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Jiu Jitsu Closed Guard Concepts With Travis Stevens
Concepts When Doing Closed Guard By Travis Stevens
If you have been around the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu scene for some time you have probably heard the name Travis Stevens. Travis is a judoka and BJJ practitioner from the United States who competed in 3 summer Olympics, becoming the third American male judoka to win a silver medal in August, 2016. He has acquired a vast amount of knowledge in judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, having started martial arts at the age of six. Stevens trains at the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York City, and opened his own school in Boston, MA.
Kurt Osiander is a firm believer in side control. He uses the position to dominate and control his opponents, making him a good person to learn side control from.
In the video below Travis Stevens is going to show us some basic concepts for when we have a person in our closed guard. Check out it now and then we will break it down.
What are we trying to accomplish from closed guard? The main thing we are trying to do in closed guard is to keep our hips up and feet to the floor to pinch our opponent, giving us power in our hips to snap our hips down to the floor, using our knees to help break the posture. A lot of people are lazy and simply get their closed guard and hang out, thinking they will get power from controlling their opponent by pulling their knees to their chest. But the real power comes from elevating the hips, clearing your opponent’s hands, and snapping him down to get those grips around his back, breaking down his posture. By keeping your hips up, you take away your opponent’s ability to easily pin a leg to the floor. With your hips up, if your opponent tries to get his knee in the middle, you are already on top of his thigh, which allows you to slip your hips and readjust your guard. This will frustrate your opponent by not allowing him an easy guard pass.
Breaking down your opponent’s posture is a crucial part of playing guard. You are not going to be able to grip his collar and sit up or do anything so long as the guy on top has his grips. By using a cross grip and feeding your hand underneath your opponent’s grip you can elevate his arm up, breaking his grip, breaking down his posture, and giving you an opportunity to pull him down into your guard, securing your grips around his head and arm. Notice it is the outside arm from the cross grip that he uses to trap his opponent’s head and arm.
Once you have broken down your opponent’s posture, you set yourself up for submission attacks, and keep you relatively safe from punches, in the event you find yourself here in a street fight scenario. So remember the next time you are on the mats to stay active when you are in bottom closed guard. Do not get lazy and try to pull your opponent in with your knees. Work on getting your hips higher up on your opponent’s body, and make it easier for you to retain guard as he tries to pin your knees and pass. These are some fundamental details, but a really important to mastering a basic position such as guard. I hope you found this video beneficial. Now get out there and train some closed guard!