The most widely used and most basic guard position in BJJ is the full guard. This is when a practitioner entangles his legs behind his opponent’s back while the two of them are on the ground. But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t many other forms of guards that people use with success. There’s the butterfly guard, the half-guard, the De La Riva guard, the spider guard… all of them are used by many practitioners with high levels of success. And one of the guards that have gotten prominence not that recently is the Single Leg X guard. Below you will find some more information about how to implement this move in your game.
The setup of the Single Leg X guard
The single leg X guard is also known as the Ashi Garami. The way this guard looks is as following. One of your legs comes from in-between your opponent’s legs and to the outside – you place this foot at the hip of your opponent. Your other leg is to be found between your opponent legs – the knee is retracted and is used to stabilize the position. And this is the base of the single X guard.
There are many benefits to using this guard. First of all, it gives you a stable, relatively safe position. Also, you will be able to unleash a devastating combination of leg-locks and sweeps. Many of the top-tier BJJ competitors in the world have used the single leg X guard with great success. It’s a highly versatile position that you could use to get the win in a BJJ match.
Single Leg X Guard Entries
There are many ways in which you can enter the single X guard position – not the least of them being the fact that you can scramble on the ground until you get there. Perhaps the best method to get into this position is to sweep your standing opponent. You can do this in the following way. You scoot closer to your standing opponent with your legs between his legs. Before doing this, you should grab your opponent’s hands at the wrists and shove them away.
Then you grab the far leg of your opponent with your arm and you use your opposite leg to lift your opponent’s leg in the air. After you’ve done this, you can slip your leg behind your opponent’s leg and put your foot at his hip. And then you use your other leg to retract your knee and push your opponent’s leg.
Single Leg X guard Sweep
Mechanics mentioned above will destabilize your opponent and he won’t be able to find his balance. He will have to fall to the ground and you will get to the single X guard. For a demonstration of this simple, yet highly effective sweep, you should see the video below.
Leglocks from the Single Leg X Guard
The single leg X guard is perhaps best known for the devastating leglocks that a practitioner can unleash on his opponent from it. If you enter this position, then the classic ankle lock is yours for the taking. All you need to do is slide your arm underneath your opponent’s ankle, grab your wrist with the other arm, and start twisting your opponent’s ankle. This will result in a tap-out.
Not to say the least, you can also execute a perfect toehold from this position. Just grab your opponent’s toes with your hand and then slide your other arm underneath your opponent’s leg and grab the wrist of your first arm. You now have the executed the toehold setup and you need to start (GENTLY) twisting your opponent’s foot. A tap out is what will follow.
Finally, if you’re really out to do some damage, you can even execute a perfect heel hook from there. You need to know that certain organizations and even certain BJJ schools frown upon the practice of this move as its deemed highly dangerous. So, if you intend to execute it – again, execute it gently. From the exact same single X guard, you will just need to slide your arm underneath your opponent’s heel. Grab your wrist with your other arm and start twisting the heel. This too will result in a tap out.
The effectiveness of the Single Leg X Guard
There is no debate as to the effectiveness of the single leg X guard. If you’re ever in doubt of the power of this guard, then think back to all the great BJJ masterminds that have used this move with great success. And finally, what remains is that you try and execute this guard in practice. It’s not that complicated. All you need to do is drill it with your training buddies and, after a while, you will start implementing it in your game without even thinking about it. It’s a powerful guard that can bring you many points and submissions in BJJ matches.