Initially called “reverse jumping guard takedown” and later re-named “donkey guard” by internet users (the name for which it became famous for), the donkey guard is a grappling position created by Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, Jeff Glover as a way to taunt and frustrate his opponents, being first used against Tom Barlow at the ADCC tournament (2011). Sometimes frowned upon by the more traditional jiu jitsu followers who see the position as a sign of disrespect towards the opponent, the donkey guard started in fact as a takedown where the attacker gives his back side to the adversary, baiting him to move forward, when this happens the attacker will launch his legs backwards, closing them in a reverse closed guard type position, this allows a series of transitions, from takedowns (sweeps) to back takes and submissions.
The History of the Donkey Guard
The Donkey guard is a fairly new position to grappling. The initial concept of the DG is that of the “kani basami” a japanese name for the scissor takedown (see below). The kani basami is banned by most grappling sporting rules, including judo and most Brazilian jiu jitsu tournaments due to it being considered a highly dangerous maneuver, one that can cause serious damage to the opponent’s ankles and knee. In order to circumvent these rules in a sporting environment, Jeff Glover created this peculiar position. The idea was to force the engagement of an opponent who might be trying to stall from the feet. When inquired about the position, Glover said:
It’s fun and effective. I have actually used it on the streets in a real life self-defense situation. So for every one who says it is not effective or doesn’t work in real life self-defense situations, I have this white a** for you to kiss. – Jeff Glover, BJJ Heroes
As it stands, in 2015, the position has not been fully adopted by the majority of the grappling community, though its use has been growing in numbers over the past few years. The Donkey Guard is often seen being applied by its creator in many tournaments around the North American east coast, including Glover’s very own tournament, the “Sunday Roll Out“.
Jeff Glover Basic Donkey Guard Takedown
Jeff Glover vs Ben Eddy
Jeff Glover vs Travis Newaza
kani basami demostration