Fighting From The Downed Guard

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There are many ways that you can end up on your back while your opponent is standing. You could get knocked down with a punch or kick. Your opponent could trip you or stand up in your guard. However you end up in this terrible spot, your main goal should be to escape back to your feet. This is often difficult to manage when your opponent is standing within striking range because he can land a kick to your head or haul you back to the mat the moment you begin to rise. To safely get up, you need to create separation between you and your opponent. One way to accomplish this is to throw up-kicks at his legs, body, and head. If you can create distance and make your opponent fearful of coming forward or down with an attack, standing up becomes a whole lot easier. You should take this option whenever possible, even if you want the fight to remain on the ground. As I have already mentioned, MMA is not just a grappling match. Even the best jiu-jitsu practitioners in the world are susceptible to getting knocked out with a stomp kick to the head or a heavy, downward punch from the downed guard. A better approach is to get up, set up a takedown, and secure the top position.

If your opponent manages to move close enough to where he is standing between your legs, your options change. You might still be able to land an up-kick to his face, but there are better options available. I like to use both the Goes and De La Riva guard positions. Not only do these positions make it difficult for your opponent to gain control of your legs and strike, but they also allow you to counter your opponent's available strikes, opening numerous options in the process. These options include getting back to your feet, sweeping your opponent over to his back, and pulling him down into your guard. Although sweeping your opponent or escaping back to your feet is more desirable than pulling him into your guard, you sometimes have to take what you can get. As a result, it is important that you drill each of the techniques I have included in the upcoming section so you'll be prepared to deal with a variety of scenarios.

Key Concepts for Fighting from the Downed Guard

^Transitioning to the shell allows you to defend kicks and throw kicks of your own.

^Get up whenever the opportunity presents itself. Timing and sense of distance is everything.

»'Never let your opponent gain control of your legs.

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