Why You Should Stand To Pass Closed Guard
Closed guard can be one of the most difficult guards to pass. Many people have an extremely hard time opening closed guard. They either cannot open their opponent’s legs, or they are just not able to defend themselves. Being in someone’s closed guard can be one of the most dangerous places. You are extremely vulnerable to submissions and sweeps when you are inside someone’s close guard.
The closed guard has long been considered the fundamental guard, many people even perceive the closed guard as the foundation of the guard. If you are more interested in learning to play guard check out our article, “Closed Guard, the Foundation of the Guard.” We are going to discuss why it is imperative to stand inside your opponent’s closed guard.
Standing inside the closed guard is one of the best ways to pass your opponents guard. There are several reasons why you should almost always stand when you are in someone’s closed guard. The main reasons are so that you can nullify many of their attacks, and the other reason is so that you can increase your arsenal of opportunity.
Standing in the Closed Guard to Nullify your Opponent’s Attacks
Standing in closed guard is one of the best ways to limit your opponent’s possibilities. What doe we mean? Well, the fact of the matter is that when you are in someone’s closed guard, they have hundreds of combinations of moves that they can use on you. There are chokes, arm locks, shoulder locks, wrist locks, and a myriad of submission opportunities. There are also plenty of sweeps, they can set up guards, attack the back and do virtually anything when you are inside their closed guard. How can we stay safe?
Well, if you stay on your knees like many people tend to do you want to look at things from the perspective of how many attacks you have versus them. For example, let’s say that you are inside your opponent’s closed guard and saty on your knees, you have about 5-10 moves that you can do and all of them involve opening their legs so that you can pass. The person who’s guard you’re in has hundreds of moves they can do. Arm drags, flower sweeps, scissor sweeps, arm bars and more just to name a few. If you just stand up you will limit the amount of attacks that you are vulnerable to.
So if you are in the closed guard, in order to nullify many of the attacks that you are vulnerable to just stand. Many of Bjj’s best competitors have always implemented this philosophy. People like Marcelo Garcia, Buchecha, and Andre Galvao can be seen always standing in their opponents closed guared. Here and there you will some high-level guys resting for a second inside their opponent’s closed guard but they are probably just waiting to get the right grips to stand.
Learning how to stand in the closed guard is so important. Many people are intimidated by standing in the closed guard because they feel like they are easier to sweeps standing and they don’t want to deal with open guard. There are ways to stand in the closed guard and easy passes to connect. It is well worth your time learning how to stand in the closed guard. Sometimes when learning you will probably get swept but you have to start somewhere. Check out this video below with the great Gregor Gracie on standing from closed guard and passing.
Standing in the Closed Guard to Increase your Arsenal
When you decide to start standing in closed guard you will quickly realize that when you stand you have much more attacks. Like we mentioned before, if you stay on your knees when in the closed guard, you only have a few attacks and all of them involve opening your opponents guard. You have to open their legs to pass. When you stand you still have to open their legs but there are so many ways to do it and so many passes that you can connect.
The philosophy is that when you stay on the knees you are more vulnerable then when you stand. Once you stand there are so many different ways to open the legs. If you are the type of guy who likes to pass on the knees, you can stand up in the guard, break open their legs, and go back to your knees. Just because you have elected to stand up and open your opponent’s guard does not mean that you have to stand to pass. Check out this way to open the guard with Fabiano Scherner where he shows us how to open the legs.
As you can see in the video above Fabiano elects to stand up in the guard and break open the legs. Once he stands and successfully opens his opponent’s guard he will go back to a combat base where he puts his knee up so that his opponent cannot recompose the guard. This is a simple and effective way to open the guard and start to pass. Although some people may be intimidated by standing and passing because they believe they are more vulnerable to complicated open guards, they should still try and stand! You have to start somewhere.
If you would like to learn more simple and effective methods to stand and pass your opponent’s closed guard, check out Fabiano Scherner’s new DVD where he breaks down a bunch of easy and effective ways to play guard and pass your opponent’s guard. Also, if you want to learn some tricks to submit your opponent from the bottom, check out our article “The Two Best Submissions From Closed Guard.”