John Danaher’s Open Guard Advice: “Attack Them With Your Legs”

John Danaher’s Open Guard Advice: “Attack Them With Your Legs”

Are you looking to improve your Open Guard game? Yes? Fantastic! But yeah, we know how frustrating playing it can get; you seem to have less attacking options than you do when playing from top and your training partners keep passing it.
Here’s the trick: you have to learn how to attack your training partners with your legs when playing Open Guard. Professor John Danaher explains:

In most grappling arts, the bottom position is seen as inherently inferior. Jiu-Jitsu is one of the few that sees bottom position as neutral.

The central message of Jiu-Jitsu with regards top position is simple but profound. The great advantage of bottom position is that your legs can be used to grapple your opponent. When in top you have to use your legs as a base of support.
When on bottom, facing your opponent either on your butt or back, your legs bear no weight so you can use them them to engage the opponent rather than the floor.

So, as you’ll be using your legs to fight from Open Guard, you’ll actually have an advantage over someone who’s using only their arms to fight from top:

Understand of course, that the top athlete has their advantages too. They have the power of gravity on their side.

Learn to work with this central theme of Jiu-Jitsu in mind at all times. When playing bottom position focus primarily on ATTACKING THEM WITH YOUR LEGS.
Make your legs the center of your bottom game and you’ll see that bottom position in grappling offers as many opportunities as top.


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