Defending Against Rubber Guard

I’ve recently been asked about ways of defending against the rubber guard. Although I’m decent with rubber guard basics, I’m not an expert in it, so an expert might blow through my suggestions…

However, here’s my advice (watch the video below for a better explanation)

  • Start by learning the rubber guard basics yourself. If you know what you opponent’s trying to do BEFORE he does it, things become much harder for him. (Sort of common sense, right?) Not to mention… rubber guard’s a great position… you should learn it anyways.
  • Rubber guard is tough to escape, so it’s easier to avoid it in the first place than to have to escape it. Learn to avoid being caught with your head down OR being pulled forward… that’s when your opponent can put on the rubber guard. Which leads you to…
  • Ways to avoid being pulled forward OR having your head down:
  • Your opponent can’t pull you forward or put on rubber guard when your hands are to his biceps. So:
  • Pass guard with your hands to biceps (see video)
  • Put your knee to his butt (to open his legs) while your hands are to his biceps, then posture hands at belt line and pass (see video)
  • Proper posture – keep you head behind your hands (“tripod position” ) while passing or standing to avoid being pulled forward (see video)
  • Post off on your opponent when he tries to sit up to pull you down (see video)

ALTERNATELY, If you’re getting trapped in the basic rubber guard grip, there’s a few possible options that may work IF DONE EARLY ENOUGH. I’m not going into those here. The point I’m trying to get across is, it’s MUCH easier to avoid the rubber guard position than it is to escape it. If you spend time learning how to not get caught in it, you won’t have to defend against it nearly as often.

Keep training!


How do YOU defend against rubber guard? Post your ideas below!


  1. Just a heads up with the Hands on the Biceps. Usually against a woman since they have a shorter Torso than a male does, you dont need to lean to far forward to place your Hands on their Biceps. However against a male since they typically have longer Torso’s as they are taller you most likely will need to lean further forward to place your hands on their Biceps. This puts your center of gravity in jeopardy as you are farther forward trying to hold them down instead of keeping your posture nice and erect. Also with holding on to the Biceps of someone who knows the Rubber Guard well they are going to use a Basic Swim Move on both of your Arms which in turn is going to further break down your posture and thus giving them an oppurtunity to sit up and break you down into the Rubber Guard. A safe bet is to keep your Back “Posture” straight, keep your elbows in, and your hands facing away from each other planted on your opponents stomach below their diaphram. This will not only help keep you from being pulled down but it also sets up Guard Passes.

    I hope this helps.

    • @Chester Wright, good point, particularly when training for for sport.

      For street fighting where there’s striking involved, I’ve found that it’s often necessary to weigh the odds that your opponent actually knows how to break you down VERSUS the necessity to stop him from punching you while passing his guard.

      In those non-sport situations, the benefit of trapping his biceps to prevent strikes can outweigh the risk that he can quickly counter that position.

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