The Best Way to Deal with Beginners

bjj, Claudio Calasans, Closed Guard, Guard, instructionals, jiu jitsu -

The Best Way to Deal with Beginners

We’ve all been in class when a new guy walks in and at the end of the class wants to roll with people. We also know that the majority of new guys can be extremely spazzy and explosive.  So what is the best way to deal with these spazzy newcomers? 

The answer to that question is put them in closed guard.  Closed guard is one of the best positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and it is one of the best ways to deal with beginners.  Why is closed guard so good for dealing with high paced beginners?  Closed guard slows them down and gives you control, it has plenty of submission opportunities and a lot of sweeps, and it is very safe.

Closed Guard and Control

Closed guard gives you more control than almost any other guard.  You can nullify a lot of what your opponent can do to you when you put them in your closed guard.  When you roll with a new guy they probably don’t know what to do or where to put their strength.  That being said, they will probably put 100% of their strength into everything they do. This can make a new person dangerous to you and themselves. Check out our article “Creating a Default Aggressive Closed Guard” to work on your closed guard attacks.

Put new spazzy people in closed guard.  You will have an excellent sense of control and be able to stay calm while they go crazy.  Chances are they know nothing of guard passing so they won’t even know to break open your legs and pass.  They will tire themselves out just sitting in closed guard gripping and defending.  If you try to play open guard they may be able to run around and go crazy so the closed guard will offer you control and the opportunity to slow them down.  Check out this video on a brabo choke series from closed guard, this is a great series to slow down beginners.

Closed Guard and Submissions/Sweeps

Closed guard is also an incredible way to deal with beginners because of all the submission and sweep opportunities. Closed guard has an abundance of submissions that you can use and so many sweeps.  When you roll with a beginner they will be extremely easy to submit assuming you have been training at least 6 months or so.

This is because they have no idea what to do, that being said, they will give you plenty of submission opportunities like arm bars, kimuras, triangles, and more.  There is also many sweeps that will be easy to apply.  Combined with the control you have over your opponent, the ability to slow down spazzy people, and the submissions, closed guard is a great choice. Check out this wrist lock from closed guard below, it is super sneaky and effective.

Closed Guard and Safety

Closed guard is also a great way to deal with beginners and spazzy people because it is extremely safe.  Safe meaning if you have someone in your closed guard, there is theoretically no submissions they can threaten.

Having someone in your closed guard, especially an inexperienced person, you can’t get submitted.  You have an excellent sense of control, plenty of attacks, and they can’t do much.  If it is a beginner they won’t know what to do and they will be easy to manipulate. Check out this video showing how to control the sleeves from closed guard; this is a great way to stay in control.

If you want to add closed guard attacks to your arsenal, check out 5x Black Belt World Champion, Bernardo Faria’s 4 DVD set “The Closed Guard.” Also, if you want to work your closed guard for self-defense, check out our article “Closed Guard for Self-Defense.”


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