The Z-Guard is more complicated than it appears… Dan Faggella is a No Gi Pan Am Champion, a BJJ School Owner, and Writer for Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style (UK), and More. A Recognized Leg Lock Instructor, Dan is Giving Away a Free Heel Hook DVD (with Breakdowns of “Toquinho’s” Awesome Matches) with his Leg Lock Mastery Program at www.BJJLegLocks.com/Mastery
Starting from the Z Guard, my opponent has one knee up and the other on the mat. My knee is pointing flush in to my opponents sternum and my same side arm extends to in to his far shoulder keeping his weight off of me while he attempts to drive in to me.
"Use Their Force Against Them" – Be Like Water
Where far too many grapplers fail (and there’s no need for it) is in their failure to apply counter pressure to an advancing opponent or in other words, they become defensive, not offensive
There is a huge misconception among many grapplers regarding overall bottom game. Far too often, many grapplers become defensive and allow their opponent to become the sole aggressor of the match.
Bottom game is the very moment when you need to at all times be the aggressor and prevent in any way, your opponent from applying pressure and advancing.
The way to go about preventing your opponent from applying annoying top pressure is to use your limbs as posts, bracing on the various notches that can be found depending on your opponents position.
In the case of the Z Guard, my keys to success for stopping the advancement of my opponent are the extension of my arm in to my opponents shoulder and my knee in to his sternum.
Now that you have braces and are applying counter pressures to your opponent is the time to really get to work. Remember our body can only do 2 things, push and pull. We are already “pushing” via the extension of our arm in to our opponents shoulder and our knee sticking in to their sternum. In order to “rock” our opponent off balance, we switch our movements from push to pull.
The Transition to the TAP!
With my bottom arm, I grab around the outside of his knee. My hand that was bracing on my opponents shoulder transitions to a grip on the back of his neck.
Using my opponents notches (neck and knee), I pull myself and shoot my top knee past his hip and my bottom knee past his foot.
As soon as I shoot my hips through, I reposition myself to a parallel alignment to my opponent and then my knee comes crashing over my opponents knee. When his knee touches the ground, I am in the perfect position to finish.
Dan Faggella is a No Gi Pan Am Champion, a BJJ School Owner, and Writer for Jiu Jitsu Magazine, Jiu Jitsu Style (UK), and More. A Recognized Leg Lock Instructor, Dan is Giving Away a Free Heel Hook DVD (with Breakdowns of “Toquinho’s” Awesome Matches) with his Leg Lock Mastery Program at www.BJJLegLocks.com/Mastery