3 simple ways to shut down the lapel guard before it even starts

If you’re a guard passer, there are two things you hate most in this world…

…the lapel guard…

… and …

… Keenan Cornelius

While we can’t solve all of your problems, today we WILL be giving you some tips for that annoying lapel guard…

In this article, you’ll discover 3 ridiculously simple ways to shut down the lapel guard…

…before it even starts!

We promise, reading this article will give you that “Aha-Ha!” moment you’ve been looking for.

And with a little practice, you’ll soon be able to shut down elite level lapel players just like Keenan…

Look at him!

Keenan silly face

You know you want to shut that face down…

3 Super Simple Ways to Defend Against the Lapel Guard

Unfortunately, most instructional DVDs and Youtube videos feature defences against the lapel guard with more steps than Machu Picchu…

bjj machupichu

Here’s a visual reference for those of you with no imagination.

Rather than show you a bazillion step method for unravelling whichever incarnation of the lapel guard you find yourself in, we’re going to substitute those complex techniques, take you out of the rabbit hole, and apply simple reactions to stimuli indicating your opponent’s desire to play the lapel guard…

In short…

… Shutting it down BEFORE IT STARTS!

So, which defence should we begin with?

Which defence would help you stop that lapel guard well before it starts?

Well, to answer that, let’s look at the lapel guard like a story…

… and like any good story…

… we need to start at the very beginning…  

1: The “Shut-it-Down” Hand Position

Before we get into our first line of defence against the lapel guard, I want to ask you a quick question…

If you didn’t want someone entering your house and eating food from your refrigerator, which option would be the smartest?

A. Shut your front door and lock it.

or

B. Get rid of your fridge.

If you said A, you’d be correct…

If you said B, I think, right now, the lapel guard is the least of your worries.

Primed with this new mindset, we can now take a look at our first line of defence…

defend lapel standing

As you can see in this photo, Keenan’s opponent begins to set up the lapel guard by gripping the lapel and placing his foot inside for control

Keenan defending lapel standing weaving hand through the lapel

Your opponent gripping your lapel should serve as an indication of their intent to play some form of lapel guard.

Upon realising this, your first move should be to weave your own hand underneath your own lapel.

Keenan stopping the lapel guard grip from standing

As you can see in this photo, this strategy can also be used against opponents looking to play the worm guard.

This “shut-it-down” hand position makes the weaving of the worm a lot more difficult, providing you time to mount your own attack against their guard.

Simple, right?

But what happens if your opponent gets their foot in place before you get the upper hand (pun intended)?

2: Peel it ‘n’ Shut it

Keenan defending lapel standing

Ok, let’s assume you missed your timing and your opponent managed to get their foot in position.

Keenan defending lapel standing

This time, circling your hand under your own lapel will be difficult, due to your opponent’s foot being there.

Your goal here is to use an exaggerated twist in your torso to aid you in circling your hand under your lapel…

Keenan defending lapel standing

…taking a grip on the top of your opponent’s foot/toes.

Keenan defending lapel standing

Now,  push your opponent’s foot across your body.

From here, you have the option to drop to a knee for a leg drag or move into another pass of your preference.

However, It is important here that you push the foot ACROSS the body.

Do not remove the foot from the lapel and try to pass it to the outside, as your opponent will

now have the ability to circle their leg over the lapel for an even more annoying lapel lasso guard.

Ok, that’s two legit defences to the lapel guard.

But what if your opponent’s foot position is so strong that getting your hand into a peeling position is impossible?

Well, my friend, it’s now…

3: Disco Time!

You know you wanted a cool move to post on Instagram, admit it!

And here it is…

Keenan full hand weave defending the lapel

Ok, so as I mentioned earlier, in this situation your opponent’s foot is in too strong a position for you to finagle your hand into place…

Haha… finagle…

Sorry, where was I?

Oh yeah…

Keenan full hand weave defending the lapel

Your goal now is to simply UNWIND the lapel from your opponent’s foot…

… and look damn good doin’ it.

Moving laterally to the side of your lapel, turn and step over your opponent’s body…

Keenan full hand weave defending the lapel

… like so…

Keenan out of lapel guard

… to land in a position where your opponent still has control of your lapel, but this time without their advantageous foot position.

From here you have two options…

Go to back to our first line of defence we covered earlier,

or …

Keenan knee pressure in lapel guard

Initiate a guard pass that involves placing weight on or trapping the leg they’re trying to play lapel guard with.

Keenan knee pressure in lapel guard

This option may be the wiser, as after disco-ing out of your opponent’s lapel guard grip, they may opt for either the same grip again or, most likely, swing their leg over the top for a lasso variation on the lapel.

Trapping the leg encourages your opponent to let go of the lapel grip, which is now futile, while at the same time placing you in a primo position to punish them with a guard pass.

… trust me…

… this move looks a lot cooler on video than it does in still images…

If you’re interested in learning valuable details about playing the lapel guard so you can reverse engineer it for your own purposes…

You’re in luck!

You can find a whole bunch of key details within the LAPEL ENCYCLOPEDIA.

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