The 3 Secrets To Get a Deadly Closed Guard
3 Secrets For A Better Closed Guard
If there is one position that you will never get enough of in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu it is undoubtedly closed guard. Closed guard is the very first thing more students in BJJ learn. There is a reason for this: it is simple to learn, and is the base for most BJJ fundamentals. Because of this it is common for people to get lazy with their closed guard, often allowing the person on top an easy pass, or missing opportunities to sweep or submit. So let’s head back to the basics.
The closed guard is the first and fundamental guards you'll learn. There are a lot of details that make the closed guard even better.
Today we will be looking at 3 secrets for improving your closed guard from BJJ veteran Stephen Kesting. Stephan is a BJJ black belt and instructor in combat submission wrestling. Kesting is known for his incredible contributions to teaching BJJ world wide. In the video below Stephan Kesting discusses the principles and concepts that are important to having an effective closed guard game. Watch the video now and then we will discuss his technique. Check it out!
Secret #1: Closed Leg Placement
This one should be pretty obvious. Keep your legs closed! Remember, opening your legs opens up an easy opportunity for your opponent to pass. Do not be lazy, keep those legs closed and locked tight. Use them to pressure your opponent and make him feel uncomfortable. You can generate a lot of pressure with your hips and thighs. You should not give your training partner an easy place to sit and rest. The only time you want to open your legs is if you are going for a submission or a sweet. Not only do you want to keep your legs locked tightly closed but you also want to focus on where they are positioned. Keep your legs above the hips usually around the middle of your training partner’s back. You can also switch to a higher version of closed guard where your feet are on your opponent’s shoulders. This can also be very effective.
Secret #2: Stay active with your hands; use your legs to pull
Again, it is important not to get lazy with your closed guard. You should always be fighting for grip control with your opponent. Whoever has the dominant grips controls where the battle goes. There are many different tips and techniques for how to grip in closed guard but generally you want to grab a sleeve and a collar grip. Cross collar grips are very effective, but is important to make sure you have a deep grip, otherwise it will be very easy for your training partner to pull you hand away. By having good grips you can control your opponent’s body by breaking down his posture, setting yourself up for good submission attempts or solid passing. Not only should you be active with your hands. You should also be using your legs to pull your opponent down into your guard. Think about how effective it is to use your entire body in breaking down your opponent. You want to give yourself every advantage possible so stay active with both your hands and legs.
Secret #3: Use your hips!
Often times people over look just how powerful your hips are when fighting from bottom closed guard. It should go without saying that your hips are your most powerful weapon. Pay attention to your hip placement. Are they flat on the ground? This is bad. Get your hips high up on your opponent. Is your back flat on the ground? You may as well tap right now. Get on your side and start setting up sweeps. Remember, you can generate a ton of explosive power with your hips. By creating angles with your hips you set up a variety of submissions and sweeps. So stay active with your hips and you will have a much easier time playing from bottom guard.
As with all jiu jitsu, practice makes perfect. If you are new to jiu jitsu, understand that you will spend a lot of time fighting from closed guard. Do not look at this position as a place to hang out in and catch your breath. You want to be explosive in bottom closed guard, and wearing your opponent out, with your primary goal being to sweep if you can’t find an opportunity to submit. If you are more experienced in jiu jitsu, remember that even though you have a ton of experience with a certain position or technique you can always refine and improve your game by focusing on the fundamentals. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and the world of grappling martial arts in general, is a broad spectrum of offensive and defensive study. But you will never move away from the fundamentals because they are the very core of every movement.