Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Breakdown : Keenan Cornelius’ “Worm Guard”

The name Keenan Cornelius has been abuzz in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community since the time this young phenom earned his purple belt.  Cornelius quickly established himself as one of the world’s most exciting prospects after winning double gold at purple belt in prestigious BJJ tournaments such as the Pan Ams and the Mundials; the start of the road to a notable streak of IBJJF victories.

Keenan Cornelius wins gold at the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

Now at the black belt level, Cornelius continues to amaze with his “modern jiu-jitsu”. His guard techniques are smooth and effective, creating fan frenzy amongst BJJ addicts. The latest and most talked about technique employed by Cornelius is the “worm guard”, which relies on using a lasso position and lapel grip. Cornelius has successfully used this move against renowned black belts such as Marcus Buchecha, Murilo Santana, Braulio Estima, and Leandro Lo.

The below video shows the “worm guard” at work against Leandro Lo at the latest Mundials. Cornelius uses the “worm guard” to successfully sweep Leandro Lo and earn two points.  

This position is effective against BJJ practitioners who like to pass the guard from the standing position or combat base. The guard player is able to establish good grips and control because they are holding the lapel not only with their hands, but with their foot as well.

In this video, Cornelius breaks down the details of his famous “worm guard”. As you can see, the guard passer’s legs are effectively trapped, preventing them from passing.

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