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Taking the Back in Closed Guard

Taking the Back in Closed Guard


Closed guard has always been one of the most popular guards in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  A dangerous closed guard is one of the best weapons you can have in your arsenal.  Closed guard is one of, if not the most popular guard in all of bjj. 

Closed guard is one of the best guards because of the versatility, effectiveness in gi and nogi, and popularity in MMA.  Many people have been proving the effectiveness of closed guard in the highest levels of bjj competition such as Roger Gracie, Gregor Gracie, Braulio Estima, and the list goes on and on.

In closed guard there are sweeps, submissions, back takes, and more.  One of the best and simplest paths you can take in closed guard is to attack the back.  There are several different back takes from closed guard.

The Arm Drag Back Take from Closed Guard

The arm drag is one of the most popular moves from closed guard.  There are several different ways to utilize the arm drag from closed guard and different grips.  There is the traditional 2 on 1 grip that you can use for the arm drag; there is also the traditional Greco roman arm drag, and many other arm drags.  We have an entire article titled, “Arm Drag, The Guard Players Secret Weapon,” check it out to learn more on the arm drag.

The arm drag is more like a concept from closed guard.  The goal is to get your opponents arm across your body at any cost and then hug their lat or ribs so they can’t retract their arm.  Once you have their arm trapped across their body, you can start to come to your elbow, hip out, and pull them so you end up on their back.  Check out this variation of the arm drag from back with legendary 10x Black Belt World Champion, Roger Gracie below.

Setting up Back Takes from Failed Submissions

When you have someone in your closed guard one of the best ways to get the back is to initially set up submissions and capitalize on your opponents reaction.  For example, if you are going for an arm bar, many times, you can do an arm drag after a failed arm bar attempt.

Another great attack from closed guard is the cross choke. One of the common reaction people use to defend the cross choke is put their hand on the grip which again presents an opportunity to take the back.  Any time you are attempting a submission from closed guard, even an omoplata or kimura, there is an opportunity to transition to a back take.  Check out this video of Gregor Gracie showing a slick back take from closed guard.  Also, as a bonus, check out our article on using the arm drag to get takedowns here.

If you want add a dangerous closed guard to your bjj game get your hands on Gregor Gracie’s 4 DVD set, “High Level Fundamentals.”  High level fundamentals is an extremely great resource for anyone who wants to implement a high level “old school” bjj game.  Gregor’s techniques are simple, efficient, and effective!


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