BJJ Poll: How Effective Do You Think Modern Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Guards Such as X-Guard, Deep Half, and 50/50 Are for Self Defense?

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Today’s poll question comes to us courtesy of Gareth from England, one of the Mighty 600,000. As a police officer, he was recently involved in a physical altercation where his knowledge of Brazilian jiu-jitsu kept him safe and allowed him to control his attacker, reminiscent of Pedro Arrigoni’s recent tale on our humble BJJ radio show. Naturally the incident has been on his mind a lot and he is wondering how the community feels about certain jiu-jitsu techniques that we see a lot these days in terms of self defense.

Gareth asked if we might create a poll titled, “How effective do you think modern guards such as Xguard, deep half, and 50/50 are in relation to self defence..?” He left the possible responses up to me. Notice that there are only two options: modern guards like xguard, deep half, and 50/50 are either usually bad or usually good for self defense. I purposely did not offer a middle ground, wishy washy “sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad” option. You’ve got to choose one or the other based on what you think is true most of the time.

9 Replies to “BJJ Poll: How Effective Do You Think Modern Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Guards Such as X-Guard, Deep Half, and 50/50 Are for Self Defense?”

  1. Any guard where your opponent can punch you in the balls or step on your face is probably not a great guard to use in a self defense situation…. x-guard, inverted guard, deep half guard, etc… bad idea.

  2. While I don’t think those are effective self defense guard, that don’t mean I think their dangerous guards to use either.
    Poor choices for answers.

  3. @fj – I can’t change it now as it would invalidate the votes we’ve already collected. What choices would you have offered?

  4. The only time I’d consider guard useful in a self-defence situation is where it allows me to sweep or otherwise escape to the feet and GTFO. If the situation comes up where I’m on my back in a genuine fight then I’m doing anything to get myself off my back and get away, regardless of what Rickson or Rorian might have to say about technique.

  5. In a self-defense situation against someone with no ground training I doubt a trained BJJ fighter would need those guards, developed to defeat equally skilled opponnets. That said, those advanced guard would likely ruin someone with no training just as well as the basics, but there are some inherent risks to every bottom position.

    Look at the old Vale Tudo fights and challenge matches of the Gracies. It is takedown, top position, dominate position, strikes and then submission. Yes the UFC highlighted the guard, but bottom position is no the ideal self-defense position.

  6. You do not want to be underneath anyone in a self defense situation. If you do end up in a guard position, its because they have either put you there, you fell or perhapse they even punched you. On the street, you’re most likely on pavement, and you do not know if they are armed. Whatever you do, it needs to have urgency that isnt’ needed for MMA or BJJ tourneys.
    The best guard for self defense is one that 1. protects you from strikes, and 2. allows you to Choke, sweep or stand up.

  7. Self defense context is difficult to control also going to the ground with 2 or 3 guys kicking you , in a narrow space etc… I don’t think that those guards ever work at all , In a “meet up “fight kind of back yard fight , it might work because there is still a certain amount of “rules” but in an unexpected street aggression , I think the swifter the better … kind of, poking the eyes kick the groin and run .

  8. Guard probably very effective in ‘rape defence’. Against an untrained single attacker a trained person should be able to snap on a submission within seconds and won’t have to contend with guard passes etc, a basic guard should be sufficient. If outnumbered the shortcomings of the guard are obvious.

  9. The topic is interesting though because it throws up the issue of how different combat training is for fighting a skilled, conditioned opponent in sport v a ‘yob’ in an uncontrolled environment, and the advantage in a fight of combat sport conditioning. The last time I was attacked the only ‘technique’ I used was the basic level boxing skill I have, but the conditioning I had from grappling meant that my 2 adversaries wasted the element of surprise by grabbing me, and rendering their strikes ineffective becasue they were off balance. The greek and roman armies practiced boxing and wrestling becaus ealthough the technques were not applicable to sword and spear fighting, the conditioning was extremely effective.

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