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

06 February 2019

06/02/2019 - Teaching | Open Guard | Defensive Frame Switch

Teaching #835
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 06/02/2019

At the 2019 Winter Camp, Mario Hudelist taught a very useful pointer on framing. I use frames a lot, having learned the concept from a combination of Ryan Hall's Defensive Guard and Jeff Rockwell (both in person when I trained with him in Austin, Texas then again from his Sit Up Escape System instructional). The basic idea is to use your skeletal structure to prevent your partner from moving forwards. At the same time, it also means you can push off them to create space and recover your guard.

The latter is what I focused on today, based on Mario's lesson. Frame into their shoulder/neck, bringing your elbow over the top to make it harder for them to dislodge your arm. Your other elbow immediately opens out, to quickly provide base to prevent them knocking you over. If you stay there, that can be enough to halt their forward pressure, but they may well be able to continue that pressure and still knock you over (especially if they're bigger).

Hence why Mario recommends switching sides straight away, by framing a second time on the other side. That also means your partner has to adjust the angle of their pressure, which should give you time to recover your guard before they are able to continue their push. The difficult part is getting that switch when they're driving really hard, as you may feel like any movement in your frame will result in their pass. But that's something to work on. ;)

Here's the full lesson, from when I taught it in a daytime class a while ago:


Teaching Notes: The exact shape of the frame isn't the most important element, though I think it is worth emphasising that the high elbow version gives you lots of surface area. At the same time, it's important not to be too dogmatic. Opening out the supporting elbow is another key point, I'll keep emphasising that. I did wonder initially if I needed to add more, but I think it's enough: takes people a while to really get that motion down properly. Hopefully once people get good at this, passing will also improve, meaning our framing will improve too. Win win. :)

Also, how to switch when you're worried any let up will result in them knocking you over. You need to keep that frame away from their efforts to pull it. Moving the arm back can help, or leaning heavily into your elbow. With the most experienced people, like Matt H, I find I end up just framing, not getting the switch. That's what I need to keep working, get in more drilling on it too.

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