Danaher - Closed Guard vol1

Closed Guard Overview

  • In all areas of martial arts
  • Usually looked at as defensive
  • Actually devastating attacking position
  • You have top hip position
  • If your hips are on top of your opponents you will dominate the submission game
  • If you get outside of their elbows you have access to the back
  • If you sweep you have the mount

Skills to Exploit Closed Guard

  • Hold closed guard long enough to attack

  • Effective responses to all four main scenarios:

  1. Opponent on 2 knees
  2. Opponent stands up in a two step procedure
  3. Opponent has stood up but has broken posture
  4. Opponent has stood up and has strong vertical posture
  • Break your opponents stance and balance (kuzushi)
  • 3 directions of kuzushi
  1. Forward - bent over at waist, standing, or on 2 knees
  2. Sideways - opponent on 2 knees
  3. Backwards - opponent in straight up posture

Attacks are made much easier by putting opponent in one or more of six vulnerabilities

  1. Elbow across centreline - side scissor position
  2. The Top Lock (on knees: 45 inside, standing: head below hips) - chief attack arm bar
  3. The Trap Triangle - inside wrist position
  4. Hand on the Floor - Clamp Position
  5. Opponent Stands Up - Second step -> Overhead Sweep
  6. Hips on the Mat

Four Fundamental Sweeps

  • Hip Sweep
  • Pendulum Sweep
  • Flower Sweep
  • Scissor Sweep

Return a standing opponent to Mat

  • Double Ankle Sweep
  • Scoop Handstand Sweep
  • Omoplata Sweep

What is the Central Message of this Video?

  • Closed guard can be used defensive
  • But you should see closed guard as a powerful offensive position
  • If your legs are locked your opponent has very little offensive output
  • Their only real concern is opening your closed guard
  • Most submissions against someone in closed guard are high risk

You want to take advantage of this asymmetry (you can attack, they can’t)

From closed guard, it looks like the person in guard is on the bottom

  • But your hips are actually are on top of their hips
  • If you have top hip position from any sweep in closed guard you will get mount
  • If you take their arm across the centreline you go straight to their back

Your hips also have to be above your opponents hips to get an upper body submission

Hips on top of opponents hips - dominate upper body submissions

Legs inside opponents legs - dominate lower body submissions

The First Three Abilities We Need to Be Effective from Closed Guard

  1. The ability to hold a closed guard long enough to launch an attack You can’t give up easy closed guard breaks (knee in middle, etc)

  2. Cover the four fundamental scenarios

  • Opponent on two knees
  • Opponent starts standing up (two step procedure)
  • Opponent standing, but head lower than hips
  • Opponent standing in good posture
  1. Ability to break opponents balance and posture when they are in your closed guard Three directions of off balancing
  • Forward kuzushi : knee pull to bring them in example: knee pull

  • Sideways kuzushi : most common half pendulum sweep example: plant foot on one side and then bring other leg to armpit to knock them over

  • Backwards kuzushi : knocking your opponent backwards example: hip bump sweep or scoop sweep

The Deepest Message - The Six Vulnerabilities Inside a Closed Guard

There are six vulnerabilities you can expose your opponent to when they are in your closed guard.

By exposing your opponent to these vulnerabilities you will increase your effectiveness.

The critical part of development in jiujitsu is getting around resistance. If you can put your opponent in one or more of the vulnerabilities you will be much more successful at attacking from closed guard.

The Six Vulnerabilities Part 1 - Elbow Across Centreline to Side Scissor

The first and arguably best vulnerability is to take your opponent’s elbow across your centre line.

Because your hips are outside your opponents any motion to the side can get you to the side scissor.

From the side scissor it is very easy to take the back

Your opponent must try to bring their head above your head to avoid the back take

You can still sweep or attack because you have a trapped arm.

Remember that your opponent has two arms, don’t get tunnel vision you can attack either arm.

The Six Vulnerabilities Part 2 - The Top Lock Position

You must think about your opponent’s spine as a lever

When you lock a closed guard your two feet are at the base of the spine (or lever)

It is hard work to pull them in when you are low.

When you lock your feet up high you have much more power to pull them in.

If you lock over one shoulder (other leg clamps down from top) you have the top lock.

The top lock is a very good position for attacking with arm locks.

First walk your legs up and get a top lock, then you can attack with armlocks.

The Six Vulnerabilities Part 3 - The Trap Triangle

You can switch from your feet around their lower back to a trap triangle

You use your arm to control their head

Your other arm grabs their wrist (inside wrist) and pushes it back

They will be unable to bring their arm defensively back in

Your bottom leg is now unweighted and can slip in front of their arm

Because you are high up around their back they will not be able to stand up and posture away.

You can attack with triangle or arm bar

The Six Vulnerabilities Part 4 - Hands on the Floor to The Clamp

Your opponent wants to use your two lapels with one hand and go to your belt or hips to form strong upper body posture.

In no-gi they may put their hands on your biceps

If you get your hands inside your opponents hands you can swim them to the floor

With The Clamp you get on your side and use your top knee to push down on their top shoulder

Your lower leg is posted on their hip

Your top foot is resting on their middle back

Their hand is on the floor trapped by your arm and leg

Arm bars, triangles, kimuras are all possible from The Clamp

The Six Vulnerabilities Part 5 - The Dreaded Second Step

This is the most unique because your opponent will put themselves into it

They will have no choice

If your opponent stays on their knees it will be very hard for them to open your closed guard

For most people, it’s much easier to stand to open closed guard

Typically people stand up in a two stage affair - one leg after another leg

If your opponent is holding the forward lapel they should stand up with the same hand

If they are holding your sleeve they stand up on that side first

When your opponent starts to stand up their head moves offline in the opposite direction

When your opponent goes to the other foot, they yaw back in the other direction

The second step is the vulnerable step!

You can do a simple knee pull to on the second step to take them off balance

You will also be able to do sweet sweeps!

You can play a trick with your feet and legs to make them more vulnerable

When they take the first step - push your feet down towards the floor and put weight on their hips

This means they will have to use extra effort to stand up on the second leg… you will then be able to break their balance!

The Six Vulnerabilities Part 6 - Put Their Arse on the Mat

This last one is damn good! Probably the second best.

Get your opponent’s hip down to the mat.

When you get their hips down to the mat, your hips are decisively on top of theirs.

It is a very dominant position - put their arse on the mat.

If they don’t have their knees you will be able to hip bump them easily

They will have to post to save themselves, then you can attack arms.

If you get the scoop grip sweep when they stand up you can easily hip bump to top position

You can do the same thing if they put one leg up (the noob sweep)