5 Guard Techniques From The Modern Jiu-jitsu

I am fond of writing articles on Jiu-jitsu Times discussing the philosophy and training of “old school” Gracie Jiu-jitsu.

But watching the top competitors compete for gold at the Pans, Mundials and ADCC, we see some techniques and strategies that were not well known just a few years ago.

The rules of sports bjj dictate the strategies and innovations that the competitors use.
It seems every major competition reveals a new position developed by a top competitor.
These tactics are a LONG way from the basic clinch > trip > mount > take the back > RNC that Royce Gracie used in those early UFCs.

But if you think that basic, old school game is going to win the top titles in even the blue belt division of the top competitions, you are wrong!
Sport Bjj leads the evolution of many new positions – especially the guard.

Here are 5 Guard Techniques From The Modern Jiu-jitsu

1) Advanced Berimbolo With The Miyao Brothers
Perhaps no technique is both as widely used and as identified by critics of the modern sports bjj as the berimbolo.
In addition to the Mendes Brothers, perhaps the Miyao brothers are most famous for this competition strategy.


2) 50 / 50 Guard
The human bodies and can entangle in a finite number of configurations, (and there is probably a wall engraving somewhere in Greece depicting 2 ancient grapplers in 50 / 50 guard) but this is something that has gained popularity in bjj only in the last several years.
Primarily used to sweep and / or gain an advantage point, heel hooks (when permitted in the rules) and arm locks can also be attacked from the position.



  1. Just out of true curiosity, IF the IBJJF were to change the rules to allow punches, kicks, slams and headbutts (FAT chance of any of these I know, but humor me?), how well do you think these Modern Jiu Jitsu Guards would work?

    • Mournstorm; some techniques, whether you consider them “modern” or “traditional, New School or Old School, are also considered less effective when you throw striking into the equation.
      Just watch the top level Jiu Jitsu practitioners (who are successful) in MMA to see what works well and what doesn’t, you don’t need to consider something abstract like the IBJJF rule set being changed to include that kind of stuff. Demian Maia and Neil Magny are two practitioners I believe do this quite well, never mind the Diaz Brothers and more.

  2. @Jahred, thanks for your reply.

    I mentioned the IBJJF as their rules have sort of been aping Judo’s (IJF) AND Vice Versa for some time, much to the detriment of the arts (MY Opinion ONLY!) in question, at least from an historical and, to some extent, original concept/purpose point of view.

    IE, it seems that many of the rules and rules changes are geared toward more ‘action’ (stalling notwithstanding) and flash to ‘make it more exciting for the fans’ (aka putting asses in the seats), as opposed to practicality. NOT saying Tornado or Spider guard aren’t effective in the venue of competition; just wondering if they’re as applicable in a more serious/stressful/dangerous situation.

    Your points about MMA are well taken and I agree, having watched closely over the years as UFC and other organization’s fighters develop. Neil and Demian are absolute beasts and handle themselves EXCEPTIONALLY well (one would do well, IMO, to ‘ape’ either or both fighters whose success is undeniable…just ask Hector Lombard). Go to the ground with either of the Diaz boys for ‘fun’ or profit? NO thank you, very much. 🙂

    I guess I’m just hopeful that more players will pay more attention and detail to the roots and original purpose of the art and embrace those as well as competing. 🙂


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