Fixing Common Rubber Guard Problems
If you havn't had a chance to check out www.aesopian.com Then you really should. Aesop has spent countless hours working on and contributing techniques to sites all over the web.
Here is a tutorial he did on Fixing Common Rubber Guard Problems. Enjoy
"From what I’ve seen, the most common problems with (and arguments against) rubber guard are getting stacked, getting passed too easily, the demands on one’s flexibility and the risk of injury. I’ve experienced all of these problems myself and had mostly given up on rubber guard because of them.
It wasn’t until I attended Eddie Bravo’s seminar that I gained renewed interest and faith in the rubber guard. He taught details that handily fix most these problems. Seeing him teach it in person and hearing him repeatedly stress certain points made me realize how I’d be doing it wrong all along. I was missing all the little details on the grips and positions that are hard to pick up from photographs.
I now think most complaints about the rubber guard come from people who are studying it out of pictures in books and websites, like I was. It’s hard to learn the right pressure to maintain while doing rubber guard and you’ll miss little but important details without seeing and learning it in person.
I’ve only just gotten into the book, but already I see that Eddie has devoted a lot of the book to breaking down these details and the strategies that are missing from his previous book and online tutorials.
Let’s see if I can’t offer something he didn’t with a couple little details I’ve worked out."
A Common Problem
common scenario 2
Common Scenario 3
Common Scenario 4
Common Scenario 5
Common Scenario 6
You’ve broken their posture and gotten mission control.
In his book, Eddie devotes an entire chapter to troubleshooting common problems from rubber guard, including what to do when you they’ve stepped over your free leg. But I’d rather just avoid the situation entirely.
I worked out these details by experimenting with what he showed at his seminar, but I now see he describes them in the introduction to the rubber guard chapter of his book, in the section “Troubleshooting Mission Control”. Consider this the pictorial companion to his words.
To start fixing this problem, we’ve got to move back to before we’re even in rubber guard.
I’ve got a normal closed guard and I’m breaking their posture.
Compare this to the first picture in this tutorial, paying special attention to the position of my knee, and the relationship of his arm to my thigh. My knee is up under his armpit and my thigh is behind his triceps, blocking him from behind his elbow or reaching back and pressing down on the inside of my thigh.
Eddie stressed this point over and over again at his seminar, saying the ability to maintain this constant squeezing pressure with your legs is extremely important to a tight rubber guard (or any closed guard). He also said (and writes in his book) that it takes a while to build the endurance to keep the thigh master on all that time, but it will pay off when you can.
I’ve been trying to work the constant thigh master into my closed guard, and it’s one factor I attribute my tournament wins to. If you keep a constant squeeze (as well as pulling your heels to your butt), any high guard game becomes drastically tighter and harder to posture out of. Once you’ve got your legs conditioned, it’s harder to high guard well with loose legs because they’ll be able to posture up and rip out whenever they feel in danger. So putting in a little extra effort beforehand will prevent a lot of problems from arising later.
I can cover the basics of defending the stack as well as minimizing flexibility abuse and joint injury (which go hand in hand) at the same time.
The first point to notice is that I have my foot on the hip. This is my first defense to the stack, allowing me to push them off when they drive in. Simple enough. Eddie covers counters to the stack in his book that actually sweep and submit them.
This foot on the hip is also what saves my joints and reduces the demands on my flexibility. Even before I use it to defend the stack, I can use my foot on the hip to tell if I’ll be able to easily get rubber guard or not. If I can’t get my foot on the hip, I know my guard is too low and I’ll have to pull my leg too high to work rubber guard. I’ve seriously hurt my hip joint before by not keeping this point in.
Another way to gauge this is by the position of his head relative to my stomach. If he is at my sternum or above, I know I’ll have to really stretch to pull my leg up for rubber guard. If his face is in my stomach, down by my hips, then I know I am high enough that it won’t be hard to get rubber guard. Look at the angle between my back and my left leg, with my hip as the corner. It’s nothing extreme, like having to bring my foot to my face, and this is because I made sure to get my guard high enough that I could put my foot on the hip.
I know a lot of people have hurt their knees and even their ankles while trying rubber guard. I’ve never had problems with this, thankfully, and I think it is because I have always tried to bend at the hips more than trying to pull my knees or feet around. When you’re going for more demanding moves like tight omoplatas or gogoplatas, be careful with how much you pull your foot and how much stress is on your knee, and try to get your leg into place by bending at the hips.
Rubber guard does demand a degree of flexibility that most people have trouble with at first. Go easy at first, and don’t try it on anyone who’s going to spaz out and thrash out of it. Work on your flexibility; Eddie’s stretching chapter is great for this. Drill it for a while to get the steps and positions down.
If you want to really get into the rubber guard, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Eddie Bravo’s book, Mastering the Rubber Guard. What I’ve shown here is just a couple little scraps of the complete game he’s designed.