Let’s see one guard that became very famous over the years in Brazilian jiu jitsu : the lasso guard. Used in loads of competitions, it’s important to understand how it works, either to play it, or to defend it. This guard is an excellent one not to be smashed when you are playing guard. You can control much better your opponent’s pressure. It is effective for smaller guys over bigger guys. With this guard on, it will be really difficult for your opponent to put pressure over you, because one of his arm/shoulder and posture will be controlled by yourself.
Why is defending the lasso so complicated ? For the same reasons that it is good to play it, because the is controlling you well. It is almost impossible to break this guard down without losing balance or posture. Let’s see this technique with more details.
Playing the lasso guard.
Often on a guard, the most difficult part is to settle it. Once you settle it, you can play it more easily. In this case, i personally found it kind of difficult to do it, but there are some main principles:
- Your back is on the floor, your opponent is facing you, on his knees or sitting. (It can be as well settled while your opponent is standing, but you need to have a good control, exemple: starting from the spider guard.)
- Place your feet in his arms, and grip the extremity of his sleeves.
- One of your leg has to surround from the outer part of his arm, and to slide the foot of the same leg between his arm and his chest (armpit) that’s the famous “lasso” where the guard’s name comes from.
- Be strong on your grip, keeping your elbow tucked in, and have as well a strong hook with your foot. This will help you having a better control over your opponent’s shoulder.
If you fix the lasso guard from the spider guard, it doesn’t change much about the principles.
- Your opponent is standing, you managed to settle the spider guard, gripping his both sleeves extremities and both of your feet are on your opponent’s cubital fossa.
- Keep those both grips.
- Pull one of his arm towards you, on this pulled side, do the lasso with your leg over his arm, moving your hips up and towards the side you want to attack. Same principle, your leg surrounds from outside and your feet come under his armpit, with a strong hook.
Why is the lasso guard so dominant? The lasso guard have the advantage to be able to be combined with almost all other guard, like Spider/lasso, De la Riva/lasso, X-guard/lasso… Once combined, the lasso guard is one of the best control you can have over your opponent when you are in open guard. You break his posture, you make him more tired quicker, you have an excellent control over his pressure.
As well, the lasso guard is super tricky, when someone thinks they pass the lasso guard and have control over you, you can invert it to sweep them easily.
Passing the lasso guard.
As I mentioned earlier, passing this guard might be very difficult, your opponent has a good control of your posture, position, pressure… Nevertheless, no guard is impossible to pass. It is no easy task, but there are few principles to follow.
- Pass the side your opponent settled the lasso, so if you’re right arm is trapped, pass on the right side, if it is your left arm trapped, pass on your left.
- Keep a low barycenter. Like in a strong and stable squat position.
I recommend you to read this excellent article, from BJJ fanatics, about pressure-passing the Lasso guard.
Sweeps from the lasso guard.
So, to take points, you can’t stay in guard forever, you need at least to sweep and take an advantaging position. The guard is still considered like a weak position. Being in a strong guard such as the lasso guard, you can have plenty of different sweeps. Just to name a few, you can have some good examples of sweeps from this lasso guard.
The tripod sweep.
The sweep from lasso/half guard here by World champion, Lucas Leite.
Or another sweep where you need to charge your opponent over you, presented by Andre Galvao.
Submissions from the lasso guard.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu main goal, submission. Win the match from the lasso guard. Here some examples :
Lasso guard to omoplata :
Shown a version with a sweep on the video with Galvao, here an other version from Kurt Osiander. This submission is one of the most logical from the lasso guard because of the lasso itself. Enough to turn your hips on the most natural way following the lasso, break your opponent posture and you are in position to settle the omoplata.
Lasso guard to triangle :
Triangle might be a good alternative as well, considering one foot is under the armpit already.
From the lasso guard, the opposite hand needs to grip the collar, pull your opponent’s head towards you. Then, with your free leg put your hips the highest possible and pass this same leg around his neck. Then you can easily settle the triangle.
Here a video to understand better the way to do it.
Those are only two submission from the lasso guard. Of course, there are plenty of other variations, submissions and else. I invite you to look for more information on internet, books and of course, asking your professor, because there is nothing better than a live explanation if you miss details. And you, from this lasso guard, what is your favourite sweep ? Your favourite submission ? Do you have an other guard you really like to play ? Comment below to tell me everything ! And as usual, enjoy training 😉
Written by Around the JU