In looking at what to teach this week from closed guard I decided to teach something I had taught a bit of last time through. I focused on posture and pressure from closed guard bottom. Talking with my coach I saw that he had done the same thing. He added a pressure to the 2 that I was teaching to bring the list to 3. I think the 3 pressures came from Travis Davison from Montana? Anyway, it’s a great way to break down the position. Everything I’ve seen from closed guard bottom has the posture and pressures built in.
Closed Guard Significance
My coach always says that until you get to brown belt you should primarily play open guard. Developing a good closed guard game early is not necessary and could be detrimental to your game. If you are using closed guard because you are scared to open your guard you have a problem. It can be a crutch that students use to keep from having to learn open guard. Better to not play closed guard at all than to rely on it too much.
In fact, you can be world class and have no closed guard game at all. It may be an important position in BJJ but not necessarily always needed. It becomes more important when you look at MMA or self defense. For sport Jiu Jutsu though not so much.
Posture is simple here. Get your hips off the mat. That’s it! Simple but I hardly see anyone doing it. More often than not people get lazy and let gravity drive their hips to the mat. If you feel your rear end touching the mat your posture is off.
There are three different pressures you can use from closed guard with the posture. They are the following:
- Knee pumping. Drive your knees forcefully in towards your chest and back out. Like doing a crunch except you are moving your legs in and out instead of your upper body.
- Sit up. Come up to one side and build a base with your rear hand. This is the setup for the kimura, hip bump, guillotine, 100% sweep and more.
- The airplane. This is simply taking your upper body off line by angling from side to side. Keep your shoulders flat on the mat as you do this.
Here’s just a couple of quick grip breaking techniques that I like. There are many more out there. These are just my favorites. Once you can posture and pressure using the above concepts you need to be able to strip and break the top guy’s grips. Adding the grip stripping game to the posture pressure game will put you in a great open guard with the bottom guy in a huge posture hole right from the start.
- Technique 1- Here I take a same side pistol grip on the sleeve. I then weave my other hand under and grab my own wrist. The trick is to use the knee pumping energy as I pull his hand off my gi. Pass the arm to either side depending on if you want an overhook or a take the back scenario.
- Technique 2- Same technique reversing the grips. Works well this way too.
- Technique 3- This technique attacks the rear hand. It aslo uses the airplane to take your body off line. Use the airplane to move your upper body towards the rear hand. Shove the rear hand into his midsection and then use the knee pumping energy to collapse his posture.