I was hoping to get everyone's opinion on this. I have always been taught to play closed guard with my head up off the mat. The reasons for this being 1) with strikes, you won't get your head smashed off the floor 2) forces you to be more active with your body 3) lessens space between you and your opponent. Recently, a brown belt was watching me drill armbars from the guard and told me that I should have my head flat on the mat. At first I was a little skeptical, but he is a brown belt so I figured I would try. I noticed that it did definitely make it easier for me to pop my hips out for the armbar. However, I think it overall reduced my control over my opponent and made it easier to pass my guard. I was just wondering what everyone thought about this detail because I haven't heard it discussed on here much. When I was drilling the armbars, keeping my head down definitely made them easier. Still I was reluctant to fight from the guard all the time with my head down since it makes it harder for me to gain momentum for my sweeps. P.S. This is only somewhat related, but I overheard someone else advise one of my buddies to lock his closed guard over the opponent's hips for maximum control. I told him to forget about that. I have always been taught that the idea was to walk the guard up higher, not lower. I told him always take a high guard if possible and if your legs get around the opponent's hips, start playing open guard because you will get passed in two seconds if you don't.