How To Break Down The Posture In The Closed Guard, Even If They Stand
Breaking the posture may be the single most important detail to getting sweeps and submissions in the closed guard. The closed guard has long been considered the foundation of the guard and it has been utilized at the highest levels of both MMA and Grappling. We know the closed guard works, but how can we use it against high level guys or the ones that stand in our closed guard?
Sometimes people will choose to pass the closed guard on the knees while other may stand, if they stand it can pose a problem to the guard player. If they don’t know open guards, they may be forced to play open guards. Many people choose to stand in the closed guard because it is a great defense. So how can we deal with this?
Well, there are several ways to break the posture before your opponent can even stand. You always want to be one step ahead of the game and you want to break the posturer before they can even stand. That way when they do stand, it is much harder for them to posture up.
Breaking the Posture in Closed Guard
Anytime that your opponent is in your closed guard, whether they want to pass or just stall, they are going to need to have posture so that they can stay defensive. Breaking their posture is vital. If someone stands in your closed guard and is able to straiten their back, you are going to have huge problems. Why is this? Well, the fact of the matter is that when someone’s back is straight it is harder to submit, sweep, and bother them. They are stronger there.
Think about it this way, let’s say that you are in someone’s closed guard and you stand, would you rather stand freely or with a 50-pound kettlebell attached to their neck? The answer is probably to stand freely. This is because no one wants to stand with a kettlebell around their neck. That being said, we can use the lapels to create weight and tension on their neck and break the posture. That is the reason we people playing open guard grabbing the lapels and breaking posture. Let’s look at a method of breaking the posture with Marcelo Garcia Black Belt, Dan Covel, he is a master of the closed guard.
As you can see above Dan is going to break the posture before his opponent even has the opportunity to stand. It all starts with his elbow control. When he flares his opponent’s elbow he is going to capitalize on their posts and hug their head. Hugging the head is one of the best ways to control the posture in the closed guard. People have been using this method of posture control for over 20 years. The Gracies have proven how effective it is time and time again.
Once Dan secures the head he takes it a step further by grabbing the lapel and using the lapel to assist him in controlling their posture. The lapel will also allow him to use his other hand freely which is what he will ultimately do to sweep. This lapel grip is so annoying, and it makes your opponent bare all of your weight. This part can be a little difficult because it can be hard to access the lapel. Once their posture is broken down like this it is even more likely that they will stand up and try to do something.
Dan is anticipating that his opponent will stand, and he is going to use his free arm to under hook their leg. This will allow him to create a drastic angle and start to go for submissions and sweeps. This can be horrible for the person on top. Dan is going to inch his way from under hooking one leg to the other and this will make them fall. As you see in the video above, once they fall you have a bunch of options to attack. You could take mount, arm lock, triangle, or do whatever you like.
If you want to develop a devastating closed guard and fear no man from this position check out 5x Black Belt World Champion, Bernardo Faria’s DVD set on the closed guard below. This is also available as a digital download. Bernardo has one of the best closed guards that there is and he is able to implement it on everyone he trains with, he is very open minded and is always learning tips and tricks from fellow practitioner’s check it out!