Closed Guard Basics

What Are The Basics Of Closed Guard?

The basics of closed guard are right in its name. Close your legs! If you open your guard without having an open guard to go to, you will normally have your guard passed and be dominated from one of the top positions. So the basic idea is do not open your legs unless you are attacking, ie if you are going for a submission, a choke, or a sweep. Open your guard for any other reason and you are simply asking for trouble. Next really basic aspect is where your legs are. Never let them drop below your opponent’s hips they must be above the hips, on the middle of the back or high up by the shoulders. Two of the founding concepts, do not forget them!

What Happens With The Hands?

When you are using closed guard, you must not let your hands be lazy. Your hands need to be threatening and active. Use one hand to control a sleeve, and use the other to cross grab deep in the collar. Now you can control your opponent’s posture and start working the attacks. Armbars, triangles and omoplatas will all come from an opponent that has their posture broken. Remember your hands and arms can be active with over hooks, head grabs, head and arm control, and under hooks all from the closed guard. Remember that part of the tactic you can use to break posture is to pull with your legs. Sometimes with correct timing you can break your opponents posture by just pulling with your legs. Below is a superb video of the basics, nothing flash or clever, just the essentials.


Use your hips! You need to keep your hips moving. When you move your hips, you create the opportunity to hit sweeps like the flower sweep and the hip bump sweep. Use your hips to create angles, the angles will help you set up armbars and triangles in particular. Do not  be flat on your back with no hip movement.

MMA and Self Defence?

Be aware that when striking is involved (MMA and self defence) the closed guard is more of a neutral position. Raining knuckles really does make you think hard about what to do!

MMA and self defence is explained here along with importance of the hips.

Enough from me, hope you enjoyed that. Short and sweet.


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