Closed guard: What concepts changed your game?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by luisgi, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. luisgi

    luisgi Yellow Belt

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    So after staying away from the closed guard for a while I have felt in love again with it. The thing is, I only have two moves there and feel like the game becomes a stalemate (blue belt level), the two moves in question are the flower sweep and the closed collar choke, I hit monkey guard there once in a while, but I am just scratching the surface.

    One on our professor is helping me with some basic concepts, but I wanted to ask a wider audience:

    - What basic concepts revolutionized your closed guard?
    - Are there any tutorials/videos you recommend?

    Some of my common problems:
    - If my opponent stands and puts all his weight forward, I seem to struggle there, have a hard time sweeping or setting up submissions. I feel like I am at the defensive. Note that there is no major weight differential there, I am usually a little bit bigger than my opponents.
    - When shooting triangles from closed guard my opponent tends to pass my guard, they simply drop their weight on their free side and I cannot hold them
    - I can never setup an armbar from closed guard to save my life, which has indirectly made me focus on chokes which have been higher percentage for me. I want to revisit the armbar and become better at it.

    Let me know if you have any pointers here.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Airdack

    Airdack sandbagging white belt bjj classes

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    screw closed guard heavy style, its somewhat useful but its an outdated position imo. Way too much stress on the lower back and lack of mobility of open guard. The high rank guys I roll with pretty much use open guard exclusively and will only switch to close guard for a quick setup or to change grips, then right back to open. Only time I'm playing closed is if the professor wants us to drill from it. This is all my opinion and personal experience.
     
  3. Higus

    Higus Gold Belt

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    Realizing how easy it was to go to technical stand up if my opponent was postured upright pretty much was the end of my closed guard phase and the beginning of my front headlock phase.
     
  4. BrownandPound

    BrownandPound White Belt

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    Armbars from guard have just as much to do with breaking down posture as it does with having a good armbar. I could get into the common mistakes by most people with armbars (not lifting their hips, not clamping down with the legs and not *shucking* their opponent off balance (think bumping them like a omoplata)) but none of that matters if you can't break them down.
     
  5. mrshadeed

    mrshadeed Yellow Belt

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    The concept of viewing Closed Guard as an offensive position is what changed how I view it entirely. My opponent should feel 'under attack' from a base and posture standpoint while in my guard, this includes breaking posture constantly, and threatening sweeps and subs.

    It's also changed my approach to rolling /live grappling scenarios. If I outweigh my training partner by more than 10 pounds (roughly), I'll start in closed guard with my goal being to sweep and work my top game from there.

    If I can't sweep, then I don't "deserve" dominant position in the first place, is the mindset I'm working with when training.
     
  6. nodferatu

    nodferatu Drilling in the south

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    Attack, attack, attack. Don't give them the option to set grips or do shit.

    That changed my closed guard.
     
  7. Balto

    Balto Silver Belt

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    That changed my everything.
     
  8. Newcastle

    Newcastle Brown Belt

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    Simply timing your movements as they are trying to stand in order to off-balance them. Gustavo Dantas did a seminar at our gym last month and really focused on this in order to hit the Roleta sweep. It was an excellent way to understand how to manipulate posture based on the timing of their movements.

    If you go watch the Roleta sweep here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xvXXZxMGus

    Notice how Roleta does not initiate the movement until Saulo attempts to stand on his second foot. It is then that he takes advantage of poor posture and timing to hit that move.
     
  9. Codger

    Codger Brown Belt

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    You could look at breaking posture into a n overhook. There is a good triangle, a straight armlock, choke and sweeps from that with not much for them to work with.

    Grapplearts have an app with Brandon Mullins bottom guard which covers a little game plan based around it.
     
  10. Newcastle

    Newcastle Brown Belt

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    That has been my go-to since blue belt. Excellent series.
     
  11. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    Yup. That's the bee's knees right there.
     
  12. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    I love closed guard.

    I had a hard time with it until I learned the Gracie Combatives punch block series.

    This is how I play basically.

    Starting from neutral, if I can break my opponent down I will get an overhook and head control. If they stay heavy on me I will attempt to straight arm or omoplata. At all times I'm hoping to get wrist control on one side, even in no gi.

    If I have head control and a wrist, I will go to the kimura. If they posture at this point I situp sweep.

    If I have wrist control and overhook, I will attempt to force a triangle. If I can't get it, I will attempt to scissor sweep.

    If at any time I lose control and they posture up hard, I will launch them with my legs (if it is appropriate), sit up sweep, or technical stand up.

    If they are nearly postured up but they can't break my guard for some reason, I'll screw around. If they posture up and feel dangerous, I will try once to break them down, to encourage the strong posturing, and then launch them or technically stand up.

    If we are playing with the gi, I'll try to get a grip on a sleeve. One is enough. If I do while they posture, I'll try a spider guard style knee push sweep. Most people strong enough to posture and break my guard are gristly strong men and can't avoid the knee push.
     
  13. Codger

    Codger Brown Belt

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    This is what I've been focusing on too. I've seen it on Braulios invisible JJ amongst other places. When you get good at using your legs to pull them off balance you can make it very hard for them to posture, or to break a grip (since they generally have to pull their arm and so cannot have both bracing) or to stand etc since as soon as they move you off balance them and pull them. Then as you know they're going to posture up, you can follow them up with a hip bump or time a sweep etc. I'm finding that these two concepts are very useful.

    What I'm finding harder though is finishing subs from the broken posture.
     
  14. luisgi

    luisgi Yellow Belt

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    Thank you, can you elaborate on the technical stand up when the opponent postures up? Are you bringing the fight back to the feet at that point or using the technical standup for some sweep?
     
  15. jmay829

    jmay829 Yellow Belt

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    So you just tactical stand with a collar tie, and snap them down into Front Headlock?
     
  16. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    First of all, anyone who tells you closed guard is outdated or useless isn't watching much high level BJJ. Otavio Sousa, Clark Gracie, Claudio Calasans, Andre Galvao, and Braulio Estima are just a few top guys who use closed guard all the time to great effect in high level matches. Roger Gracie and Xande Ribeiro also come to mind. It's a very dangerous and hard to pass guard.

    In terms of how to play it, there are many different ways. The important thing is to have a plan of attack that you've drilled a lot. I can't tell you what will work best for you, but I can tell you mine (and I love closed guard, for MMA and sport BJJ):

    Option 1: Reach across to grab the left arm at the elbow. Try to pull to my centerline while hipping out to set up armbar.

    1.2 If passer resists the pull by circling his arm out and posting on the ground or my shoulder, immediate omoplata attempt. Transition to Williams guard if I can't quite get the omoplata.

    1.3 If passer resists by dropping elbow down, keeping hipping out and go to side guard

    1.4 If passer resists by posturing up, sit up for hip bump sweep.

    2. If I can't get the arm across initially because my opponent postures up as I go to grab, sit up and grab the collar. Then try to break posture. Opponent will basically always try to resist the posture break, how he does that determines my next.

    2.1 If he resists the posture break by posturing up, hip bump sweep.

    2.2 If he resist by framing against my body with his forearm, block the elbow and hip out to side guard.

    2.3 If he resists by posting a straight arm on the ground or my shoulder, immediate omoplata attempt. Transition to Williams guard if I can't quite get the omoplata.

    3. If the passer manages to stand before I can start attacking, what I do depends upon my grips

    3.1 If I have no grips, double ankle sweep

    3.1.1. If he resists the double ankle sweep by leaning forward, Roleta sweep or grab an arm and switch to the arm bar

    3.2 If I have a sleeve grip and he stands up with that arm extended, omoplata.

    3.3 If he stands with both arms in my armpits, choose one as he stands and when he starts to posture up and the pressure releases, turn for the armbar.

    That's pretty much it. Everything else is very opportunistic. If the passer does something silly like stand one leg up while not controlling my arm on that side, I'll slide under for a pendulum sweep. If he's not doing a whole lot other than maintaining posture and stalling, I'll grab a sleeve and pant leg and work a Galvao style pendulum. But mainly I attack with arm bars, side guard, and omoplatas (often from Williams guard). That's proven to be pretty effective for me, but you have to figure out what works for you.

    Shameless plug: a not widely known but very, very effective way of playing closed guard is to get to the side, sort of like an arm drag, and attack from there. My teacher developed this position a great deal when he was coming through the ranks at Gracie Barra in Rio, and he has a video on it:

    Busy BJJ: the Side Guard

     
  17. jmay829

    jmay829 Yellow Belt

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    How do you scissor sweep with an overbook and wrist control. DO you sweep towards the overbook or the wrist control?
     
  18. lechien

    lechien Gold Belt

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    Unless you have 2 really good sweeps from closed that works all the time, your closed guard is useless.

    So please name 2 sweeps that always can hit from closed guard.

    Forget about your subs from closed guard at the moment.
     
  19. Newcastle

    Newcastle Brown Belt

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    Which ones in particular? My go to is usually the triangle from here.
     
  20. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    If you sweep towards the overhook, they can't post, so that's better. If you fail you can try switching to another sweep.

    If you sweep towards the wrist, they will still be able to post with it probably but if you are clever you can knock that post out and finish. If you can't, you still have the shin across their torso and can use it to lift them through the air and onto their back towards the overhook side, which is a big, scary fun sweep / throw and they need to break fall for it.

    Usually it will be towards the overhook side because if I have a wrist and and overhook, I'll be looking for a triangle on the wrist control side, so I'll have that leg active already.
     

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