These Are The 5 Biggest Guard Retention Mistakes

These Are The 5 Biggest Guard Retention Mistakes

If your guard retention sucks, then you should be quick to take into consideration these 5 biggest mistakes you’re making! Professor Jon Thomas explains them – it’s up to you to take advantage of his tips and correct your retention as soon as possible… And leave your coach surprised by your sudden improvement!



1)  Allowing opponents to get too close. Always try to create distance with your frames and keep moving. When the opponent is closing the distance, don’t be passive and just sit there; but keep moving and work for your grips in the meantime.

2) Holding on to grips when the opponent starts to pass and/or the position is compromised. Some BJJ athletes are too attached to what they wanted to do initially. So, when the opponent starts to pass, things get worse precisely because they aren’t willing to let go of their goal.
Release early, so that you can start defending on time – you’ll have much higher chances of success this way.

3) Lift your feet up when you’re pulling guard. Both seated and from standing. When you start falling back, lift up your feet to the opponent’s legs, chest, whatever; and only then fall back.
If you leave your feet on the mats when pulling guard, there’s more than a good chance that your guard will be passed.

4) Grabbing instead of framing. When panic strikes, a lot of (beginner) BJJ athletes automatically go to grip the opponent instead of framing against them in order to defend.
If you want to create space for your guard retention, you need to be pushing the opponent away. Don’t keep them on you with the grips.

5) Overextending the legs. Whenever someone wants to pass your guard, they need to get inside your knee and elbow space. So, when you enlengthen your legs too much, this makes their job much easier.
More than often, it’s a good idea to keep your knee and elbow tucked in together.

Watch Professor Thomas explain all of these tips in much more detail below:

Lachlan Giles and Ariel Tabak show you a total technical gameplan for keeping your guard against any over or around-style of pass.

  • Defend torreandos, stack passes, leg drags, and more with tips on how to keep the guard, improve position, and get back on attack.
  • ADCC Absolute medalist Lachlan Giles teams up with his guard retention specialist and black belt Ariel Tabak for this 8-part instructional release.