Knee in the Middle Guard Opener
Easy Way To Open The Guard, And Begin To Pass!
Being stuck in someone’s closed guard is a drag. It can be relenting continuously trying to open your partner’s guard while all they have to is move slightly just to break you back down again. Even with the appropriate fundamentals, opening the guard can be difficult regardless of skill level. The last thing anyone wants is to be down by points in a match and then be stuck in their opponent’s closed guard for the last few minutes.
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There are numerous ways of opening the guard but they can all be classified into two main modes, opening while seated or opening while standing. Opening the guard in the seated position is more difficult to do because it is hard to find the appropriate leverage to open the knees. Also, in the seated position, the guard player can have lapel grips and sleeve grips that make movement for the guard player difficult.
If you watch a lot of high level grappling matches, you might notice that immediately as someone gets stuck in another’s grappler’s guard, they stand up. Opening the guard in the standing position is a lot easier for many reasons, but mainly because it is strenuous for the guard player to keep their legs locked. The following video, Fabiano Scherner illustrates how to open the guard using the knee in the middle.
As someone who loves to play closed guard, I try to make it very difficult for my opponent to stand up because once they do, I will have to transition to something else or get my guard passed. One thing I focus on is breaking posture. Without good posture, it is impossible to stand against a decent opponent. This means if someone has trapped you in their guard, the first thing you should do is ensure you have good posture.
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When attempting to stand in someone’s guard, you may often find that you lean forward too heavily on them. Although pressure is usually a good thing in Jiu Jitsu, if we are leaning on our opponent’s while we are standing in their guard, it becomes easy for the guard player to pull you back in. Also, it is important to get moving as soon as you stand to prevent the guard player from transitioning to an open guard and also from sweeping you.