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Developing a Gi Centered Closed Guard

Developing a Gi Centered Closed Guard


Developing a closed guard game is easily one of the most important things in the world of bjj.  This guard is considered by many, the fundamental guard.  This is because it has long been utilized for self-defense, MMA, and in high levels of gi and no gi bjj.  The closed guard is an extremely efficient position.  We see so many people using it in every ruleset, in gi, nogi, mma, and self-defense. 

The fact that it is so effective in so many different areas makes this one of the most important positions to learn.  Unfortunately, we have seen a big decrease in popularity for the closed guard lately.  This is particularly true in gi Jiu Jitsu, but why? It is because so many people are learning more modern and complex guards because they are fun to learn, and they are very effective. 

Some people tend to be closed minded towards the innovation of the guard, but we don’t mind it.  The reason the guard is being innovated is because more people are practicing bjj and coming up with tricky guards like the worm guard, etc.  Although we love modern bjj, we still believe it is necessary to develop a closed guard, you want to be able to have submissions and safety from closed guard.

Today, we are going to take a look at developing your closed guard in the gi.  Since the gi is primarily where we are seeing these new innovative guards reign supreme we want to take it back to the simplest form of guard.  Let’s talk about how the gu can actually help your closed guard for both submissions and sweeps. 

Using the Gi in Closed Guard to Sweep

The gi can enhance your sweeps in closed guard by a mile.  You have so many different grip variations to perform sweeps and it allows you to use other things that you can’t in nogi.  For example, you can do a scissor sweep with a foot on the bicep, like a hybrid closed guard/Spider guard.  You have access to the lapels and can use them to set up different sweeps, you also have access to pant grips which is a tremendous advantage.  For popular sweeps like the flower sweep, instead of under hooking the leg, you can just grab a pant grip. 

The grips will allow you to break down your opponent’s posture easier as well.  Breaking the posture is one of the principles of closed guard.  Using the cross collar grip to set up both attacks and break the posture is one of the best ways to play closed guard when you have access to the gi.  The cross collar grip can help you do arm bars, cross chokes, scissor sweeps, loop chokes, triangles, collar drags, and so much more.  We could make a list of one hundred attacks that use the cross collar grip. 

Another useful grip for sweeping your opponent is going to be the sleeve grips.  One of the more difficult grips to use in no gi and MMA is the wrist grip, it is not nearly as powerful as controlling the sleeve in the gi and this grip can be used for a plethora of sweeps.  Check out this video below on how to control the sleeves in closed guard with Marcos Tinoco, Marcelo Garcia Black Belt.

Using the Gi for Submissions in Closed Guard

The gi is an unbelievable weapon for submissions when playing the closed guard. The gi will add so many different submissions to your closed guard.  You can now do cross chokes, baseball bat choke, bow and arrow choke, Ezekiel choke, brabo choke, and so many more! The possibilities are endless with the lapels.

The gi can act as a noose around your opponent’s neck and constrict their arteries almost better than traditional nogi chokes.  We have to think about the fact that even though we are wearing a gi, all of our traditional no gi chokes and attacks will still work, now we have another element that will assist us in attacking our opponent.  The gi will literally add a whole other world to you submissions from closed guard.  The cross choke is easily one of the most deadly chokes in bjj and it is next to impossible to get this without the gi.

Once you are secure in closed guard if you are able to break down your opponent’s posture you will easily be able to submit them.  People overlook the fact that there are endless possibilities of gi chokes that you can use and that they are particularly effective from closed guard.  Look at the cross choke below with Luis Heredia who is a Rickson Gracie Black Belt.

You want to take your gi game to the next level by having a dangerous closed guard that utilizes the gi?  Look no further, 5x Black Belt World Champion, Bernardo Faria has a 4 DVD Set “The Closed Guard” here he discusses secrets and attacks he has been using in closed guard for over 10 years!  


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