Knee Wedge Guard Break

This is the first way of opening the guard most people will learn.

Yet, I see this so riddled with mistakes at all levels. If you are grinding your elbows into your opponent’s thighs and wondering why this isn’t breaking their guard – I have news for you.

You are doing it wrong.

This guard break is about leverage, not charlie horsing. Learning how to optimize your explosive break and press open the guard is a crucial skill, along with the proper use of the knee wedge (which most people don’t use correctly either).


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What did you think?

  • great simple fondamentals! thx for sharing 🙂

  • Robert Rodriguez says:

    When you press his hip down to pin it, can’t he grab the back of your head / break your posture if your positioning is not perfect? I see it as arms against hip and even the pulling power of the legs (an unfair fight that works mostly with speed element of surprise / less skilled opponents) . I would like to use only the safety most effective and most efficient way(s) to break guard. Because of my own experience, Gordon Ryan’s instruction, John Danaher’s instruction, and others, I tend to think this is not the best way to break guard and has more risk of submission to it than standing to break guard from inside control within the the arms (double bicep tie / hands in the armpits neutral grip). I know it (the knee wedge) works sometimes, but I believe standing uses gravity better, and keeps better separation from the hip to avoid triangles and armbars. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. Best of luck. I just want to stick with only the best techniques, and particularly those that when used gain sufficient distance from the threat of submission holds. Thanks for sharing. It’s good you are open to correction and improvement. I’m glad you can see this as concern about the way of doing things rather than take it as personal, which I believe you are intelligent enough to discern the difference.

    • Everything has an element of risk. Standing can expose you to various sweeps and submissions that are not available on your knees. So naturally, they each have their own pros and cons.

      If you are following the proper posture, which I covered in the previous video, your head will most likely be out of reach (unless he is really long and you short). Even still your neck will be in a strong position to easily resist pulling.

      Also, you will be so high up that triangles are a non factor, as are arm bars. This is a very safe position for me. That being said, there are certain situations where the knee wedge is not useful. Such as against a very tall and long opponent. As you observed, you will not be able to create enough distance to pop the guard, and will have much more success standing. For my shorter guys and gals, I definitely would recommend standing break.

      This is just one of many ways to open, and a very valid one as well.

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