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Stop Avoiding the Closed Guard
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Stop Avoiding the Closed Guard

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If you’ve been training Jiu Jitsu for more than a few months by the time you got to this article, you probably think the closed guard is a boring position that doesn’t work against anyone that has a blue belt or higher rank.

I understand why; the closed guard is absolutely one of the most difficult submissions to get submissions and sweeps from when you compare it to half guard or more advanced guards like de la riva guard and X-guard.

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Think about how many hours you have practiced closed guard compared to other guards, and I’m sure that if you have been training for some time, you have spent significantly less time using closed guard than other ones.

Realistically, though, the closed guard is still one of the most powerful tools in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The primary benefit of the closed guard is for self defense. There is absolutely no better position to be in if you end up on your back while defending yourself. From the closed guard it is easy to control an aggressor and protect yourself from strikes to the head. This is the first reason you need to develop a strong closed guard.

Outside of self defense, the closed guard is still very useful. Sure, if you try the simple sit up sweep or triangle choke you learned in your first class won’t work against anyone with any amount of skill. This doesn’t mean the whole position is useless.

The the following video, Travis Stevens, one of the best Judo practitioners ever and an awesome grappler shows us some of the most important details for using closed guard. See below:

To develop a closed guard, you have to use techniques that will surprise your opponents. They need to be techniques that because the top player doesn’t recognize, they can’t easily defend. These techniques do exist, all over the internet, you just need to train them.

Before adding these techniques, you need to make sure you have solid fundamentals. You have to be able to control your opponents posture, because without breaking the top player’s posture, the closed guard fails. You also have to know how to use your legs correctly and not just your arms, which is a problem I see in a lot of students.

John Danaher is one of the few people to have athletes be successful at the highest levels in both Professional Grappling as well as MMA. He has systemized his approach to teaching,learning,and APPLYING his Jiu-Jitsu. Enter the System with John Danaher!

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