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BJJ Instructional Videos
John Danaher Leglocks
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Open The Closed Guard with John Danaher

Open The Closed Guard with John Danaher



Opening the closed guard has to be one of the most common problems in the history of BJJ training. This decades old conundrum plagues our training sessions to this day when dealing with proficient bottom players. Many of us do our best to stay out of this position, but of course, our efforts will fail us from time to time and we will succumb to the treachery of the closed guard. 

With so many different ways to get ourselves into trouble inside the closed guard, it can be a bit overwhelming to even know where to begin. At times, it can seem like all we are doing is trying to stop the attacks coming from the bottom. But at some point we must establish a solid, safe position and begin to unwind our situation, so we can free ourselves from the clutches of the guard player. I'm sure you’ve all seen different ways to grip the gi, various ways to begin standing, and of course different methods of breaking the guard. If you're having trouble with your old go to methods or your training partners are hip to your same old material, keep on reading. 

Standing up to pass the guard is always a good option because we recruit gravity as an ally. This makes things a bit more difficult for the bottom player, so if you're not standing to pass the closed guard you should definitely consider it. Though it works well,  standing up has its pitfalls as well. Many times, we compromise our balance in the process and end up giving back anything we've gained as we lose our stability and return to the floor. With grips, and knee pulls, and plenty of off-balancing options a guard player can return us again and again to our knees if we don't set ourselves up properly though the standing pass. 

So which method of standing is best and what pass should we pursue? It shouldn't surprise us that there's a right and wrong way to stand up and break the guard. When dealing with someone highly effective in the guard, we will have to observe some important details on both standing and which method we choose to break the guard. 

With the release of John Danaher’s newest instructional in his “Go Further Faster” series, Passing the Guard, we’re getting an incredibly comprehensive blueprint for guard passing success. This instructional will assist you in tightening your existing game and it will shed an incredible amount of light on the common trouble spot of the guard pass. In this video, Danaher covers the knee post method. This is a great solution for opening the guard that you definitely need to see! Take a look at this! 


Danaher begins with addressing some very common actions of the bottom player that we need to keep on our radar. Being pulled forward with the knees can be a real detriment to our guard passing process and this is something we must pay attention to, as it will compromise our posture. He also expresses how unfavorable it can be to have your arm manipulated so that it breaks the centerline of your body. These items can have disastrous consequences, so be sure to monitor them. 

Ready to Go Further, Faster with your Passing? Click Learn More!


To stop the forward pull, Dnaaher wedges his knees under his partners hips, making it more difficult for the guard player to perform this particular motion. As his partner attempts to pull him forward, Danaher can easily gain access to the lapels, which leads him to his ideas on gripping the gi. 

Gripping both lapels, Danaher wedges the heels of his hands into his partners armpits, making imposibile for his arms to be manipulated without the bottom player first having to break the grips. WIth his hands firmly in place, Danaher has now created a situation that makes things very difficult for the bottom player and a scenario where he can now begin to stand with minimal danger.

Using one foot at a time, Danaher begins to stand, ending up in a square position relative to his partner. . To open the guard, Danaher begins by taking his right knee and placing it as close to the center of his partner's hips as possible.He then bends his leg, tightening his hamstring and applying pressure with his knee. With his opposite leg, he begins to widen and stagger his stance, causing his right knee to fall squarely into place, right in the center of the hips. As Danaher begins to bend down the pressure increases, causing the guard to open. This guard break leaves Danaher in the perfect position to begin passing in a multitude of different ways. 

Opening the closed guard is one of the greatest challenges we face. Especially as beginners. But this problem doesn't have to plague your training sessions forever. In the new instructional, Danaher covers several methods of opening the closed guard, all with different sets of circumstances, giving you tons of options and ending the struggle!


Passing the Guard: BJJ Fundamentals - Go Further Faster by John Danaher

Passing the Guard is now available at the BJJ Fanatics Online Store.




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