Three Solid Entries into X-Guard

Before we go into details, just a couple of words to our noble sport; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a game of guards and guard passing. ‘Yeah, but the single leg…’ No. The single leg is a wrestling rip off. Trips are judo. Yes, you can adjust single leg positioning for a guard pull e.g. into single leg-X, but the tentacled core of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the guard. That’s why we don’t get points when we reverse someone from side control. It is a live thing that feeds on our ability to adjust and ensnare.

Alright; you’ve done some closed guard. The butterfly hooks feel good to you. Sparring off the knees makes sense, but a standing opponent is still a mystery. Time has probably come for you to explore the wonders of guards like the De la Riva or the X.


Anytime your opponent is standing, he will give you an opening provided you’ve won the grip battle. Your ankles have to be free. If not, expect to be passed at worst or pushed into guard retention measures at best. Break grips on feet. Grab heel on the dominant side. Shoot dominant leg inside opponent’s leg arch. Use thigh to pull partner’s heel towards your armpit area. Your dominant leg hook positioning should be flexible depending on where your partner’s weight is centered. If you look at the way Mr. Lo uses the hook, you’ll find it’s not the traditional way of hooking the far leg thigh or hip. Instead, it supports the over or under the hooked leg with a butterfly hook.

Mr. Lo’s spider entry is just as viable. Watch the attached video for details. Either pull heel in with thigh or if you’ve got a spider hook use it to make your partner step. Both will give you in side control. That’s two entries.

Another way you might not run into on youtube is from sit-up guard. Grab both knees. Rock head forward towards leg arch to gain momentum. Pull both legs, and push the hips inside leg arch as your head rocks backward towards the mat. Don’t hit your head. Attach hooks and good luck.