The single leg x guard is another one of those incredibly off balancing guards that we often deal with in training. Marcelo Garcia is one of the pioneers of the position and for years I remember getting all of the information on the single leg x guard from his videos and matches. Garcia helped to evolve the SLXG in to the amazing guard configuration it is today, sparking an interest for thousands of BJJ players to recruit the guard as part of their game and begin exploring it themselves.
With the rise of the leg lock and the growth of its popularity the SLXG has gained even more momentum and its being used now more than ever. Not only is it a fantastic position to reverse, take the back, transition, etc. It’s also now become a platform in a systemized chain from where we can launch a plethora of leg attack sequences.
Yes, you may be finding yourself in the SLXG a lot these days. If you’ve been on the receiving end of a good SLXG you know just how off balancing and dangerous it can be. So, how do we dismantle the position without giving up too much?
Let’s look at a couple of ways that we can break down the SLXG and begin releasing ourselves from its clutches. We’ll start with some technique from Lachlan Giles. Have a look!
Straight away Giles begins talking about establishing a better base. If you’ve ever been here, you’ve probably succumbed to one of the most basic sweeps of the position if you neglected to make your base a priority immediately. Giles lowers his center of gravity down closer to his partner and also drives his entangled leg towards his partner’s belly to begin creating some solid balance.
The next order of business is to clear the foot from his hip. To do this, Giles secures the foot at the toes and dries his hip forward as he pushes to down to remove the foot. Pushing hip forward is a great detail here. Our hip provides a very accessible crevasse for the foot and it becomes very anchored there. When Giles pushes his hip out, it eliminates that anchoring point and makes the removal of the foot much easier. As the foot is cleared Giles lowers himself a bit more into the space. This will make it exceedingly more difficult for his partner to reestablish the foot position on the hip.
As Giles continues to drop down, his goal is to get his chest and left armpit past the line of his partner’s knee. Once he achieves this, he can begin settling in to a half guard position, in this case, butterfly half guard. There’s a great tip here on how to remove yourself from butterfly half that’s worth committing to memory. Giles warns against the backstep here, as your partner will likely follow you with the hook and turn your movement in to a reversal. Giles kicks out toward the hook and then cuts his hips back in the other direction to remove his leg. He then settles in, completing the pass.
If Giles is having trouble getting past that knee line, he can choose to employ a backstep. There is another danger here of Giles’ partner once again using a hook to follow Giles movement. To remedy this, before Giles backsteps, he must push the remaining hook under his opposite leg. As he does this, the threat of being tracked by his partner disappears. As Giles explains, the other leg is a threat as well. He keeps tabs on it also as he backsteps to make sure it’s a smooth transition with no unnecessary hang ups.
For the finish, Giles can either choose to bring his partners legs toward him or push them away to complete the pass.
This is a great place to start for passing the single leg x. Giles has broken down the basic elements that keep the position together, and dismantled them one by one. Excellent details here!
Let’s look at another way to dismantle the SLXG from Lucas Lepri. Lepri’s guard passing is simply otherworldly, and his approach is genius. Check it out!
Lepri’s variation is being performed in the gi, and upon a first glance we see a commonality with Giles’ method. Lepri also drops his hip down low and projects it, making it easier to clear the foot from his hip. After the foot is clear, Lepri takes a moment to secure his partners sleeve at the triceps and keeps his elbow to the inside.
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Here, Lepri opens his partners collar and places a thumb down grip inside. He expects the bottom player to bump him here to test his balance, so he places his free hand on the floor as a post for balance. He then transitions his knee to the belt line, puts pressure on the neck and then cuts through in the style of a knee slice pass.
When trying to complete the pass, Lepri’s partner makes an effort to keep that slicing knee from cutting through. If this is the case, lepri’s answer is to step his outside leg over his partner’s knee and push his knee cut leg to the opposite side, landing him squarely in the mount.
Upon completion of the technique, Lepri has one hand securely in the collar. From her he can begin to attack the neck or any other form of submission he chooses!
So, we have one no gi answer for the SLXG and one in the gi. I like that we can draw some parallels here with each separate variation. Regardless of what comes after, it seems that the experts agree on how to shed that initial foot from the hip to begin dismantling the position.
If you’re a single leg x guard fan, flip the script once in a while and make sure you’re just as good as answering to the position as implementing it. This will increase your overall awareness and understanding of this incredibly versatile guard.
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