Foolproof Closed Guard Opener
They say your life passes before your eyes when you're about to die. I really hope that all that time I spent stuck in closed guard gets edited out. I can remember entire training rounds where the bulk of my time was spent trapped in the vice-clamp of my training partner's closed guard. There were so many mistakes I made in the beginning.
The first one was trying to focus too much on hand fighting and almost playing patty cake with the person in who's guard I was trapped. This did little to get me out. The second common mistake that I did was not put distance between my hips and their hips to create tension on the locked and crossed ankles.
Though we are focused on opening the closed guard with the gi on, if you want to take a look at some No Gi passing concepts, take a look at our previous article at BJJ Fanatics here!
In the video below, this year's ADCC 77kg gold medalist JT Torres shares a foolproof way to open the closed guard that will make it impossible for the opponent to hold you in guard. Check it out below!
Let's take a look at some foolproof key points that JT shares in more detail.
Foolproof Tip #1
Never wonder what you should do with your hands again. In this closed guard opener, JT uses his hands to secure a powerful lapel grip on both sides which he then punches into their armpits. This controls their arms and upper body and creates a strong base point from which you are able to work your body backwards putting pressure on their crossed ankles.
Foolproof Tip #2
Initially you will be maintain a wide base with your thighs to prevent yourself from being swept or tipped over. Once you establish the lapel control in Tip #1, you will walk your knees and hips back one step on each side. The opponent will begin to feel the pressure mounting as you work to step up.
Foolproof Tip #3
By moving the knees back, you will create space to allow you to step up. The first leg you step up should be slightly outside of the opponent's thigh, turned in to put pressure on the hips and also to prevent them from hooking your leg and pulling it towards them. The second leg should be stepped up directly behind the hip of the opponent. Once you have the second leg behind their hip established, you can bring the first leg behind the first side.
Foolproof Tip #4
It's now time to bring your hands back from the lapel control in the armpit and secure the top of the opponent's pants at the drawstring level. Once those grips are established, the elbows are pulled in and the pressure on the opponent's closed guard will almost be unbearable.
Foolproof Tip #5
The final tip will be maintaining the grip on the drawstring line of the pants and bringing your butt down as if you were sitting onto a chair. This will break the opponent's guard completely and by maintaining the grip and stepping back with one leg forward and the other back, you will be ready to launch your pass attack.
If you follow these foolproof tips, you will find yourself slipping out of the tightest closed guards with ease. Never waste another moment of time or energy from your gas tank fighting what used to be impassable closed guards.
Now that you've seen the detail with which JT Torres teaches, you will want to take advantage of the complete system he shares to improve your "Passing, Back Takes and Finishes" available in a 4 volume DVD or On Demand format from BJJ Fanatics! Most instructionals focus on a small piece of an instructor's game, but not this one. From the outset, JT takes you through from start to finish how to open the closed guard every time, how to pass all of those crazy guards your opponents will throw your way, and how to take their backs and finish them with a wide variety of submission options. Check it out here!