Curriculum Planning – Fundamentals of Closed Guard


Opening (Top)

There is no passing closed guard. You open it and then pass open guard. Standing ways of opening are more reliable than opening on the knees. Roger has talked about it, Keenan has talked about it, Danaher talks about it in Passing the Guard: BJJ Fundamentals – Go Further Faster. Yes, we all learned opening on the knees. Yes, some guys have good success with it like Saulo Ribeiro. However, I think we see more success from people who stand to open guard. That’s not to say we need to abandon opening on the knees entirely, but just that I don’t want to spend time on it in a fundamentals class.

Stacking is useful for standing up and for just generally shutting the closed guard down. I actually like the method of getting to the log splitter by stacking forward, controlling the hips to get the knee set, and then sitting back.

Offense (Bottom)

  • Side scissors (arm drag)
  • Top lock
  • Clamp

Rather than specific submissions, I’m hoping to focus on these advantage positions. Triangle, arm bar, back take, sweeps, whatever, they become almost trivial from solid advantage positions in the same way that passing open guard is easy once you’ve established an advantage. That’s not to say submissions and sweeps won’t be covered, but that they’ll be framed from these positions.

Considered But Will Not Be Done

Sao Paulo Pass – I just feel like there’s a lot to unpack with this one, and a lot of people make a lot of mistakes that give up their back. It’s high risk compared to the standing passes noted above.

Collar chokes – they work, but most of the setups are shenanigans.

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