Top Submissions from the Closed Guard

Top Submissions from the Closed Guard

The closed guard is one of the best guards in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  There are so many submission opportunities, sweeps, and moves that you can do from the closed guard.   Closed guard is also a very low risk position meaning that when someone is in your closed guard, there is not much that they can do to you. Thus. it is an excellent guard to play for beginners. 

Closed guard is good in gi, nogi, MMA, and self-defense.  Every bjj practitioner should be well versed with their closed guard and have a wide arsenal of attacks.  It is one of the most important positions to learn and it is a staple in bjj history.  There have been many World Champions that win at the highest levels with closed guard.  Some of the best submissions from the closed guard include the cross choke, the Kimura, the Guillotine, the arm bar, and the triangle. If you're into other submissions, check out our other article "Three High Percentage Submissions From Closed Guard."

The Cross Choke from Closed Guard

The cross choke is one of the first submissions that you will learn that utilizes the gi.  The cross choke has long been one of the best submissions in bjj because of the versatility and the effectiveness.  Check out our article “The Cross Choke” to learn more on it. 

When implementing the cross choke from closed guard there are so many different entries and finishes.  The cross choke is not only a good submission because it works, but the cross choke from closed guard can also open the door to many other submissions, sweeps, and back takes.  Sometimes in closed guard when you attack the cross choke, your opponent may compromise themselves with a poor defense and you can capitalize and arm bar them, or take their back.  Check out this video on a cross choke below.

 Kimura from Closed Guard

The kimura may be one of the most popular submission that there are in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu period.  This submission was named after the Judo fighter, Kimura who was able to defeat Helio Gracie in a challenge match by applying the Kimura submission, prior to the match it was known as the key lock, or figure four shoulder lock.  All of the history aside, it is one of the most effective submissions from the closed guard. 

Why is it such an effective submission from closed guard?  Well, it is a great method of control, and if you learn the subtleties of the application, you can take these details and apply them from so many different places. From the closed guard specifically, this submission can be applied by forcing your opponent to post on the mat or by controlling their wrist.  When you are able to get the Kimura grip it is almost unstoppable if you know what you are doing. 

One of the main reasons we highlty advise using this submission is because it works well for smaller guys on the bigger guys.  Contrary to popular belief, the kimura is not a submission for the big guy, in fact, it is better for smaller guys.  The reason behind this is the fact that you are controlling one of your opponents arms with both of yours.  This will allow you to maximize you strength.  Check out this video on how to apply the submission below. 

The Guillotine from Closed Guard

The guillotine is another excellent option from the closed guard.  One thing we have to mention about the guillotine is that it is one of the only moves that will come naturally to the beginner.  Humans do not have a preconceived notion of how to grapple, but it is instinctive to wrap the neck in a head lock.  That being said, learning the guillotine is not that difficult. 

The details to finishing the guillotine are diffiuclt and there is a lot of them.  Many of us believe that we just grab the head and squeeze it but that is far from the truth.  We are not here to discuss all the different types of guillotines but rather to talk about why it is a great submission from the closed guard.  First and foremost, the neck often presents it self.  We just discussed the kimura above and these two submissions go hand in hand. 

This is because when you sit up to get the kimura, sometimes your opponent will push back into you and expose the guillotine.  Not only that but speaking in self-defense terms, it is an excellent way to control your opponent and negate the strikes.  This is one of the fundamental methods of control for the guillotine or headlock.  It is also an excellent way to sweep your opponent. 

The Arm Bar from Closed Guard

The arm bar is one of the best and highest percentage submissions in bjj.  From closed guard, it has long been one of the best submissions in competition, and MMA.  Many fighters in the UFC have finished arm bars from the closed guard. 

The arm bar from closed guard can be intimidating because many people assume that if you have an arm bard in closed guard that a tough opponent can just stand and get out or slam you depending on the rules.  One of the biggest principles to finishing the arm bar from closed guard is being able to control the posture, check out this video below with Dan Covel on controlling the posture from closed guard.

The Triangle from Closed Guard

The triangle is another incredible submission from closed guard.  Like the arm bar, the triangle has been utilized at the highest levels of competition in bjj and MMA.  In the UFC, there are many fights that have been finished with the triangle from closed guard.

Why is the triangle so effective?  There are so many different set ups to the triangle and there are many people that will fall into the triangle when attempting to pass the closed guard.  Check out this triangle set up below with Keenan Cornelius.

If you want to take your closed guard attacks to the next level, check out 5x Black Belt World Champion, Bernardo Farias DVD set, “The Closed Guard.”  Bernardo has one of the most dangerous and diverse closed guard in bjj today.  

Another excellent resource to take your closed guard skills to another level is Rodrigo Artilheiro's DVD Set "The Lazy Closed Guard."  This is an excellent DVD for people who are not athletic, not super athletes, and are just ordinary humans like the rest of us.  Rodrigo does an excellent job at making everything simple and effective. 

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