Worm Guard

This unorthodox and creative guard position, popularized by BJJ legend Keenan Cornelius, has gained recognition for its effectiveness in controlling opponents and setting up sweeps and submissions. 


The Origins of the Worm Guard

To understand the Worm Guard, we must trace its roots back to the De La Riva Guard and the visionary thinking of Keenan Cornelius. Keenan’s innovative mindset led him to experiment with lapel-based guards, pushing the boundaries of what was possible within the realm of BJJ. Through meticulous refinement and countless hours of training, the Worm Guard emerged as a testament to the ever-evolving nature of the martial art.


Key Concepts and Mechanics

At the heart of the Worm Guard lies a unique gripping strategy utilizing the lapel. By entangling the opponent’s arm with the lapel, practitioners gain control over their posture and limit their options for escape. The lapel acts as a powerful lever, enabling intricate movements and providing a strong foundation for attacks. Grip fighting becomes crucial, as proper positioning and maintaining distance play a vital role in executing the Worm Guard effectively.


Sweeps and Transitions

The Worm Guard offers an array of sweeps designed to destabilize opponents and transition into dominant positions. Two fundamental sweeps worth exploring are the Worm Sweep and the Leg Drag. These sweeps capitalize on precise timing, leverage, and weight distribution to off-balance and take control. Additionally, the Worm Guard provides seamless transitions to other guard positions, such as the X-guard or single-leg X-guard, opening up even more possibilities for fluid movement.


Submissions and Attacks

While the Worm Guard is known for its sweeping capabilities, it also presents a range of submission opportunities. Lapel chokes and arm attacks are common options that can catch opponents off guard. Advanced techniques like the Lapel Wrap Triangle and Lapel Whip offer unique and unexpected ways to submit opponents from this unorthodox position. Mastering these submissions requires dedication and precise execution.


Countering and Defending the Worm Guard

As with any technique, the Worm Guard has its weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Understanding these nuances provides valuable insight into countering and defending against it. By recognizing common mistakes and exploiting openings, opponents can neutralize the Worm Guard and prevent their adversaries from establishing dominant control.


Training and Drilling

Incorporating the Worm Guard into your training regimen requires consistent drilling and experimentation. Practice specific scenarios, refine your grips, and troubleshoot any challenges that arise. Embrace the journey of discovering the intricacies of the Worm Guard, allowing it to become a part of your personal BJJ style.