Street Fight Analysis: The Importance of Active Open Guard in a Fight

In the street fight video below, we see how important an active open guard is in a street fight or self-defense situation. In the video, two untrained combatants,  one in a white shirt and the other in a black shirt take the fight to the ground when white shirt scores a take down. The fight is goes back and forth until the 1:00 minute mark where black shirt stands up into white shirt’s open guard. White shirt gets lazy and lets his guard down. which allows black shirt to take a side step and land a kick to white shirt’s head. From there its all goes south for white shirt.

In a self-defense or street fight situation, having an active open guard can mean the difference between being able to fend off an opponent and go home with a few bumps and bruises or getting brutally beat down. If the guy in the white shirt had 6 to 12 months of sport or self-defense training in Jiu Jitsu, he would have learned the importance of an active guard and would have the training and instincts to maintain an active guard.

Your legs are your first and most effective line of defense against an attacker when you are fighting off of your back. White shirt relaxed for a brief second and let his guard down as shown in the image below. If his legs and guard were activated, his feet would be elevated and pressed against his opponents hips to allow him to maintain distance, track his opponent’s movements and stay squared up on his opponent. At times, there will be a need to transition to inside or outside hooks with the feet in order to maintain the guard and prevent your opponent from passing or side stepping the guard to set up a kick or series of strikes.

White shirt litarally let his guard down.

Since white shirt’s feet were not activated to monitor his opponent and maintain the distance, black shirt was able to take a quick side step to white shirt’s left side and wind up for a soccer kick to the head which stunned white shirt. After this kick, black shirt assumed the top position and landed a series of blows to white shirt’s head that ended the fight.

Lazy guard results in kick to the head.

In addition to having an active open guard to keep your opponent at bay for street fights and self-defense situations, being able to use your legs for up kicks and kicks to the knee can create enough distance between you and your opponent to allow you to use a technical stand up to get back to your feet as shown in the video below.

Here in the video below, Stephan Kesting demonstrates other techniques and details on how to adapt your guard for self-defense and MMA.



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