Should you go inverted? this is something I have seen people do many times and often times when not required. Like any position in BJJ, there is a time and a place and doing something just because you can seems a little silly.
The amount of stress put onto the cervical and thoracic spine when inverted can be tremendous. I myself am suffering a cervical herniated disc at present and I have no doubt that inverting onto my neck has played a large part in that injury, along with the guillotines, chokes and neck cranks. The inverted guard is very good for preventing guard passes but from an injury prevention point of view I would only use it as a last resort, not my go to guard defence. I have seen people go inverted at the mere sniff of somebody passing their guard, I have also seen some people start their roll from an inverted position and attack from there.
As we age our bones become more brittle and our vertebrae and discs start to degenerate which means that the space between each vertebrae becomes smaller; when the space gets too small, pressure can be put onto the the nerves and this can cause debilitating pain. Putting undue weight and pressure on to your vertebrae can cause irreversible damage and I can assure you, the pain from a disc herniation is not something you want.
I am not discounting the effectiveness of the inverted guard, some people use it to great effect and it can be very difficult to pass somebody’s guard when they are inverted, but in my humble opinion, a seated guard is just as effective for preventing guard passes and far less damaging to your body.
Only go inverted if you need to or if like me, you want whats left of your neck to remain as healthy as possible, don’t go inverted at all and just accept you are getting passed.