MMA Fight Skills – Fighting from Guard Top Position

Any time both competitors are on the floor with the fighter on top in between their opponent’s legs, this can be referred to as being in the guard top position. Using this position, the fighter can hit with both their hands or elbows.

Guard Top Position

The opponent in the guard bottom position will either make an effort to sweep the fighter or control their head and hands to minimise the amount of weight they can put behind their strikes.

Posture up guard

The mma fighter places one hand on the opponent’s upper body to stop them from sitting upright and taking hold of the head. With this particular control set up, the fighter can use strikes using the complete power of their body weight. The fighter keeps good posture and a strong base by sitting upright. Key Points:

  • The fighter forces the opponent’s chest straight down with one hand while keeping good posture.
  • The fighter’s other hand stays back to give you the choice of strikes or to push the opponent’s legs apart.

Bicep control

The bicep control stops the opponent from sitting upright. When utilized, the fighter’s arms are straight and the hands are put around the biceps with the thumbs on top. With their arms pinned to the mat, the opponent’s choices for counter strategies are decreased.

  • The fighter controls the biceps by pinning the opponent down with their hands, with the thumbs on top.
  • The fighter’s arms are straight and their body is leaning forwards.


The opponent on the floor strives to reduce the effect from strikes and elbows by manipulating the fighter’s hands and head. The fighter counteracts this by swiping away or manipulating the opponent’s hands. Both are able to use strikes to pass through each other’s defences.


  • The fighter frees one hand in anticipation of punching.
  • The fighter controls the opponent.
  • The non-punching hand can be used to pin the opponent’s hand to their upper body, successfully stopping them from protecting themselves.
  • The fighter throws an overhand by dropping their weight forwards.


  • The opponent controls the fighter’s head and wrist to stop the fighter from hurling straight punches.
  • The side of the opponent’s arm holding the fighter’s head is unprotected, therefore the fighter draws back their hand in preparation to toss a hammer fist.
  • The fighter has a clear route for the hammer fist.
  • The hammer fist lands in the opponent’s face.
  • The opponent controls the fighter’s head to stop them from throwing straight punches. The fighter has one hand about the opponent’s bicep to pin it to the mat.
  • The fighter brings their other hand underneath the arm controlling their head.


  • The fighter holds back for the adversary to look up.
  • Any time they do, the fighter throws an uppercut to their chin.


  • The opponent controls the fighters hands
  • The fighter leans their body to the opposite side holding their wrists.
  • The striking arm rotates upwards and forwards.
  • The elbow clears the opponent’s arm and continues to rotate with the fighter’s body weight behind it until striking the opponent in the face.
  • The opponent controls the fighter’s head and one arm.
  • By controlling the fighter’s head, the opponent leaves one side of their body exposed. The fighter plans to take advantage of this and pulls their striking arm back in preparation.

Striking Combinations from Guard Top Position

Striking combinations in ground and pound are essential as they generate openings for strikes. The body-body-head punching combination is used to make the opponent protect the side of their body and, once they do, to punch their unprotected face. However, the non-striking arm should remain active to prevent the opponent’s hips from rising or an


  • The fighter strikes the opponent’s ribs with a body Hook.
  • The fighter strikes again.
  • To defend against another strike, the opponent lowers their arm to protect their side.
  • The fighter takes advantage of the space create: and applies a hook to the opponent’s face.

Passing the guard

The fighter is in the full guard of an opponent on the ground when the opponent has their legs locked around them. (this position the opponent has the advantage as they are able to create distance, defend against strikes and attempted submissions.)

To get past this, the fighter distracts the opponent with combinations of strikes and then mixes and matches striking and specific passing-the-guard techniques. Here is how it plays out:

The fighter is in the opponent’s full guard.

The fighter simulating a pass-the-guard attempt by pushing down on to the opponent’s leg.

The opponent focuses their attention on their leg and the fighter uses the moment to come in with a strong overhand.

The impact of the overhand forces the opponent’s leg lock to break. The fighter pushes their knee and elbow against the opponent’s inner thigh to prevent the leg lock from being reapplied.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest