All time great Roger Gracie prefers closed guard as he feels that your opponent can do little to attack from inside your closed guard you and you have abundant attack options from closed guard. If you have gotten away from closed guard in favor of more flashy open guard styles, it maybe time to revisit this position.
Master Carlos Gracie Jr. mentioned his preference for closed guard in an interview he did for Grace Mag:
“I don’t get this obsession with all of the acrobatic guards. They are efficient, sure. But they’re fleeting. Your body has difficulty understanding them for too long. I say this from my own experience. The lumbar region, for example, as strong as it may be, will never be armored against the passage of time. Jiu-Jitsu is for your whole lifetime, and by that line of reasoning you can rest assured that the basic techniques like the closed guard or this open guard I enjoy doing, will never abandon us. At 70 we’ll still be capable of performing them with plenty of mobility. That can’t be said of the tornado guard or the berimbolo.”
Let’s see how some of Gracie Barra’s instructors use the closed guard in some advanced techniques.
1) Attack sequence using opponent’s lapels – Sequência de ataques da guarda fechada
Prof. Joelson from GB Matriz shows us an attack sequence from a grip on the opponent’s lapel. Note the gripping details.
2) Take the back like Roger Gracie!
Prof. Carlos Liberi shows a technique that should be an important part of your closed guard game – the cross sleeve grip and back take. This is a favorite strategy of Roger Gracie.
3) Rolling armlock from closed guard pull / Armlock Partindo da Guarda Fechada Com as Pegadas Cruzadas
Prof. Carlos Liberi has more than one trick up his sleeve in closed guard. Check out this guard pull to slick rolling armbar attack!
4) Double attack from closed guard / Ataque duplo da guarda fechada
Prof Diogo Almeida demonstrates a a great grip break and then attacks in combination. Attacking in combination is a hallmark of advanced jiu-jitsu strategy.
5)Straight armlock from closed guard / Armlock da guarda
Roger Gracie teaches the details on how you can catch the opponent’s arm from your closed guard. The technique may be a “basic” but the details are what make it advanced!
See also on Gracie Barra : GB Techniques: Take The Back!
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam