REVIEW: Guard Retention Anthology Lachlan Giles Instructional DVD


A Lachlan Giles Instructional DVD. Would you buy one just based on that, without knowing what the subject matter is? I would, and I guess most of the people involved in BJJ would do the same as well. Lachlan is just that good, and his instructionals are among the best ever released in the BJJ World. Moreover, they all tackle great subjects that people like to research and experiment with. His latest one, the Guard Retention Anthology DVD is just another one in a long line of anthologies by Giles that have changed the grappling scene forever.

Lachlan Giles – Guard Retention Anthology

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So far, I doubt there’s anyone hoarding BJJ DVDs that don’t own at least one Lachlan Giles Instructional DVD. If I had to bet, I’d say that his half guard anthology and 50/50 anthology are the most sought after titles. Until today. The subject of guard retention is not one that has been covered as the main subject of a BJJ DVD. Lachlan not only focused on an area that is the backbone of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but also did in his recognizable style – over 8 volumes and more than 10 hours of material. Not only that, but he is the only man that has the ability to make a DVD featuring both Gi and No-GI versions of his concepts and techniques, and have it make sense.

Why Guard Retention Is The Core Of BJJ

What is guard retention? The common answer is not letting people pass your guard. That’s only half correct, though. It is not just bout not letting someone pass your guard, but maintaining to stay in the guard at the same time, and open up options that will turn the tables in your favor. In other words, it is the ultimate skill you need to master off your back, far before you start thinking about sweeps, submissions, and inversions.

The concept of guard retention is simple, but putting it into practice is hard. Stay in your guard, and you’ll be able to get an attacking movement going. that’s all fine when said, but when a 200 +lbs person is trying to pass your legs, throwing you around, things seem very far from easy. The good news is that there are ways of successfully retaining a guard against all type s of opponents, regardless of size and experience. And Lachlan Giles has categorized it all in the best way imaginable.

The arson why guard retention is the core of BJJ is because you can’t launch attacks off your back unless you are in guard. While Jiu-Jitsu has moved past just being the art that has the only system for fighting off the back, there’s still a lot of guard play in the sport. So, in order to use some of the sport’s most efficient positions and attacks, you need to be able to prevent an opponent from breaking the structure of those positions. That is exactly where The Guard Retention Anthology Lachlan Giles Instructional DVD fits into the puzzle.

Why Get A Lachlan Giles Instructional DVD?lach - REVIEW: Guard Retention Anthology Lachlan Giles Instructional DVD 

This seems to be a redundant question at this point, but still, we’ll answer it, albeit shortly. Lachlan is the man behind Craig Jones and a bunch of other top-level athletes in the sport. While he is an extraordinary coach, he is also an avid competitor, with lots of success under his belt. He is good at both Gi and No-Gi, though he prefers the latter. As expected, leg locks are among his bread and butter techniques, which he proved in the latest ADCC during a legendary run out in the absolute division. And he has the bronze medal to show for it!

Your usual Lachlan Giles Instructional DVD is, well, unusual. He likes to keep a format not many other coaches can, going very deep into subjects and spreading everything over 8 volumes. Moreover, he has categories in each of those volumes which are further subdivided into chapters. In short, the way he organizes instructionals is pristine and done in a way to help you retain as much information as possible. After all, we’re talking about more than 10 hours of top-quality BJJ instructions here. thinking that watching it once will help you master anything is wishful thinking at best.

Another trait of Lachlan is that his DVDs contain Gi and No-Gi information, meaning literally everyone can apply the stuff he shares. He also likes to use narrated rolls to capture the essence of subjects and has ways of connecting everything he demonstrates at the end of every volume. The Guard Retention Anthology is no different, and, given how underappreciated this subject matter is, it may even turn out to be his best work to date.

Guard Retention Anthology: Around And Under DVD Review

From what I wrote so far, it is obvious that this is another 8-part DVD. It also means you’ll need to spend a year or so trying to figure where everything fits if you’re dead set on following the DVD’s intended learning path. The beauty is, though, that you can also just use cretin chapters, and connect them with different ones from another DVD if you like that approach more. Lachlan’s organizational system allows for a really interactive way of learning from this instructional.

General Concepts

The Guard Retention  Anthology Lachlan Giles Instructional DVD begins with an introduction and an overview of what is inside the series. In the opening few chapters, Giles covers things like what guard retention is and why it is important. he also shares his advice on how best to use his instructional.

As far as the general concepts go, Giles has several stages that explain how a guard works, and how you can set up to prevent people from breaking through it. He talks about layers of guard, posture, the role of the hips, framing, and all the other things you think you know about guard retention. He also shares the “don’t” of the guard in BJJ: don’t let your opponent hug the head, don’t let them pin your leg, and don’t let them in your inside space. These three alone will change how you approach guard retention for the foreseeable future.

Hip escape variations, leg and arm pummels and some late-stage options wrap the first part of the DVD up.

Key Movements

Guard retention is not a passive thing. Given that you’re only retaining when an opponent is trying to pass, that means you’ll be in motion all the time you’re trying to fend off attacks. It also means your movements need to be purposeful and precise, rather than instinctive. or so Giles claims. To achieve this, he turns to things like pummels, inversions, leg dabs, the gangorra, and elbow movement, among others.

Lachlan also shares the flexibility requirements of guard retention, which is a question often heard in relation to that subject matter. Instead of trying to explain how much flexibility you need, Giles covers the types of motion you need to improve your range of motion, mostly in the hips, knees, and spine.

Around The Legs 1

In terms of how Lachlan likes to retain guard, there are two main directions. one is around the legs, and the other is under them. In the third and fourth volumes of the Guard Retention Anthology, he focuses on retaining guard around the legs. What that means is that you choose a side, or one is chosen by the partner’s means of passing, and you retain guard by staying on the outside of your opponent. Giles suggests choosing a side very early so that you can control the entire exchange.

Leg pummeling and leg crossovers are the main methods of choice here, movement-wise. Lachlan offers 4 different types of crossovers and some interesting pummel options before talking about which way you need to be facing when retaining guard. The options are to face in, towards the opponent, or out. In both cases, there are options that include the aforementioned pummels and crossovers, providing you with an easy to follow the system.

Around The Legs 2

Marking the halfway point of the Lachlan Giles Instructional DVD is another volume with information on training around the legs. Interestingly enough, there’s a portion on North-South retentions here, or better said inverted guard retention tactics.

Giles also focuses a lot on specific pass prevention by going around the legs here. Mostly, he focuses on the bullfighter (Torreando) ass, but he also talks about leg drags, leg pins, arm throws, etc. One of the most interesting aspects is late-stage escapes, in moments when all hope seems lost. In the end, Giles connects everything by explaining how all the information in this DVD so far connects in a system.

Under The Legs 1

As mentioned, the second general direction of Lachlan Giles’ guard retention system is ging under the legs. Once again the strategy and overview of the system comes first, with a look into going under, ways to recover, how much stress this type of retention places on your body, and general progression of the moves and techniques.

There are three types of battles that Giles goes over in this portion of the Guard retention Anthology DVD: Arm battles, leg battles, and head and torso positioning. Whoever wins all there, will definitely get what they’re after. In the case of the bottom person, that would be under the legs retention. Chapters include framing, distancing, using strength,  as well as lots of posture talk and leg angles.

A section on leg pummeling follows, exploring leg placement and the ideal ways of moving your legs so that you maximize the power of pummeling.

The final section is on preventing stack passes. Concluding the fifth volume of the Lachlan Giles Instructional DVD, you’ll learn different ways of avoiding the stack by manipulating your posture and that of the opponents, dropping your hips, walking on shoulders and head, and other interesting things you’ve probably never considered before.

Under The Legs 2

The second portion of the under the legs guard retention puzzle goes deeper into the realm of BJJ techniques. At first, Giles explores the angle which will help you prevent the guard passing and recover the guard with ease. The most important chapter here has to be the one on not hip escaping. Pummels and reach over as are the methods of choice, and it will all make sense once you hear what Lachlan has to say.

A section on freeing the knee follows, which is just as important as anything else you’ll see in this DVD. It has to do with leg drag passes and double and single under passes mostly.

The second half of this portion helps you link everything together. It is all about specific pass prevention, retaining guard against the over under, and leg drag pass. The inevitable and highly useful late-stage defense tactics appear once again, this time in the context of retaining under the legs. Defenses include even turning your back, but that’s something you’ll have to hear and see Lachlan explain.

A few offensive options (triangles, mini bars and butterfly hooks) wrap this volume of the Guard Retention Anthology DVD up.

The Battle For Control

Screenshot 2019 10 06 at 10.04.34 AM 1024x1024 - REVIEW: Guard Retention Anthology Lachlan Giles Instructional DVDThe penultimate portion of the Guard Retention Anthology Lachlan Giles instructional DVD has to do with establishing control over an opponent before guard retention even begins. There are different modalities of establishing control, and Lachlan goes over everything very methodically. From feet on biceps, through a comprehensive section on understanding grips, all the way to key concepts that include when to sit, and when to lie, and prevent key grips for your opponents.

A very important part of the entire instructional is the last portion in this volume, covering specific postures and responses. Lachlan covers being upright, leaning forward, using combat base, and several forms of kneeling and does so in both Gi and No-Gi.

Going On The Offense

Turning defense into offense is why we have the guard in BJJ in the first place .there’d be no point in just retaining guard all day. The guard of choice for Giles to make this transition is the K guard. He demonstrates first how you get it from guard retention practices, and goes into offense straight away. Offensive options covered are triangles and armbars, as well as plenty of ways to get to the guard form different passes.

As usual, the Guard Retention Anthology Lachlan Giles Instructional DVD wraps up with specific training and narrated rolling, organized into rolls according to the methodologies used (under or around the legs).

Final Words

Once again, Lachlan proves why he is one of the best coaches of today, and a man we’ll be looking to of answers for years to come. The Guard Retention Anthology is a real masterpiece, completely deconstructing one of the most fundamental aspects of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This Lachlan Giles Instructional DVD is for everyone, and I mean everyone, given that nobody can do BJJ without understanding guard retention.

Lachlan Giles – Guard Retention Anthology

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