Closed Guard Reborn Thanks to Gordon Ryan
Is The Closed Guard The Most Fundamental Position in BJJ?
The closed guard has long been one of the best guards in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Popular among some of the greatest competitors in the history of Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts, this guard has always been a great option for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners and Mixed Martial Arts fighters. Unfortunately, the closed guard is a dying art. At the highest levels of Jiu Jitsu and MMA, we see less and less closed guard every year.
The Close Guard in BJJ and MMA
The closed guard was one of the best places to put your opponent in the UFC years ago, today, it is severely underutilized in both MMA and Jiu Jitsu. What makes the closed guard such a powerful weapon? There are plenty of submissions from there, plenty of sweeps, and it is an extremely good position to be defensive from. The combination of these things makes the closed guard, one of, if not, the best guard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
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We have seen top of the line UFC fighters, and Jiu Jitsu fighter utilize this position in high level competitions, some of these infamous fighters include Roger Gracie, Nate and Nick Diaz, Xande Ribeiro, Kron Gracie, and so many more. With so many people proving that it is one of the best guards, why do we see a decline in this position? It may be attributed to the movement of fancier moves such as the Berimbolo, it may be because of leg lock popularity, or simply because we have a new generation of grapplers and fighter, but none the less, the closed guard is amazing.
The Closed Guard Leads to Sweeps and Submissions
The closed guard continues to be one of the best places to submit your opponent from in Mixed Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and any submission grappling tournament. It is the foundation of the “guard.” So many people choose to neglect the power of the closed guard and don’t take the time to master the mechanics of it. The closed guard has long been renowned as the first guard to learn and the last one to master.
Many of the people who waltz into a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy are probably familiar with the position. Some would say that the closed guard is popular among “main stream” MMA fans. This could be true, but they probably have no idea how to have a functional closed guard. One of the best things about the closed guard is the abundance of submission opportunities that present themselves in closed guard.
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Depending on whether it is a gi bjj match, a UFC fight, or a self-defense confrontation, the closed guard is going to be one of your best options to submit somebody off your back. The ADCC is the most prestigious NoGi grappling tournament in the world and this year, Jiu Jitsu legend, Xande Ribeiro submitted 3 world class competitors with a simple and flawless closed guard arm bar. It was an absolutely phenomenal display of fundamental Jiu Jitsu. The closed guard is one of the best positions to submit your opponent off of your back because there are endless submission opportunities and chains.
For example, there are several arm bar set ups, triangle set ups, guillotine set ups, kimura set ups, wrist lock entries, lapel chokes, and so much more. Depending on the rule set and whether it is gi, nogi, or MMA, you have a multitude of options. In the gi, there are so many different gi chokes that you can set up from the closed guard. You can also mix and match moves, for example, you can attempt a cross choke and when your opponent defends, attack the arm. Check out this instructional with Rickson Gracie Black Belt, Luis Heredia on how to do the perfect cross choke from closed guard.
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The submissions do not stop there, the possibilities are literally endless from the closed guard, there are hundreds of submission combinations that you can learn and apply from the closed guard. Check out one of our other articles “Top Submissions from Closed Guard.” Many high level bjj practitioners and MMA fighters have always had success with the closed guard. The different combinations of submissions, the leverage, and the timing will help you to develop an extremely dangerous closed guard. If you want to see some different approaches on the closed guard, check out Luis Heredia’s black belt, Joel Bouhey’s DVD “The Falcon Guard.” This is an extremely unique system developed by an extremely capable black belt. He comes directly from a Rickson Gracie lineage so there is no better way to learn the closed guard.
Being Defensive In Closed Guard
Being able to have a strong defense is one of the fundamental keys to closed guard. What we mean by being defensive does not mean to stall. Not at All. We simply mean that when you have someone in closed guard, it is a safe position. Theoretically, it is almost impossible to be submitted while playing closed guard. There is no attacks that your opponent can apply from inside your closed guard. Yes, if you are a smaller guy going against a much larger opponent they may be able to do a neck crank or wrist lock, but it is extremely difficult.
It's time to bring the CLOSED GUARD back to prominence in the competition scene and no one is more prepared to do so than the pound for pound best grappler on the planet, Gordon "King" Ryan! In his latest SYSTEM, he takes the closed guard style of guard and deconstructs it revealing everything you thought you knew was wrong and how to fix it! Get SYSTEMIZING CLOSED GUARD today at BJJ Fanatics!