Shawn Williams DVD Review: The Complete Williams Guard

School is important but jiu-jitsu is importanter

Not too long after talking about the Willimas guard in a different article, we get the chance to learn everything there is about it. Previously, I did my best to share my take on the Williams guard based on my experience and the material that was available. Now, it is time to plug all the holes. Shawn Willimas, the man behind the Willimas guard just issued a DVD instructional that straight outlays the Williams guard out! Granted, it took a while, but the Shawn Williams DVD Review of his “Complete Williams Guard” instructional is finally here! And there’s a good reason it took so long for me to go over it – it’s more than 10 hours long!

Shawn Williams – The Complete Williams Guard

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If you are one of the lighter weights grapplers, a female grappler or the over 40 one, you most likely have at least some experience with the Willimas guard. If it is not by doing it then you’ve most certainly and to try and solve it when you get caught in it. The Willimas guard is no mystery, at least when it comes to positioning. or so we thought. it turns out there are details upon detail about the details that really make or break this guard. Moreover, there are so many more attacking and transitioning variations than we could’ve imagined. This Shawn Williams DVD review is going to provide you with every reason you need to get Shawn’s instructional.

Shawn Williams 

Shawn Willimas is one of those grapplers that manage to fly under the radar, although everyone knows their name. T some extent, the Willimas guard is much better known than the man himself. Still, Shawn is a very formidable grappler himself and a standout black belt for more than 15 years now. that is an achievement in itself.

Williams’ Brazilia Jiu-Jitsu journey started in the mid-90s. Up until then, Shawn did pretty much everything 90s kids did – baseball, hockey. soccer and Karate. After seeing the first few UFCs he was interested, but after witnessing Renzos success in Pride he was hooked. So much so, in fact, that he went straight to Renzo to learn the Gentle Art. Shawn started training in 1996 and 8 years later, got his black belt from Renzo Gracie himself.

Somewhere around the middle of his BJJ training, Shawn came across a position that was unique to him. it worked so well for him that he stuck with it, eventually naming it after himself. That position is what we know today as the Williams guard, a closed guard variation that can give even the best grapplers nightmares. Shawn obviously had a long time to perfect, since it took about 20 years for him to finally reveal all the secrets about the position. And we have the in-depth “Complete Willimas Guard” Shawn Williams DVD review right here!

The Williams Guard 

in the simplest possible terms, the Willimas guard is a position that was ahead of its time. In essence, it is a position that is somewhere in the middle between a regular closed guard ad an Omoplata attack from the closed guard. That said, the guard works incredibly well, particularly for people that are not really flexible or athletic. For more flexible and adventurous people, there’s the Williams guard next door neighbor, Eddie Bravo’s rubber guard. Moreover, the Willimas guard has subsequently given birth to a bunch of related positions like the Rat guard, for example.

Just as a short intro, the Willimas guard works by opening a full guard and turning to one side, as if you were going for an Omoplata. Then, instead of completing the Omoplata, you use an arm to reinforce the leg that’s behind your opponent’s shoulder. You end up in a side guard of a sort, with your hands clasped together and your legs locked together like in the full guard. No matter how much I try to explain the guard, I’d never do it justice, at least not in the way Shawn can. So, I’m just going to get on with the Shawn Williams DVD review and give you an insight to what Shawn has in store for you. And, if you’re really interested in a short cut, skip reading the review and just go get the DVD and learn a guard that will never get passed!

The Complete Williams Guard Shawn Williams DVD Review

This incredible BJJ DVD instructional is one of those rare gems in a sea of DVDs that seem to come out on a daily basis. Shawn’s instruction is pretty much like his guard – different, effective and somewhat complicated. The reason I say complicated is that the guard has so many options for attacking, you can easily get lost among them. Furthermore, skipping over integral details, which is very probably, will leave you with an impression that the guard doesn’t work.

Shawn’s solution to this is to explain everything. And I mean everything. basically, Shawn goes over every little bit of the guard in a separate DVD. No wonder this Shawn Williams DVD review took so long – there are 8 DVDs inside! In terms of organization, every DVD goes over a different subject. There is a meticulous progression throughout, and Willimas takes things really slow. At times it may seem he is not moving too much forward, but the details he shares on control and preventing your opponent from doing anything are integral!

The technical aspects of the instructional are also flawless. Camera angles are both tight and wide according to what Shawn is demonstrating. You can hear Shawn very clearly, even when he is in positions where his voice would be muffled if it was a seminar or a private. Without further ado, let’s get into the “COmplete Willimas Guard” Shawn Williams DVD review itself:

1. Origins And Basics

First up, a bit of history and some foundational principles. Of course, there’s a short intro to kick things off, with Shawn introducing himself and the guard. There’s also a very amusing story about the origins of the guard, and it’s development throughout the years. the intro is not too long and not rushed wither, which is a great way to start a DVD.

What caught me by surprise while I was doing this Shawn Williams DVD review is the order of things. Willimas actually starts with common problems, and not the details of the guard position itself. Unusual, yes, but extremely effective, as you’ll see further along. The key to the Willimas guard, as per Shawn’s words is mostly in the angles. There’s a huge chapter here that covers a lot of details on angling and position. This ties in closely with how you need to utilize your legs to make sure you control the opponent’s posture. While demonstrating both angles an the use of your legs, Shawn actually shows you exactly how to set up the guard.

Furthermore, he covers something that usually features as the first question – how to deal with the opponent’s elbow. Not only that, but there’s also a really cool pummeling system to make sure your arms are constantly on the inside.

2. Pummeling And Underhooks

While the title of this second volume might not indicate so directly, this is a volume on control. In it, Shawns starts with shin pummeling, as means of guard retention. yes, pummeling your legs is more often related to open guards, but the Williams guard is not a regular closed guard. Shin pummels are going to save you a lot of headaches, so make sure you pay close attention.

3078tv - Shawn Williams DVD Review: The Complete Williams GuardThere’s also a chapter in this volume that’ll make you laugh. It is the ‘Salsa breakdown” a simple way of breaking your opponent’s posture down. It is one of those “Eureka” moments. so simple yet nobody eve considers it. A kimura submission follows, albeit ina reverse Kimura fashion (in terms of the grips). The complexity of the guard becomes apparent here, as there’s a beautiful back take follow up if the Kimura doesn’t work.

What I haven’t mentioned so far in this Shaw Williams DVD review is that this is a No-Gi instructional. As such, Shawn also covers some self-defense/MMA applications of the guard, like pummeling with punches.

Wrapping things up is a section that covers underhooks and how to get them and utilize them correctly, without putting the guard position in jeopardy. There’s also a key detail on how to open the guard the right way, before attacking or transitioning.

3. Locking The Guard & Trap Triangle  

If you’re anything like me, you’ll notice the triangle choke opportunities straight from the beginning of the “Complete Williams Guard” DVD instructional. Yet, just like me, you’ll have to wait until the third volume to actually see some triangle options.

Before Shawn goes into any sort of triangle choke, he first talks about locking the guard. This implies using your legs in a closed guard like fashion to keep the opponent at bay. There’s also another huge foundational principle here, the one on overhooks and the Williams clamp. Speaking of overhooks, there’s also a very sneaky armlock preceding the triangle choke setups.

3078rl - Shawn Williams DVD Review: The Complete Williams GuardWhen it comes to triangles, the triangle Shawn like’s to use is the so-called “trap triangle”. As it turns out, the Williams guard is one large trap for launching triangles. However, getting to a triangle can be difficult, so Williams has a few simple solutions. They include ways of entering against common opposition, as well as ways of creating openings. Another huge Williams guard principle, the shaking concept is also featured in this volume.

4. High Percentage Williams Guard Submissions

Submissions area huge part of the Williams guard system. So much so, in fact, that there are three chapters in the “Complete Williams Guard” DVD set that focuses on submissions only. And that is not counting the trap triangle setups we saw earlier.

Volume four is an introduction to the highest percentage submissions you can get from the Williams guard. In short, these are the triangle choke, Omoplata, Kimura and arm lock. Basic, yes, but remember, basics win fights! Since triangle entries are already covered, Shawn stars off with an opposite side triangle, a confusing attack that opens up further submission options. Examples include the kimura and the trap triangle from the opposite side triangle. Yes, it sounds confusing when you read about it in our Shawn Williams DVD review, but it’ll make sense when you see it.

Williams also likes to use triangles to pen up arm locks. There’s a fast direct armlock from the front triangle. In case everything of the above is not working, it is time for switching to omoplatas.  A few more triangle options wrap this DVD up.

5. Chokes And Omoplatas

We’re presently halfway through our Shawn Williams DVD review and the “Complete Williams Guard DVD” instructional. Continuing where he left off, Shawn covers a few more Omoplata options here. In fact, they’re Omoplata entries, to be more precise. However, there area few noticeable chokes that come before the surge of Omoplata attacks.

There’s a really unique Tee Pee choke that opens up the submissions account here. it’s just as effective as the name is, well, funny. An arm in guillotine is also there, to make sure you get the tap. From there on, it is all about Omoplatas, though. What Shawn calls the new Omoplata is actually quite innovative and is going to transform your Omoplata attacks in general. There’s a gold standard of Omoplata that Shawns sets in this DVD. As long as you follow it, your submission rate will skyrocket.

Wrapping things up are a few steps over counters, that include a low single, see-saw and an armbar.

6. The Kimura Volume

As the name suggests, this volume is all about Kimuras. it is one of the volumes I enjoyed the most during this Shawn Williams DVD review. However, the volume doesn’t start in the Williams guard. It begins with a reverse knee on belly counter and a carryover defense and counter.

As far as Kimuras are concerned, there’s a bunch of them here. They begin with the rollout Kimura, cover a Kimura from a Sumi Gaeshi to a half T-mount and a Kimura scissor. Yeah, they all sound weird now, but are all effective and make a lot of sense. There’s a proper weight distribution portion as well, and key details on how to shift your weight. There’s also one of the sickest transitions you’ll ever see in BJJ here. It is the Re-Omoplata to a rolling counter. It is simply brilliant.

7. Counter Attacks

One of the reasons the Williams guard is such an effective attacking position is the availability of counter-attacks. The position is such that opponents think they can get out easily. This opens up a host of counter-attacks, and Shawn starts off with arm trap attacks. However, he goes beyond the Williams guard in this one. In fact, he starts form side control and demonstrates how counter-attacks can get you to tap, or a route into the Williams guard.

There’s a lot about the carryover defense here again, as it is a common problem that arises. However, the solutions are easy and make a world of difference. there are some key elements of the Williams guard system here, like leg hooks on the far side and swiveled to deal with posture. Williams also covers counters that prevent the opponent from standing up. a great example is the “Cyclone” counter, that’ll send opponent’s flying as they attempt to get up.

8. Williams Guard Transitions & Follow Ups

As we wrap up our Shawn Williams DVD review, we arrive at a subject not many people cover in BJ instructional. What happens when you need to get out of a position and move on with your game? Well, Shawn is not like many other grapplers and has a whole volume offering a host of possible follow-ups.

There’s a notable mention of the closed guard here, in case you decide you want to go back there. yes, there’s a way back to closed guard as well as ways forward. Those that go forward include going into the John Wayne. What the hell is a John Wayne, you might wonder? I’ll leave that up to Shawn to explain. Just know that you’ll love it.

One of the best aspects of the Williams guard one shared with the Rubber guard is that it also works as atop position. Shawn demonstrates how you can use the Williams guard to sweep and end up in mount, but with the structure of the guard intact. On that note, there’s also a Willimas guard option from the back! I’ll end on that and let you try to wrap your head around everything that this DVD has to offer.

In Conclusion

Playing the Willimas guard is always a fun time for me. As was doing this Shawn Williams DVD review. The “Complete Williams Guard” DVD is one of the most comprehensive BJJ instructionals ever! It is bang on the subject, but also goes beyond the main theme of the DVD.  It does offer an entire system but keeps the focus on the guard position throughout. All in all, if you like to have a guard that’s comfortable for you and hard to pass, look into the Williams guard. Now you have the ultimate tool to learn it!

Shawn Williams – The Complete Williams Guard

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