Rubber guard is one of the most popular no gi guards thanks to Eddie Bravo and the emergence of 10th Planet as a top gym, but Gordon Ryan has a clean solution to open it. Although many of the top competitors in the sport don’t really use rubber guard very much, particularly at the higher weight classes, many of them have actually mastered the position and use it to great effect. Geo Martinez and Richie Martinez are both known for their skill from rubber guard, as is Ben Eddy and a number of other 10th Planet black belts all around the world.
Early escapes are always better than late escapes of course, so Ryan does go through a simple way to open rubber guard early on by driving the shoulder of your free arm through your opponent’s controlling arm. As with many early escapes or passing techniques though, a solid position will make them incredibly difficult or actually impossible to do. That’s why Ryan also goes through a more lengthy way of opening rubber guard that is incredibly useful when you find yourself stuck in the position without any hope of escaping quickly.
Gordon Ryan explains that the first step to getting out of rubber guard is making sure that your head is directly over your opponent’s head, and then using that leaning forward motion to come up to your feet instead of remaining on your knees. Because the technique he demonstrates requires your upper body to slip through the gap between your opponent’s legs, he also explains the importance of positioning your arms specifically so that they don’t get caught. From there, it’s just a matter of relaxing and shaking your upper body back through the rubber guard to then continue passing.