Monday, April 01, 2013

John Will seminar 24 March 2013 - X Guard

John Will seminar 24 March 2013 - X Guard

George Adams and I were wrestling before the seminar. John stopped us and gave us a brief lesson on getting the necessary arm controls for effective use of our hooks - the double hook sweep is much more about arm controls than about the hooks themselves. It can be very hard to get those arm controls against an experienced guy who hides his elbows.

Instead, work your way in by first pulling Z guard, say on his L leg. Push his head to the R with your L hand so he posts on his L hand and grab your L overhook and R underhook, inserting your L hook. You are now in position to sweep. John no longer uses the overhook on the sweeping side, preferring to use a slap on the elbow, pak sao style, to take away the ability to post.

A lesson as useful and topical as that to follow:

X Guard

An advanced style of hooking guard. Used extensively by Marcelo Garcia among others. Marcelo's books and Dvds on the X guard take it a lot further.

Key points

If your legs are holding his R leg:

Your L hook is behind his R knee. Your R hook sits above it, in front of his thigh. Knees are splayed, L knee in front of him, R knee behind. Ankles hold his knee in place.

His L ankle is held in the R crook of your neck, above the shoulder, next to your R ear. NOT in the crook of your elbow, that grip is not strong and it is easy for him to pull his foot free. R hand holds and controls his L kneecap.

You should be slightly on your L side.


Leg Drag

You have both hooks in, he stands up. Stick your L hook behind his R knee. It does not move. Come up on your R elbow and grab behind his L knee with your L hand,  palm towards you. Grab behind his L ankle with your R hand, palm towards you. Pull yourself underneath him so his L foot is above your R shoulder, next to your neck. Grab his L kneecap with your R hand. Stretch him out a little with your L hook and insert your R hook to consolidate the X guard.

Big Step

You have both hooks in and he stands up. Slide your L hook down to his ankle. Stay shin on shin. Sit up, post on your R hand and wrap your L arm around his R leg at the knee. Helps to move your hips a bit to the L so that you can get a bit of an angle on him and "protect the circle" inside your legs.

Fall back and drop your head to the right. Elevate his ankle with your R hook as you roll to your L across your lower back, making him take a "big step" with his R foot. Spin underneath him until your R shoulder is next to his L ankle, slide your L hook back behind his R knee, grab his L kneecap with your R hand, insert ykur R hook above the L and consolidate the X guard.


He is kneeling. You have both hooks in. Get double underhooks, and rock him backwards, elevating him. Your L hook stays, your R leg straightens vertically or slightly behind so that his L leg slides down it and into your waiting R underhook, his L foot ideally landing right next to your R ear. Grab his L kneecap with your R hand, insert your R hook, and consolidate the X guard.

Failed hook sweep

You set up a double hook sweep to your R as normal from hooks in guard. Use the R palm on the L elbow rather than the tight overhook to stop him from posting with his L hand. If his L arm is properly controlled, his only counter will be to post with his L foot near your R ear. Underhook his L ankle with your R hand and proceed to the X guard much the same as for the flagpole.



You have the X guard, same side as for the entries. Slide your R hook up to his hip, your L foot down to behind his ankle (two ends of the lever). Push the hip back with the R hook, pull the ankle forward with the L hook so he falls backwards. You can manipulate his L knee with one or both hands to assist. As he hits the floor, keep his R ankle elevated with your L hook and use it to pass his R leg to your L underhook. Come to your knees and drive/crush directly forward to set up the basic underpass - go too far to the side and you risk him being able to slide a shin between you to block the pass.

Sidekick sweep

X guard, same side. Push with your hooks to stretch his legs as wide as possible. He may fall back (2 points) or put his hands on the ground. Get on your L side,  put your R foot on the inside of his R knee and push it away, like a sidekick. The weight should come off his L leg, allowing you to get up on your L elbow and then your L hand. From here, stand up in base as if you were doing a Turkish get up, his L ankle still on your R shoulder. If he does not turn to his back of his own accord, sweep his R ankle to the inside with your R foot.

Back take

Grab his ankle with both hands, elbows tight to your chest. Do a small crunch to take the weight off his L leg, and quickly transfer his leg from your R shoulder to the other side of your head. Reach up with your R hand and grab his belt, skirt of his jacket, pants, whatever you can. Get your L forearm and elbow behind his L knee and use it to get your L hook behind his L knee. You should now be behind him with both hooks behind his knees. Pull with your R hand control and kick his legs out with your hooks so he lands on his butt between your legs. Quickly get seat belt upper body controls and hooks in to consolidate back control.

Flagpole sweep

Tricky. According to John, Rigan Machado told him this sweep was unteachable. He suggested we learn by watching. As I was the crash test dummy for the demo, this was a challenge.

This time your R hook is BELOW your L hook on his leg. Slide it down to the ankle. Your L hook stays where it is - the L shin stays pretty much horizontal with the L knee pressing strongly out to the left. If the L knee comes up so the L shin is vertical, the sweep will fail.

Use the R hook to lift his R ankle straight up, retaining the L hook. Your R leg goes vertical like the earlier flagpole entry to X guard, but his R ankle slides down your R leg and his R instep ends up on your R hip. Your L hook remains in the crook of his R knee, so your ankle ends up sandwiched between his hamstring and calf in the crook of his R knee, almost a calf crush action going on. Triangle your L ankle with the crook of your R knee. You are still holding his R patella as at the start of the move. If you post on your L elbow and hand now and sit up he will be swept.

Video of this complicated sweep thanks to Barwin and Pete: