Properly Utilizing Guard In A Street Fight



Dan Faggella is a BJJ Academy Owner, No Gi Pan Am Champion at 130 pounds, and recognized expert in the area of light weight Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Dan writes or Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style, MMA Sports Mag, and more – find more about his techniques at his academy Black Diamond MMA.

If you want to know the ultimate level of confidence in yourself when it comes to fighting; it’s simple, learn to fight and defend yourself off of your back.

Understandably a “hopeless” position, being on your back can be very foreign and dangerous to someone that isn’t used to being in such a situation.  Luckily today I’m here writing about just exactly how you can handle this predicament, and how it can help you get out of a rough spot. This is a concept that I teach all of my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu RI students.

Defending Yourself From Your Back

So let’s say your attacker blindsided you and shoved you to the ground.  Frantically, your mind is racing knowing that a punch could come at any moment.  Regaining your wits quickly, you can take the following steps in order to protect yourself:

  • First off, get your legs between you and your opponent.  This will come in handy as it can keep them at bay, plus the foam on your shoe could possibly defend any type of weapon attack.
  • Bending at your knees, you want to then bring your feet up.
  • From here, kick them—in the groin or shins—until they back up and give you space.
  • As they move around you, follow them by rotating on your back.
  • If they were to get side control, don’t panic!  Simply roll onto your hip, create space, and then bring your legs into him.
  • By doing so, you have established your legs once more.

Give Them Your Legs And Nothing Else!

This sentiment rings true for various reasons.  Unless your attacker happens to be a BJJ expert, you won’t have to worry about any kind of leg locks being thrown on you.  And if that is the case, here is a great leg lock demonstration by Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida that I just showed my Rhode Island MMA students. All your attacker wants to do is hit you, they don’t care one bit for your legs; but you do!

The legs will do many things; create space, use to attack them, etc.  As long as you can establish having your legs as the main focal point of your defense, you should be in good shape.

When fighting off of your back, don’t worry about trying to punch or kick or get up.  Doing so in a panicked state could result in him taking your back or landing some pretty vicious strikes.  Just stay calm and be present in the moment!

There’s also a mental edge to this; if your attacker sees you acting at home while on your back, then they know they’ve messed with the wrong guy!  This will result in them either trying too hard to over compensate, making it easier for you to counter, or they’ll just book it and not want any part of you!

While fighting off of your back can be a scary experience for many people, it isn’t a death sentence.  Practice this sequence, and feel prepared if this situation ever arises.

-Dan Faggella

Marcelo Garcia is a 9-time World Champion and known for getting to the back and finishing with the rear naked choke, even against much bigger opponents. This four-part system covers taking the back, jumping back takes, maintaining back control, and finishing from the back. Learn Marcelo Gracia's famous Back Attack System. USE PROMO CODE "BJJEE TO GET 10% OFF.