture and start working to pass your opponent’s guard.

Strategize Your Guard Pull?

If you want to be a guard puller, you must strategize your guard pulling. Not only knowing how to pull guard, but various setups to get your opponent into your guard. Guard passers and wrestlers will still laugh at you, but they won’t be laughing once you submit them.