I am 5 foot 10 and 190lbs. I am roughly 17% bf and consider myself quite strong. However my problem is that I am pretty short legs which makes closed guard quite difficult for myself to maintain.

Does anyone have any advice for guards/strategys etc that work well for my type of build. I am aware that BJJ does not have set strategys etc but I want to play to my strengths.

  • Butterfly Guard works great for people with short legs. Youtube any Marcelo Garcia butterfly guard series and work on it. Good Luck!
    – user3102
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


I'm similar.

What I do is try to break down their posture as quick as possible, this means holding with your feet is less of a problem. Once broken down I try working off to a side with a arm, and am playing with a Sean Williams guard.

If they posture up while I'm trying to break them down. I get aggressive about hunting for a hip bump, if they defend, find head arm grips and break them back down again, and if they posture to the side then go straight for basic sweeps.

If you are having problems with all that and they are keeping you down and you can't find anything, change grips, and get ready to go to open guard. Being stocky, you can go for a lasso and start working sweeps from there.

ie, whatever you do, don't just stay still, always be going for something, you can't be like those long legged guys who can seem to just hold position.

  • Thanks! I read that butterfly and half guard are very beneficial for people of a stocky build, do you also find this? Im quite new to bjj so closed guard is the only guard ive been working in at the minute
    – RNI2013
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 8:11
  • yes, if half guard I use lockdown a lot these days. Butterfly I haven't had a lot of success with. Though I often try and get my hooks in for sweeps. I'll tend to transition more into spider guard than butterfly. Commented May 14, 2014 at 11:30
  • Thanks, do you know of any resources i.e. videos/dvds where I can improve on my half guard skills. I have searched youtube but there isnt too many!
    – RNI2013
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 11:31
  • you can try things like youtube.com/watch?v=q_3D98PnTWA though, for me, I mostly have learnt from class. Commented May 14, 2014 at 11:37
  • Thanks looks good for defending! I found this video quite useful for the basics of half guard:
    – RNI2013
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 11:42

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