Cane Prevost Rethinks the Guard
SBGi Coach Prevost’s Blog asks “What if there is no guard?
SBGi Portland coach Cane Prevost continues to pioneer new concepts in BJJ that help to simplify and boil down the art to its most key concepts. For those who are unfamiliar with Cane Prevost, or not fortunate enough to train at the Straight Blast Gym HQ, he is a BJJ black belt under SBGi’s founder Matt Thornton and a coach at SBGi Portland. He also works full-time and has a family. As such, he is a self-confessed BJJ ‘hobbyist’, fitting his training and coaching into his schedule around other commitments.
In a recent blog post, Cane admitted that seeing younger guys with fewer commitments able to train five or six days a week can be frustrating, but the time restrictions in place for him also allow for greater innovation in terms of efficiency and streamlining of the art. Cane is constantly looking for ways to simplify BJJ and identify core principles that apply across positions. In this way, Cane’s approach and coaching style is a crucial one that is often underrepresented. Contrary to coverage of, and lessons learnt from, big name world champion black belts, Cane’s approach caters to the vast majority of those students training in BJJ – the after-work part-timers who fit two or three training sessions a week into their busy schedules.
With that in mind, Cane’s most recent articles seek to rethink major aspects of BJJ on bottom, by asking the question “What if There is No Guard?”. What starts out as a thought experiment ends up with the proposal that the three stages of guard, guard recovery and cross sides bottom can be combined around some common principles that apply to each. Learning in this way simplifies the process, and avoids the common theme of a student recognizing each position and trying to apply position-specific knowledge, often while playing catch-up with an advancing opponent. The principles Cane discusses are those of frames, hip mobility and space management, with these principles taking care of posture in turn. Thinking in this way gives the student immediate actions to apply regardless of where they find themselves on bottom, effectively boiling down the techniques available in three separate positions to the core components of one.
In his most recent blog post, Cane has applied his principles for working from bottom positions to the position of half-guard. Here he shows how his principles around frames, posture and space management are applied to build up an effective defense from half-guard bottom. He has also filmed an informative video at the end of this article that lays out in detail his principles in action. Whether you train at SBG or not, Cane Prevost is a great coach and BJJ thinker and I highly recommend taking the time to read the above articles, as well as explore the archives of his blog www.caneprevost.com.