Rubber Guard Basics: What is it and Most Effective Moves

The rubber guard is known as an unorthodox position in the BJJ arsenal. If you see how most people roll on the mats – you will see that they use the traditional BJJ positions, such as the closed guard. Well, the rubber guard puts a twist in the BJJ position game and many people are picking it up as a preferred method of holding the bottom guard.

Many people would say that the rubber guard is an acquired taste. After all, this is not an orthodox position and it still requires a degree of flexibility that many people simply don’t have. But if you find that you’re flexible enough, then you will be able to incorporate the rubber guard in a variety of BJJ, MMA, and real fight scenarios and your opponents will not know what hit them. Read more about rubber Guard techniques and origin

History of the rubber guard

The move was originally used by Nino Schembri in Jiu-Jitsu tournaments all the way back in the nineties. Nino was a fan of this position and he has managed to create a style of rolling based on it. However, the position truly blew up in public consciousness after Eddie Bravo picked it up and developed the 10th Planet BJJ system around it. Eddie Bravo, in turn, became famous after defeating Royler Gracie with a triangle choke by using his system centered around the rubber guard position. Nowadays many people use this guard for BJJ, MMA, and self-defense.

How to do the rubber guard

One of the main potential drawbacks of this position is that it requires a degree of flexibility in your legs. Typically, the more flexible you are in this sense, the easier it will be to get to this position. You start in the bottom guard and instead of closing it off like you would usually do by closing your feet behind your opponent’s back – you put one of your shins over the neck of your opponent and grab your shin with the opposite arm. The elbow of your arm should touch your opponent’s collarbone if the position is set properly.

Key benefits

The rubber guard has its use especially in MMA and in street fight situations. The reason for this is that you will be able to control your opponent’s posture very effectively and pin him down to your chest. This will leave little room for him to make any maneuvers and hit you. If you use the traditional closed guard, then your opponent may rain down power shots on your head if you’re not careful – but this is not the case with the properly executed rubber guard.

And the rubber guard is very versatile. The traditional closed guard can keep you safe in the sport of BJJ but you won’t have many options if you want to sweep or submit your opponent – you will have to open your guard first for these things to work. However, the rubber guard, as we said, is much more versatile than this. You will be able to do a plethora of submissions and passes from this position – and you will even be able to strike your opponent if you’re in an MMA fight or in a street fight.


Again – there are many moves that you could do from this position. You can take your opponent’s back, get to the mount, or submit him in a variety of different ways.

Gogoplata from the Rubber Guard

If your flexibility serves you right, then you will be able to do a sneaky, unexpected move in the form of the gogoplata. All you need to do in order to make this move work is transfer your shin from over the neck of your opponent to under it – while keeping his head pressed over the shin with your arms. This will put a lot of pressure on his throat and he will have to tap out soon enough. Make sure that you do this move properly because if you miss out on one of the details, then your opponent may very easily stand up and bypass your rubber guard altogether.

Omoplata from the Rubber guard

Then you have the option to do an omoplata. If you sense that your opponent’s arm is vulnerable, then you can go for the omoplata by transferring your leg from over the neck to under it and by moving to the side. Then you will be able to put pressure on your opponent’s shoulder and tap him out.

Rubber Guard to Traingle choke

Finally, if your opponent does a counter to the omoplata from rubber guard, then you will be able to repurpose this movement and do the triangle. Just rotate your body to the side and throw your other leg over his neck. Then you will be able to close your legs and perform the triangle.

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