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#284135 - 09/07/06 04:58 PM The closed guard
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Taken from Aesopian's thread on Bullshido. Lots of good tips.

"I'm sure we've all heard how open guard is more advanced and everynoe at high levels uses it and blah blah blah. Carlos Gracie Jr. spoke about closed guard at his last seminar at Gracie Barra Tampa when he showed close guard attacks. He loves open guard, of course, but his message was "Why not tire them out and beat them from closed guard if you can?"

I love open guard too since it's fun and loose and all that funk, but since closed guard was my focus when I first started training, I've found it is still my more aggressive guard, with both submissions and sweeps. It's what I go to when I've got someone I really need to put the pressure on.

I can't claim this is a complete breakdown of all the possible grips, attack and combos from closed guard, but it's what I use, and I thought it might be interesting to share.

Note: The way I'm using it, "closed guard" doesn't only refer to having your ankles cross, but also those positions where your legs are open but can be easily reclosed.

One of the first things I did when I'm trying to figure out closed guard was break down the grips. Here's what I operate off:

Control Points (with your arms)

* Neck/head
* Overhooks
* Underhooks
* Elbows
* Biceps
* Triceps
* Wrists
* Underhook the legs

That's just no-gi. With the gi, you can pretty much grip anywhere, as well as get into special gips like belt grips, looping overhooks to holding their collar, or wrapping lapels over and around arms and shoulders.

As for the legs:

Leg Positons

* Low guard
* High guard (climbing guard)
* Crooked guard
* Feet on hips
* Grapevines (I've used this maybe twice when I felt like being a jackass.)

Gi or no-gi, I can also get into the rubber guard control points, like Mission Control, New York, London and Meathook. With the gi, I'll do London with one arm by grabbing the back of their collar.

After I worked out the grips, I listed the main sweeps and submissions so I know what options I have:

Sweeps and Submissions

* Pendulum (flower) sweep
* Scissors sweep
* Hip bump sweep
* Kimura
* Guillotine
* Collar choke
* Armbar
* Triangle
* Omoplata (and its sweeps)
* Gogoplata
* Reverse armbar
* Wristlocks

("Wristlocks WTF?" I actually use wristlocks to setup armdrags to take the back quite a lot. It's a hilarious counter to them posting on you. With one hand, hold their hand against your stomach or hips, and with the other hand pull their elbow into your stomach as you sit up. Armdrag when they spaz trying to free their hand.)

While not a sweep or submission, taking the back is also a serious weapon.

And these are just from knees. If they stand, I've got more stuff like the kick sweep, handstand sweep, star sweep and kneebar.

Switching to different open guards or half guard is also an option. But that's not the issue here.

Once I've got the sweeps and submissions worked out, I started looking for combinations. This is basic strategy building.

Basic Combo: Collar Chokes and Armbars. You go for a collar choke, he defends but gives up the armbar. You go for an armbar, but he defends so you get the choke. Simple but workable.

Sit-ups: Kimura, guillotine, hip heist. In no-gi, you can add the neck crank turnover. These moves are all based off sitting up and trapping one side of his body, and any one of them sets up others. For example, if he defends the kimura but leaves his head out, go to the guillotine. He defends the guillotine, go for the hip bump. Or neck crank turnover when he tucks his chin. Hip bump, he posts, go to kimura. These can go in pretty much any order.

Three Brothers: Armbar, Omoplata, Triangle. Whenever they escape one, you've almost always got the other. For example, he pulls his arm out of an armbar, go to an omoplata. He postures out of the omoplata, go to the triangle, and so on.

Rubber guard has its own submissions, sweeps and strategies that I'm not even going to bother going into here.

Here are some simple combos and setups I've come up while training:

Use collar choke to setup an armbar, he defends by stacking, counter with pendulum sweep. Too heavy to sweep, come back the other way and take the back since his arm is crossed.

Go for a pendulum sweep, but he defends by posturing, so you pass your leg over for an armbar. Or he frees his arm and posts on the mat, giving you space to go to a triangle. He defends the triangle by keeping his arm uncrossed, go to the omoplata. He defends the omoplata, roll bellydown for the omoplata sweep. Or go to gogoplata.

Break posture with neck control and climb guard, get an under and overhook. Frame neck to create space, escape hips and hug their arm to your shoulder for reverse armbar. He frees his arm by turning it in, keep his arm crossed and take the back.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share how and why I like closed guard, since I don't really buy the idea that open guard is always better than it. Close guard has its own combos and strategies, and even though it's "one position" by name, you can use it to play many different games."
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#284136 - 09/07/06 05:49 PM Re: The closed guard [Re: MattJ]
Dereck Offline

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10416
Loc: Great White North
Lots of good stuff here and have heard most of it (great Instructor) ... just can't do most of it, though a work in progress. Thanks Matt.


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