MMA Fight Skills – Fighting from Guard Bottom Position

In the guard bottom position a martial artist may throw strikes, but because they cannot put their body mass behind them it’s improbable they’ll be a danger or produce a knockout. Nevertheless, this position is useful for submission moves or sweeps. The opponent should either be held well away or extremely near; anything in between may lead to damaging strikes.

Guard Bottom Position

When the opponent is a useful one on the ground the mma fighter also needs to be trying to return to their feet. What usually happens:

  • The fighter is in the guard bottom position, keeping their adversary away from striking range as in the video here:



  • The fighter keeps the opponent very close to reduce their striking potential.

Sit-up guard to standing

When the opponent’s posture is erect, the sit-up guard is a superb method for reducing the effect of possible heavy attacks.

  • The opponent’s erect posture places them in a highly effective striking position.
  • To generate distance and prevent strikes to the facial area, the mma fighter rolls up on to one arm and places the forearm of the other arm about the opponent’s throat.
  • The fighter continues to drive their forearm into the opponent’s throat while they come upwards on to their hand, locking their elbow, in readiness for driving on to their feet.
  • The fighter turns away from the opponent and helps to create room by continuing to drive with the hand on their throat.
  • The fighter’s leg closest to their hand on the ground is brought out and positioned out of reach from the adversary.
  • The fighter’s body is elevated while they draw the other leg out of reach. The hand positioned on the opponent’s neck continues to keep them at a distance.
  • Since the fighter’s lower limbs tend to be out of reach and also the opponent has been shoved away, the opponent cannot try a takedown.
  • The fighter returns to standing.

Hip sweep

The goal of the hip sweep from the guard bottom is to rotate the adversary on to their back and get them in the mount position. The move begins by the fighter getting into the sit-up guard, turning directly into the opponent and sweeping them to obtain the mount position (the fighter straddling the opponent’s stomach muscles as the opponent is laying on his back). Technique tips:

  • The opponent with erect posture is in a great placement to land highly effective attacks.
  • To get up, the mma fighter spins their body sideways and places their non-supporting hand against the opponent’s neck.
  • The fighter proceeds to drive their forearm into the opponent’s neck while they come up from their elbow to their hand.
  • The fighter continues to turn and push the opponent’s neck to generate room.
  • The fighter unhooks his or her feet from behind the opponent’s back and proceeds making use of their hip currently raised.
  • The fighter continues to turn their shoulder and hip into the sparring floor. The arm which was positioned on their opponent’s neck is currently wrapped about their opponent’s arm to avoid a counter sweep.
  • Using a speedy rotation of their hips, the fighter quickly turns their challenger.
  • The fighter is currently in the mount position.

Kimura from guard bottom

This particular move commences in the same manner as the hip sweep, however differs in response to the opponent putting an arm on the floor and securing their elbow. The fighter after that applies the kimura, involving a lot of pressure on the opponent’s glenohumeral joint and is for that reason most likely to produce a submission. Techniques and tips:

  • The fighter tries a hip sweep until the opponent counters by positioning an arm on the mat.
  • The fighter takes the chance to put their arm round the opponent’s arm positioned on the mat.
  • The fighter continues to turn until the elbow of the supporting arm is on the mat, after which the hand of this arm catches the opponent’s hand.
  • The fighter’s other hand goes round to join it.
  • The fighter’s entire body turns in the other direction, now towards the opponent’s head. As the fighter turns onto their back, they position their hip nearer to the last position of the kimura to allow for a much better angle.
  • Continuing to turn towards the opponent’s head, the fighter places their outside lower leg around the rear of the opponent. Simultaneously, the fighter draws the arm that is hooked beneath the opponent towards them whilst driving the opponent’s wrist in the direction of their head. The fighter is now in the kimura position and very likely to obtain a submission.

Posture up to a guillotine

The guillotine could be used when a hip sweep isn’t able work because of the opponent countering by lowering their bodyweight into the fighter. The opponent will frequently bring down their head in this move, offering an ideal chance to use the guillotine. Tips:

  • The fighter attempts a hip sweep.
  • The fighter turns their body in direction of their hand falling into the opponent.
  • The fighter wraps their non-supporting arm around their opponent’s head and beneath their chin.
  • The fighter rolls on to their back, taking the opponent down with them. The fighter’s supporting arm is pressed in between their bodies to hold on to the fighter’s other wrist.
  • To put on the final guillotine, the fighter locks their legs behind the opponent’s back and forces them away, creating a lot more pressure on their neck.

Arm bar

With the mma fighter in the sit-up guard, the opponent has decreased choices for attacking strategies. One choice would be to drive the fighter back down, however this provides them with the ability to implement the arm bar position while using the downwards force from the challenger.

  • The fighter goes into the sit-up guard position by setting their arm about the opponent’s neck and driving up from the elbow of their other arm .
  • The opponent counters by driving the fighter back again to the floor using their hands.
  • As the fighter is being forced down, they hook their supporting arm round the inside of the opponent’s thigh. Then they draw their body into the opponent’s leg and wrap their outside leg over the near side of the opponent’s head.
  • The fighter’s hand is taken away from the opponent’s neck since this has become controlled by the fighter’s leg. The arm is instead employed to pin the opponent’s arms to the fighter’s upper body. For the last section of the move, the fighter lifts their hips and applies downwards force using their legs.

Sit-up guard to back position

Once the fighter is within the sit-up guard position they restrict their opponent’s striking possibilities. The forwards impetus of the attacks the opponent can make may be used against them by dodging the blows and catching the shoulder of the hitting arm. Technique:

  • The fighter moves into the sit-up guard position by placing their arm on the opponent’s neck and supporting themselves with their other hand.
  • The fighter takes the opportunity presented by the opponent attempting to throw an elbow strike to move their head out of the way and capture the opponent’s shoulder with the hand that was pushing into their neck.
  • The fighter pulls their hip from underneath the opponent by planting their foot and sliding out.
  • The fighter’s supporting arm is wrapped around the opponent’s back.
  • The fighter’s leg underneath the opponent is placed between their legs.
  • The fighter is now in the back mount position with a firm hold.

Getting up from guard bottom

Once the mma fighter is in the guard bottom position making use of their opponent’s head held near, the opponent may make an effort to straighten up to generate room to allow them to implement attacks employing their bodyweight. Nevertheless, the opponent’s upwards impetus may be used by the fighter to start to drag themselves back up to standing up. Technique:

  • The fighter controls the opponent’s head from the guard bottom position.
  • The opponent pushes up with their hands to straighten up.
  • The fighter holds on to the opponent’s head and uses the upward momentum to roll up on to their other arm.
  • The fighter continues to sit up by placing one foot on the mat and moving from the elbow to the hand of the supporting arm.
  • The fighter removes their other leg from around the opponent and places it in the back position on the ground.
  • The arm around the opponent’s head remains in place to control the distance.
  • The fighter gets up and pushes their opponent away.
  • The competitors are completely separated.

Elbows from closed guard

Implementing strikes whilst a fighter is on their back isn’t the best choice. Nevertheless, one of the better attacks out of this situation is almost certainly the elbow strike. Since the opponent’s face is near to the fighter’s upper body in the closed guard position, the fighter needs to drive their head upwards using both hands to produce space. The opponent will frequently attempt to get their head back towards the fighter’s body, so when they do the fighter releases their hold and attacks using their elbow. Technique:

  • The opponent is in the fighter’s close guard.
  • The fighter pushes the opponent’s head upwards to create space.
  • The opponent pushes their head back down; when the fighter removes their hands, the opponent’s head snaps forwards into the fighter’s elbow strike.
  • As soon as the blow is struck, the fighter removes their arm to prevent it being trapped.

Blocking punches while in guard bottom

The sit-up guard is a great way to impede an opponent’s attacks. Nevertheless, you can find alternate options, such as blocking, which work especially well when the opponent has got the fighter pinned on the ground by pressing down on their abdomen. At the moment right after the opponent has retracted their arm to provide force to a punch, the fighter combines their forwards momentum using a pull forwards of the knees to their upper body. The opponent’s base is busted, taking energy from the strike. When the opponent’s body collapses on to the fighter’s body, the fighter has got the chance to evaluate their choices without having to be punched. Application:

  • The opponent is postured up in the fighter’s full guard.
  • The opponent pulls back their striking arm and the fighter protects themselves with their hands.
  • The fighter uses the opponent’s forward momentum, combined with pulling their knees towards their chest, to intercept the opponent’s strike with their arm.
  • The opponent is held down to prevent them from straightening up and delivering another strike.

Another option is to keep one leg behind the opponent’s back while the other comes under their shoulder, when they swing back for a strike. During this manoeuvre it is important to maintain the hold on the back of their neck to keep them low.

  • The opponent is in the fighter’s close guard, with one of the fighter’s hands behind their head to prevent them from straightening up and generating additional punch power.
  • The opponent pulls their arm back in preparation for a punch. The fighter places their knee in the shoulder of the opponent’s punching arm and lifts their own arm as a block in case their knee doesn’t stop the punch.
  • The fighter’s knee prevents the powerful punch intended for their face. The opponent’s head and punching arm are still being controlled by the fighter.

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