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Opening and Passing The Closed Guard With JT Torres

Opening and Passing The Closed Guard With JT Torres

JT Torres Teaches Opening the Closed Guard

If you have been around Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for any time at all, you will have been exposed to the fundamental concept of closed guard. Closed guard is something all BJJ players spend years and years learning to master. Not only do you have to learn how to attack and utilize closed guard to your advantage, you also how to learn how to pass it.

Judo has some of the most powerful and aggressive closed guard passing. Judo Olympian and Renowned Coach Jimmy Pedro thinks there are some simple ways to pass almost any guard, and when he tries them he still smashes them. 

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JT Torres, also known as “The Spiderman” knows what it takes to pass a BJJ player’s closed guard. As a gifted Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, Torres has an extensive list of accomplishments such as wins at the World and Pan American No Gi championships. The American native is part of an exciting generation of US grapplers making their mark in a sport heavily dominated by Brazilians.

Today we are going to check out JT Torres’ technique from opening a person’s closed guard. Take a look at the video below and then we will break down the technique. Check it out now!

You need to learn how to break the closed guard before you learn how to pass the open guard. Without knowing how to break the closed guard you will never even get a chance to pass open guard, half guard, spider guard, or any other. From closed guard top, Torres starts off by focusing on the position of his knees. It is important to squeeze your opponent’s hips together while maintaining a strong base and good posture. You do not want to be caught in your opponent’s guard with your hands on the mat above his head. You want your hands controlling his hips at belt level. From here, Torres likes to open up the lapels to get some slack. With a thumb in grip he punches both of his hands underneath the arm pits of his training partner, locking your elbows tight to the body. Now you want to one by one take a step back with your knees. By doing this you are putting more pressure on your opponent’s closed guard lock, this is what will eventually force him to open up his guard. Now that you have your hips back it is time to step up one by one. Notice that Torres maintains his grips when stepping up to his feet – an important detail.  He also points out that when he steps up with the first leg he stays tight to the hip, pushing his knee in towards his training partner’s thigh. This prevents your opponent from pulling your leg out with an under hook. If you allow too much space it is easy for your opponent to sweep your leg, putting you in a bad position. When Torres steps up with his second leg instead of going to the outside of his opponent’s hips he goes under his thigh, knee folding directly under his butt. Once that knee is in you can the other knee in as well. This puts a lot more pressure on your opponent’s lock. From here Torres works his hands up one by one to his training partner’s hips, grabbing at the gi pants, dropping his elbows inside the thighs. Now all you need to do is sit back to open your opponent’s lock.

At this point, your opponent’s guard has been broken down and you are in the perfect position to start knee cutting or stepping around his legs in order to pass. This is an easy and effective way to pry open a person’s closed guard. Excellent stuff from JT Torres! Try to remember this technique the next time you find yourself in a BJJ player’s closed guard.

Jimmy Pedro's Secret to Power Guard Passing starts off with what he calls a split the legs pass – or an over / under grip. You can literally use this pass for any guard and go into it at any time. This pass is used a lot in BJJ – principally by pressure passer Bernardo Faria, but Jimmy has a very different twist on it – literally. It is a different pass but equally as effective. If you like the type of Jiu Jitsu that is simple, strong and works every time, you will be blown away by this pass.

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