Full Guard Term Explained: MMA Glossary

Confused about the meaning of Full Guard? Here’s a quick answer:

In MMA, the full guard refers to a grappling position where the bottom fighter wraps their legs around the upper fighter’s waist, aiming to control and limit their opponent’s movement while looking for submissions or transitioning to a more advantageous position.

Still unsure or want to know more? Keep reading.

Understanding the Full Guard in MMA

The full guard is a fundamental position in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and a versatile technique widely used in mixed martial arts (MMA).

It involves the bottom fighter wrapping their legs around the upper fighter’s waist, providing them with control and the ability to neutralize their opponent’s attacks while seeking opportunities for submissions or positional advancement.

Controlling and Limiting Movement

When a fighter establishes the full guard, they aim to limit their opponent’s movement by using their legs to create a strong grip around the waist.

This tight grip restricts the upper fighter’s ability to deliver significant strikes, apply ground and pound techniques, or pass the guard to gain a more advantageous position.

Although the full guard primarily focuses on defensive techniques, fighters in this position can also launch counterattacks and submissions from the bottom.

Submissions from Full Guard

The full guard offers numerous submission opportunities for the bottom fighter. By utilizing their legs and hips, they can create leverage and apply various joint locks and chokes.

One of the most well-known submissions from the full guard is the triangle choke. This submission involves trapping the opponent’s head and arm between the bottom fighter’s legs, cutting off the blood flow to their head.

The triangle choke has been successfully executed by notable fighters such as Royce Gracie, who famously used it to win multiple matches in the early UFC events.

Another effective submission from the full guard is the armbar. With their legs still wrapped around the opponent, the bottom fighter can isolate one of their opponent’s arms and hyperextend the elbow joint by applying pressure on their hips and body.

Examples of fighters who have skillfully executed the armbar from the full guard include B.J. Penn and Ronda Rousey.

Transitioning to a More Advantageous Position

While the full guard is primarily a defensive position, fighters can use it as a launching pad to transition to more advantageous positions. One common strategy is to attempt a sweep, where the bottom fighter off-balances their opponent and reverses the positions, ending up on top.

Another transition option is to open the guard and seek to establish a different guard position, such as the half guard or butterfly guard. These positions offer more mobility and allow for further offensive opportunities from the bottom.

Notable Events and Fighters

The full guard has played a significant role in several memorable moments in MMA history. One of the most iconic events involving the full guard is the UFC 1 tournament in 1993.

Royce Gracie, representing the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu style, showcased the effectiveness of the full guard and submitted multiple opponents en route to winning the tournament.

Furthermore, renowned fighters such as Anderson Silva, Demian Maia, and Nate Diaz have demonstrated their mastery of the full guard throughout their careers, utilizing their defensive capabilities and submission potential to secure victories.

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In conclusion, the full guard is a pivotal position in MMA, providing fighters with control and defensive capabilities while offering various submission and transitional opportunities.

Understanding and effectively utilizing the full guard is essential for any MMA practitioner seeking success in both the grappling and ground aspects of the sport.