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Closed Guard Overhaul With Xande Ribeiro

Closed Guard Overhaul With Xande Ribeiro



The Closed guard is coming back in a major way. The truth is it never left! Lately however we have seen some of the best minds in Jiu-Jitsu dedicate entire instructionals to the Closed Guard. Just take a look at the BJJFanatics collection! 

One of the best practitioners of the closed guard is none other than Xande Ribeiro. Xande has one of the strongest Jiu-Jitsu resumes that has spanned multiple weight classes, and has competed across multiple generations of Jiu-Jitsu’s very best. You could name almost ANY top level legend for the last 15 years and there is a good chance Xande competed against him. Ribeiro’s game is time-tested and battle hardened. 

So how does he take a ‘basic’ position and revitalize it to compete against today’s modern guard passers? Spend ten minutes with this video and you will start to see why Xande has been able to stay on top for so long. 


Xande covers a lot with Bernardo here, but early on he points out a concept that can pay off big time if you can start to understand and apply it to your own game. That concept is action vs reaction. Forcing your opponent to react is a great way to start to control the flow of battle. 

Sharpen your Side Closed Guard With Xande! Click Learn More

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After spending some mat time with this concept and some of Xande’s techniques you can start to develop a sensitivity to how your opponent will react. If you can anticipate how they will react you can be prepared to set your trap. The sequence from 3:05 to 3:17 is a great example of this. By simply pulling on Bernardo’s collar he forces him to push back because he cannot lose his posture. This locks Bernardo’s elbows which gives Xande the opportunity to perform some basic movements to achieve his ultimate goal of Side Closed Guard.

How bout that sweet detail on sliding further up for the Side Closed Guard. At the 6:00 minute mark Xande starts to go into detail about how his able to climb to High Closed Guard.  

Watching Bernardo become the student is a lesson that everyone can learn from. Bernardo probably has done variations of this technique for a long time, yet he is able to open his mind to try a different approach. 

A surefire way to a competent closed guard is by using Xande’s defensive strategies. Check out this video featuring Bernardo and Xande!


2005 is when Xande last had his guard passed. Flip phones were the norm, and they still had antennas on them. 2005 folks! He credits his success to understanding the Diamond Concept of Defense. He also expresses the importance of simplicity. This is encouraging to hear for many people who don’t have the flexibility of many modern guards. If it’s good enough for cross-generational legend, Xande Ribeiro it’s probably good enough for you too!

Redefine your Defense with The Diamond Concept! Click Learn More

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What’s great about the diamond concept, is that it can be applied to other positions of well. Xande shows that with strong frames and some anticipation you can be ahead of the battle even from disadvantageous positions such as side control. Don’t sleep on the benefits of having a rock-solid defense!

Side Closed Guard Attacks by Xande Ribeiro

Diamond Concept of Defense by Xande Ribeiro

In ten minutes with Xande, most people will have enough to practice for a month! The small details can make a big difference in your success rate with most techniques, but this is especially true for closed guard. If your guard is simply a defensive mechanism to slow down the eventual pass, Xande has you covered.The Diamond Concept of Defense, and Side Closed Guard Attacks by Xande Ribeiro will give your guard a complete overhaul. 

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