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The Best Open Guard for 2023

Playing guard is one of the most important aspects in jiu jitsu.

Because if you don’t have a good guard.

It’s going to be impossible to keep your opponents from passing into your side.

And crushing your soul with their pressure.

Which feels terrible by the way.

So today, we will take a look at the Romulo guard, which was named after 5 time IBJJF black belt world champion Romulo Barral.

And the best thing about this guard is that it works great for both tall and short grapplers.


Setting up the Romulo guard can be kind of tricky but my two favorite entries are from the spider guard and the spider lasso guard since you can transition in and out of these guards fairly easily.

The Romulo guard is characterized as having one spider grip controlling the sleeve and that same side foot in your partners bicep.

While your other hand has a high collar grip on the far side of your partners body.

With the last detail being that you want to play this guard with the spider guard part of your body positioned towards the mat. You can set this up by using your free foot to shrimp away from your partner.


Most of your defense from the Romulo guard is going to rely on you re-pummeling your free leg to your partners bicep. So stay vigilant and don't let your partner establish a strong grip on your pant leg.


The major attacks from the Romulo guard include attacking the omoplata (and triangle for the tall folks).

Which I like to set up when my partner tries to control my collar grip.

The other major attacks are kicking between your partners legs with your free leg and going into a single leg x guard or ashi garami as people like to say now a days.

Once you're able to set up your single leg x guard this opens up ankle lock attack, various sweeps, and great back taking opportunities.

If you would like to learn more about the Romulo guard. Please check out this YouTube video I just put out going over this wonderful open guard.

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