In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, more and more techniques are uncovered every year. It’s a sport that continuously grows and evolves. Believe it or not, BJJ actually has a move called “the donkey guard.” As ridiculously as it sounds, but this is in fact a legitimate guard position.
In this guide, we break down what exactly the donkey guard is, who developed it, and a few of the donkey guard techniques you can do.
Who Invented The Donkey Guard?
The creator and originator behind donkey guard is none other than the Darce Choke master, Jeff Glover.
Jeff has always been a bit of an eclectic mind when it comes to Jiu Jitsu. He may seem to not be taking stuff too seriously, but that’s just his personality.
Glover first used this move in a 2011 ADCC match against Tom Barlow. In the match, Jeff turned his back, got on all fours and lunged himself at Barlow. This was all done to get the crowd into the match. Some probably thought he was simply being cocky trying to get his back taken, but little did they know Glover had a move up his sleeves!
As Barlow moved forward to get Glover’s back, Jeff was able to take Barlow down with the Donkey Guard! Originally, this technique was called a reverse jumping guard takedown. It was actually the internet BJJ community that named the move donkey guard.
It looked exactly like when a donkey does a double kick in the air! The name stuck, and that’s what its been referred to ever since.
Jeff Glover's Donkey Guard Sweep
You start the donkey guard by turning your back to your opponent. This will serve as bait for your opponent. When you turn your back, instinctively your opponent will move forward to take your back. As they do, drop your hands to the mat and kick your legs around their hips. If you can get in deep and cross your legs even better.
Once you’re in position, you roll under the opponent’s legs. After the roll it’s your choice to either claim up their back or chase them and pull them down.
It looks kind of like a pro wrestling move, something you’d see in the WWE! Here’s a video to check out!
Donkey Guard Takedown
This takedown is similar to the kani-basami or scissor takedown. The scissor takedown is highly illegal in most tournaments, but the donkey guard takedown just fits within most rule sets – some did make it illegal so be sure to check your tournament guidelines before attempting the move!
You start by jumping into your donkey guard with your legs crossed around the opponent. The next step is going to unhook your guard and do a corkscrew with your body.
When attacking their right leg, your right arm hooks their leg and your knee goes between their legs. The momentum of the corkscrew along with your arm and knee placement takes them down with ease.
Donkey Guard Guillotine
Quick disclaimer for this technique. This move may be very low percentage for most beginner grapplers. Or really anyone not named Jeff Glover! That guys is at a class of his own with his Donkey Technique!
As you turn your back to go for donkey guard, the opponent grabs your back. Do a big loop with your arm and go around their neck. You can either lock your hand behind the back or front to finish your donkey guillotine. Hard to envision? Here’s the video below to give you a visual:
Donkey Guard BJJ Leg Locks
The Donkey Guard BJJ is also really good to use if you like to attack the legs. As you roll under or do the donkey guard takedown, there’s numerous leglocks available. From the roll under, you can catch their leg and go for a kneebar or to reverse single leg x.
With the donkey guard takedown it enters you right into multiple leg entanglements. And from there, it’s leglock city! Definitely something to consider!
As you can see, as crazy as it may seem, the Donkey Guard BJJ can prove to be effective if used properly.
So is the donkey guard BJJ a legitimate technique? For most, it is a guard you’ll never do, but it does have some good techniques tied to it that can prove to be useful. Be warned though, if you are just starting out, this technique probably shouldn’t be one of your go to techniques. One mistake can easily get your back taken!
But if you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and give it a shot! You might be surprised how effective it can be!