The Valente Brothers Facebook page, which recently surpassed the 4,000 fans mark, created an interesting debate this past week. Fans and students from around the globe were asked whether they prefer to be on the top or bottom guard position and what was their overall favorite position. After considering all the answers posted, Valente Brothers presents its views on the subject. To still join the discussion login to our home on Facebook and leave us your opinion on these important questions.
Once again, great answers by everyone who posted. Thank you for participating. It is normal for different people to have different positional preferences depending on their body type, style, and experience. When it comes to grappling, there is a hierarchy of positions that culminates in the back mount (hooks), preferably with the opponent flattened out. This position creates a powerful combination of control and offensive opportunities, which include devastating choking and striking techniques. However, when it comes to a street fight, which is the Valente Brothers’ focus in teaching jiu-jitsu, many variables can affect this selection process. As some of you mentioned, conditions such as concrete floors, crowded venues, and multiple opponents might make it undesirable to be on the ground. It is important to note that often a fighter has no choice and for that reason ground fighting represents an integral part of the jiu-jitsu fighting strategy. But if presented with a choice, one might not prefer to be in a ground position during certain types of street fights.
With respect to the guard question, the apparent right-answer would be that one would rather be on top in order to pass the guard and mount. Due to gravity, disengaging and striking can also be achieved more easily from the top, even though with a good knowledge of jiu-jitsu both can be done quite effectively from the bottom as well. Nonetheless, there is the possibility, as mentioned by one of our participants, that in some situations the bottom guard will provide more protection against possible strikes by a third party.