It’s fair to say that this was the week of the x-guard. Everyone everywhere was working on it. I was entering and sweeping with it multiple times on almost every set I did throughout the week.
The x-guard has been essential to the development of my game as it allowed me to focus on something I was pretty good at off my back. That’s why I’m referring to it as the “gateway drug” for playing off of my back. Having the confidence to go on my back then led to more confidence in exploring the butterfly, half-guard, and open guard positions. I think I’ll always be a top player, simply because of how much takedown work I do, but playing off my back seems to teach me a lot more (at this moment) about the fundamentals of jiu jitsu. Here’s a clip of some x-guard positional training: