Full Body Guard

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 9.42.45 AMThere is a concept that is applicable across all martial arts…but in order to see it, we’re going to have to revise some terms. BJJ largely happens on the ground…off the feet…and so feet based stance is largely ignored and instead posture is focused on. But there is an umbrella term that encapsulates both stance, posture (which usually refers to spinal position), and upper body positioning: guard.

Wrestling doesn’t use that term, but striking arts usually reserve that term for the upper body. BJJ usually applies “guard” the position of the legs relative to the other player’s legs…but I believe there is a better way to use it.  That ways includes the entire body.

Guard, or “Full Body” Guard, is a simplification of arms, legs, and spinal positioning. In order to be effective offensively or defensively, all parts of the body have to be in a particular position relative to each other. That’s why I call this master position “full body guard.”

It’s such a useful metaphor because it is incredibly predictive. When looking at a match at any point in time,it’s very easy to see who is ahead. Who is ahead is whoever is more in “full body guard.”

To win in Martial Arts, take your opponent out of their full body guard: whether that be there arms, legs, or spine (including head, it’s attached). But here’s the caveat: you have to do so by remaining more in your full body guard than they are in their full body guard. Win the “full body guard” game and you win the whole game.

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