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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

29 July 2015

29/07/2015 - Teaching | Koala Guard | Single Leg

Teaching #364
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 29/07/2015

No doubt there are other names for this position, but koala guard is suitably evocative. If you're starting from sitting guard, this can be a useful option if they have broken your grip on their collar. Immediately scoot in, hooking the leg you have on the ground around the back of their leg. Your collar-gripping arm goes around the back of their leg. Jam your head in tight against their leg, on the inside (or you're at risk of guillotines).

From here, you can do a mini technical stand-up, basing off your free hand and other foot. Lift your bum slightly off the ground, then scoop their leg with the leg you have behind theirs. Maintain a tight grip, then move into side control. For even more control, it's useful to grip their sleeve with the arm you have behind their leg. Failing that, you can also grab their belt or their gi lapel. If none of that is available, you can just grab your own gi.

Be aware of their knee positioning. You want to try and stay on the side of that knee. If they are able to drive their knee into your chest, that gives them a chance to set up a pass, crushing your back down onto the mat.
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Teaching & Sparring Notes: Staying really tight is key, along with keeping your head inside. It's natural for the head to start creeping to the outside, but that's guillotine territory. I haven't taught guillotines yet (it's not a technique I use much myself), but it might be worth putting that in to highlight the risk. Also, I could throw in some breakfalling drills at the start. It's a fairly controlled takedown position, but some breakfalling practice would still make sense. Maybe even single leg drills?

I've been trying this technique in sparring over the last few weeks, which has been comparatively effective, though I tend to end up being a bit scrambly with it. Also, due to all the sitting guard we've been doing, people have become wary of grips on their collar. So I've been testing out either chasing them by scooting along the floor, or simply waiting for them to engage. I could also try a longer range open guard, reaching with my legs? Koala guard has proved useful as an alternative when I don't have a grip, but I could do with something that applies when they start running away from you too. I'll play with leg stuff next time in sparring.

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