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High Closed Guard Armbar
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High Closed Guard Armbar

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The closed guard is one of the safest and most effective position for a grappler to be in when fighting from their back. It can be used to sweep, submit, and even strike from while allowing the guard player to stay safe from most attacks.

Because the closed guard is very difficult to break and pass from a seated position, which is especially evident when grappling with a skilled partner, people tend to stand. Dealing with standing guard passers can be difficult especially if you don’t have a lot of attacks that you know.

People stand in the closed guard in many ways. The most common methods are by placing the hands on the hips, ribs, chest, or even arm pits. This will allow the grappler on top to place their weight forward and jump up to a standing position.

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The first thing to focus on when someone stands in your closed guard is breaking down their posture. In order to break your guard open, they first have to have good posture; if you break that down, they can’t pass.

To break their posture down, you want to put the focus on your legs. Rather than keeping your guard sitting low on the waist, bring up to their arm pits to end up in a position we commonly call high guard. This will allow certain submission attacks to be quick and easy.

In the following video, Black Belt Mario Delgado shows us how to set up the armbar from a high closed guard. See below:

The armbar from a high closed guard works better when the guard passer’s hands are placed on the chest rather hips or armpits. Also, it’s really important to look at the where their elbow is positioned to as you want it to be as close to the midline as possible.

If you find that your partner’s or opponents are placing their hands in difficult to attack positions, grab their wrists as they stand and force them to a spot that works better for the armbar.

Furthermore, if you can get both of your opponent’s elbows close to each other, you can lock up a triangle with both arms in and finishing a double armbar. This technique is often called the “dead orchard”, which is a staple 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu technique.

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