Is it wrong to have a game based on the open guard

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by ozyabbas, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. ozyabbas

    ozyabbas Purple Belt

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    I just find closed guard in the gi doesn't work very well for me. When I open up I am pretty good at getting sweeps and submissions but in closed guard I find I am grip fighting most of the time.

    Basically do you guys think its wrong to focus on the open guard when my closed guard is relatively weak.
     
  2. Rws177die

    Rws177die Yellow Belt

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    I focused on closed guard for a long time even though I am most effective at butterfly guard. My game plan is making people work really hard to get out of closed and when they do break my legs open I instantly switch my grips and feet to the butterfly postion.
     
  3. akharon

    akharon Blue Belt

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    Yes, I find it wrong. You should be trying to make your game balanced, so that you're not in a position you don't feel comfortable in. You need a plan b, c, and so on, and if you only have one type of game, you won't. Concentrate on what you're weak on, and you'll find your game improving more.
     
  4. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    Nothing wrong with that, lots of high-level guys almost never use closed guard in the gi.

    Don't be surprised if you have trouble in no-gi though. Most types of open guard are less effective without gi grips.
     
  5. ozyabbas

    ozyabbas Purple Belt

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    I do something similar, but I usually transition into the DLR or spider guard.

    I like using the closed guard in no-gi and I get many more submissions from there and find it easier to break their posture.

    Redaxe is right in that most high level matches don't involve the closed guard but I am sure they kick most peoples arses in the closed guard.
     
  6. MUFC

    MUFC Brown Belt

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    A lot of top level guys have guard games based on open guards.

    Not too many of the big names use closed guard often.
     
  7. curb1850

    curb1850 Green Belt

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    I watch a lot of higher belts and they tend to be open in gi, but in no go they tend to be closed.
     
  8. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    Especially in the lower weight classes where guys are faster and have shorter legs.

    If you look at the meio-pesado division and up you will see a lot more closed guard than you do at the lighter weights.
     
  9. kingwilly

    kingwilly Yellow Belt

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    No. Many guys at my academy (even brown and black belts) complain about my guard being tough to pass and I rarely use closed guard. Would I like to use it more? Definitely. Because of my body type (short, thick legs), it's tough to keep closed guard on many guys and if they posture even a little, my guard is opened.

    Because I use the "NHB" open guard (feet on hips, knees on opponent's chest and trapping his arms with my arms), half guard, and a lot of hip movement, I'm effective from the bottom both with gi and no-gi. True, you should be well-rounded but if you train enough and make your open guard very good, you can work on your closed guard more without worrying about getting passed. Before I developed my open/half guard and had to rely on closed guard, the only thing that would happen is I'd get passed.
     
  10. SuperSuperRambo

    SuperSuperRambo Senior Moderator Senior Moderator

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    There is no right or wrong in jiu jitsu. The art is adaptive.

    That said, I would caution you against abandoning things too early. It's good to be a well-rounded grappler, even if you have a specialty. Also, things take a while to develop, especially a good closed guard. However it can pay dividends if you stick to it. It's very tempting for beginners to say "oh this doesn't really work for me" or "oh I'm just not good at that" and abandon working on an aspect of their game, when in reality they just didn't put in enough time to develop it.

    So no, there's nothing wrong with having a game based on the open guard. Marcelo Garcia follows that style and he's done pretty well for himself. But don't toss the closed guard out too quick.
     
  11. RyanR

    RyanR Black Belt

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    If it works for you then no obviously it is not wrong.

    That being said since you admitted your closed guard is relatively weak you should probably try to work on it too so you don't have holes in your game. You don't have to be an expert at it but you should be proficient just in case you are rolling with a guy you just really want to tie down for some reason.
     
  12. kingwilly

    kingwilly Yellow Belt

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    Definitely don't abandon anything but the best thing to concentrate on is different for everyone at different times. Just because you are taught the closed guard first, doesn't mean you should concentrate on it first. Now that my open guard is decent, I can concentrate more on improving my closed guard. :cool:
     
  13. ozyabbas

    ozyabbas Purple Belt

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    I think I also have to work on pulling closed guard. My closed guard got neglected because it was difficult to pull it on my training partners and found more success using the open guard.
     
  14. dave070

    dave070 White Belt

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    My instructor(gracie barra black belt) always insists that we practice our open guard. We even do guard pass drills where you are not allowed to use closed guard.

    Reason being is high level guys are very good at not letting you close your guard. If you get your guard cracked open and you suck at open guard your gunna get passed real quick. Its all about guard retention.
     
  15. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    This. If your open guard sucks, your closed guard will suck too. Because you need to open your closed guard to attack, and if you don't have open guard retention skills, you will only get one chance to attack before they pass.
     
  16. cartwheelpass

    cartwheelpass White Belt

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    The closed guard is one of my favorite places to work from. For a while, I wasn't using it much and went with things like the half guard. Since I wanted to make my guard game more dangerous, I decided that whenever I can that I'm going to put people into the closed guard, forced them to open that up and then have them pass my open guard. That way, my guard game becomes a game of various levels.

    I love closed guard because I know I have control over this person from passing. A lot of my high % submissions come from closed guard. I know Roger is known for a good closed guard. By the time a person opens up my closed guard, they will be tired from my attacks or I will have submitted or swept them.

    I think you should keep the closed guard in mind. You can step away from it for a bit and come back to it later. That's what I did.
     
  17. akdms

    akdms Blue Belt

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    I would probably work on closed guard a bit just so it's not a glaring weakness, but I don't see anything wrong with focusing on open guard. I know plenty of people that do, including my instructor. I think it's better to have a strong open guard and a weak closed guard than the other way around -- no one is going to fight to get into your closed guard, so that weakness is pretty unlikely to be exploited.
     
  18. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    What exactly is your problem with the closed guard? I ask because you have to open the guard to attack in any case, so it can't be attacking from the closed guard (functionally impossible other than gi chokes). Same for most sweeps. Are you just getting passed easily?

    I like to pull closed guard so that I can open it on my own terms. It's a good position to gain wrist/collar control, but other than that I never use it.
     
  19. WAR MMA

    WAR MMA White Belt

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    I don't have much of a choice. I am short and fat, and I grapple other fat guys. so closing our guard is a chore that for the most part can't be done. I just work on various open guard techniques.

    In the rare event that I do get partnered with someone smaller that I can close my guard on, I feel a bit awkward, so I usually go for some sort of open control anyways.
     
  20. Jagcorps_esq

    Jagcorps_esq Red Belt

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    There is nothing wrong with playing open guard in gi. What you most often find, as with myself, is that people tend to be tied to the closed guard and fear open guard.

    That being said, there is a problem with giving up on anything in BJJ. There may come a time when closed guard is your best option, because it might take advantage of another person's weaknesses.

    The more complete your game is, the better you will fair against even the strongest opponent. The goal of any person should be to move someone to a part of the game they are weakest in and then exploit that...rather than running head long into someone's strength.

    So, certainly use open guard, but don't give up on closed guard.
     

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