27/02/14 – More guard retention work

Before I start with my weekly training journal I just wanted to have a quick chat about the River Dillon post. I honestly never expected that post to viral in the BJJ community. The post has had over 6,000 views, in just two days, and I never thought that my little blog would be discussed in the far reaches of Australia. Anyway, as of that post I have a few plans that I can’t go into yet, but hopefully it’s going to be sweet. Anyway, on with the show.



Tonight I managed to enjoy the rare occurence of being able to attend big Matt’s class, after his recent win at the Newquay open, you could see a rejuvination in the class and a focus in everyone that’s not been seen in a while.

The session started with some standard warm-ups, shrimping, stretching, etc, and tonight I was taken under the wing of Gary who kindly agreed to helping me with a bit of one-on-one work.


This evening I really wanted to focus on my guard retention. Last Saturday I got at KJ2 because my guard work isn’t up to scratch as it should be. So tonight I really wanted Gary to help me discover what i’m doing wrong and how I can correct these silly mistakes.

We work through some ideas on why I’m always having my De La Riva passed and why i’m having such problems when people grab my trouser legs.

After we worked through this, we went back through some old retention work, which can be found in this post, and Gary wanted me to utilise these when we rolled.

During our time together, we also looked at working the De La Riva ankle lock that’s re-emerged but we still haven’t quite figured it out yet, and Gary showed me some pretty sweet shin-on-shin guard passes, both of which can be found in my Top 6 BJJ techniques for 2014 post.


To start off the night’s marathon rolling session, myself and Gary worked what I’d been doing all evening, guard retention. Next I moved on to the other students and last night I seemed to be in demand as everyone wanted to roll with the superstar blogger.

Rolling was fine, I almost scumbed to an armbar that I refused to give up, which eventually saw me escaping and passing. Rolling with big matt got me destroyed but as i’m heading into competition mode, he’s someone who can really test me and keep me going.


Tonight’s little victories became apiphanies. I realise why my guard was getting passed and that is because I work off my back too much, and when I mean back I’m lying on my shoulder blades and not keeping my abs and lower back engaged. Also, my target for the next couple of weeks is to keep working on my guard retention and sitting a lot more. Back bad, sitting good!

About the author


Richard Presley

A purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Richard is the owner and primary writer of Attack The back. Check out my About Me Page to learn more!

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