The guard is a ground grappling position in which one combatant has their back to the ground while attempting to control the other combatant using their legs. In pure grappling combat sports, the guard is considered an advantageous position, because the bottom combatant can attack with various joint locks and chokeholds, while the top combatant’s priority is the transition into a more dominant position, a process known as passing the guard. In mixed martial arts competition or hand-to-hand combat in general, it is possible to effectively strike from the top in the guard, even though the bottom combatant exerts some control. There are various types of guard, with their own advantages and disadvantages.
The guard is a key part of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu where it can be used as an offensive position. It is also used, but not formally named, in judo though it is sometimes referred to as “dō-osae” in Japanese, meaning “trunk hold”. It is called the “front body scissor” in catch wrestling.
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