If you’re a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, you know that guard play is crucial to controlling your opponent and setting up submissions. One guard that has been gaining popularity in recent years is the X-guard. This guard position allows you to control your opponent’s hips and sweep them, setting up a range of attacks and submissions. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the X-guard and how you can unlock its power in your BJJ game.


Getting Into the X-guard

To get into the X-guard, you start in an open guard position, with one leg between your opponent’s legs and the other on the outside. You then use your inside leg to hook your opponent’s far leg, controlling their movement and setting up the sweep. This position allows you to control your opponent’s balance, making it difficult for them to defend against your attacks.


Benefits of the X-guard

One of the benefits of the X-guard is its versatility. You can transition to other guards, such as the single-leg X-guard or the reverse De La Riva guard, to keep your opponent guessing and create even more opportunities for attacks. Another benefit is that it allows you to control your opponent’s balance, making it difficult for them to defend against your attacks. The X-guard is also a great way to set up sweeps, takedowns, and submissions.


Old School Sweep

One of the most effective sweeps from the X-guard is the “Old School Sweep”. This sweep involves sweeping your opponent to the opposite side, exposing their back. To execute this sweep, you need to off-balance your opponent by pulling them down towards you with your hooks, then drive your hips forward to sweep them. As they fall, you take their back or transition to a dominant position like the mount or side control.



Another powerful attack from the X-guard is the “X-choke”. In this submission hold, you use your grips to pull your opponent’s collar down while simultaneously controlling their far arm. You then bring your opposite leg over their head and lock in a tight squeeze with your thighs to force them to tap out. The X-choke is particularly effective against opponents who try to defend your sweeps by posting their arms on the mat.


Tips for Mastering the X-guard

To effectively use the X-guard, it’s important to have a strong grip and good hip mobility. Practice your hooks and sweeps with a partner and experiment with different setups and transitions. Start with the basics and then progress to more advanced techniques as you become more comfortable with the position. With time and dedication, you can master this powerful guard and add it to your BJJ arsenal.

The X-guard is just one of many guard positions in BJJ. However, its versatility and effectiveness make it an essential tool for any practitioner. Keep exploring and experimenting with different guards to find the ones that work best for your style and body type. With hard work and determination, you can become a well-rounded and formidable BJJ practitioner. So, keep rolling and stay focused on your journey towards mastering this dynamic martial art!