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Three Drills for a Dangerous Closed Guard

Three Drills for a Dangerous Closed Guard

Simple Drills Can Solidify Your Technique...

The closed guard is one of the most technical positions a grappler can play from while on their back. Unfortunately, many practitioners ignore this basic position in favor of flashier guards. If practiced enough, the closed guard can be just as effective as any position to both sweep and submit your opponent.

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Although the techniques from closed guard are relatively simple in nature, they are difficult to attack because the defender is usually well aware of the moves you are trying. Because of this, it is important to increase the speed, smoothness, transition rate to have a good closed guard. One of the best ways to do this is through high intensity quick drilling.


This first drill will help improve the basic armbar from closed guard. Your partner should begin with their arms extended on your chest while you grab them. Attack the first armbar in anyway possible as the first one does not really matter. For the drill, you will take the leg that is on your partner’s head and swing it out and around to create enough momentum to get the other side. Once the rotation is complete, you should catch a quick armbar on the other side. Simple repeat this motion for 1-2 minutes.

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The next drill will help smoothen the transitions between the three basic closed guard submissions. Start by attacking a quick closed guard armbar, from here your partner will pull out the arm being attacked. As your partner pulls their arm, transition to a triangle choke. Your partner should defend the triangle choke by wrapping the trapped arm behind your leg. As they do this, transition to omoplata. After each cycle, go back to the guard and repeat on the other side. This drill should be done for 2-4 minutes.


This final drill is very simple and will help increase guard explosiveness. Again, start in the closed guard while your opponent sits up with their hands on the ground. Open your feet, roll up to your hand on your side, and attack a quick sit over sweep. Rather than finishing the sweep, however, just knock your partner off balance and then return to the guard and immediately attack the other side. This drill should be done at a very high pace for maximum improvement.

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