Make Passing Closed Guard Look Easy with Jeff Glover's Help
Recently Joe Rogan hosted Jocko Willink for a return to the podcast. During that conversation, Jocko shared stories of training with long time friends and training partners Dean Lister and Jeff Glover. During the discussion of Jeff Glover, Jocko recalled one of the first times he had taken his son to a grappling event where Jeff was slated to compete.
Before Jeff took the stage at the ADCC Trials, Jocko told his son to watch for this guy, because he's "crazy". During the event, Jeff showcased the antics that have made him a legend in the game. Like a mix between a skateboarder and a rodeo clown who happened to wander onto the mats, Jeff would tease and taunt his opponent by letting himself get into insanely bad positions and then submit his opponent's with ease.
Pass the guard with this innovative ADCC veteran's secrets.
Afterwards, Jocko's son said to him, something to the effect of "you said he was crazy, you didn't say he was crazy." This was an homage to Jeff's insane ability to take risks and frustrate his opponent into making mistakes.
To the casual observer, this may seem reckless, even lucky. But Jeff Glover's ability to be both entertainer and submission assassin comes from an insane knowledge and ability to apply the basics of fundamental jiu jitsu. Jeff Glover is the original template for grapplers like Garry Tonon who put the audience ahead of their own safety and like court jesters take their humor extremely seriously.
Jeff Glover's grasp on the fundamentals is very clear in the video below where he shows a simple, highly effective closed guard break that if you were completely honest--probably still gives you trouble. Check it out below and then we'll highlight some key points.
Learn the guard passing secrets of the jester of jiu jitsu.
Looks simply right?
Pin the armpits, slowly stand up, sit back with the knee popping between their thighs and then knee slice while controlling the arm. Done right? Well, not so fast.
When you're pinning the armpits, you need to be putting all of your weight into those armpits and you want to be wary of them suddenly opening their guard and possibly shifting their hips to attack the arm. If they're dead set on keeping you locked in guard then you're free to begin standing up because they will not be able to grab onto your legs as you step up.
Standing up and lifting your opponent when their legs are wrapped around you can be very challenging, especially for new practitioners. Jeff Glover has long been a proponent of spending time on balance balls to improve one's overall sense of balance. There are many videos of Jeff flipping head over heels on balance balls and gracefully landing safely on the mats. You don't have to be that complicated. Learning to knee on the ball and then eventually standing up on it can go a long way.
Once you're two feet on planted it's time to step back with one leg to create some space to sit back and bring the knee between the legs to begin wedging it (no pun intended) through their guard. Jeff is very clear that he doesn't recommend slicing towards the side that would put us in the mount position. Most likely the opponent will make adjustments and have us in half guard or worse by the time we try it.
Instead, he recommends going to the other side for the knee slice. He keeps his arm back and turned bicep down towards his opponent to ensure that he is able to secure the underhook on that side. Then by securing the other arm, he is easily able to make the pass sliding through to a dominant position like kesagatame or side control.
The lesson here is not only in the closed guard break and knee slice. It is in the fact that inside every crazy, there's a kernel of wisdom and without it, do we even know what crazy is?
For more from one of the most unorthodox grapplers on the planet and how he passes difficult guard players, you are not going to want to miss PASS TO THE FUTURE from BJJ Fanatics. Jeff will have you slicing through the toughest guards like a hot knife through butter in no time with his excellent, accessible teaching style that guarantees that no matter what belt level you are, you will learn something. Get it here!