Back To The Basics! Opening Closed Guard
Closed guard is something all BJJ players spend years and years learning to master. Not only do you have to learn how to attack and utilize closed guard to your advantage, you also how to learn how to pass it. Opening the closed guard can be frustrating, especially for beginners at the white belt and blue belt level. A more advanced player will know how to control you with their hips while squeezing you with their legs. A great closed guard player can make being on top closed guard one of the most uncomfortable positions you can imagine! And you thought you were safe here…
Judo has some of the most powerful and aggressive closed guard passing. Judo Olympian and Renowned Coach Jimmy Pedro thinks there are some simple ways to pass almost any guard, and when he tries them he still smashes them.
When it comes to opening closed guard, why not learn from one of the best, Atos Black Belt and ADCC 2017 Champion, JT Torres. JT Torres, also known as “The Spiderman” knows what it takes to pass a BJJ player’s closed guard. As a gifted Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, Torres has an extensive list of accomplishments such as wins at the World and Pan American No Gi championships. The American native is part of an exciting generation of US grapplers making their mark in a sport heavily dominated by Brazilians.
JT Torres has a great instructional series called “JT Torres – Passing, Back Takes and Finishes” available exclusively on BJJFanatics.com. In this series, JT gives a comprehensive approach to passing an opponent’s closed guard. Let’s take a look at just some of the amazing instruction provided on this 4 part DVD series. Check out the video below!
The first thing anyone must learn when passing the closed guard is how to break open the closed guard. If you do not know how to break open the closed guard then you will never even get a chance to pass. This same rule applies to every guard: half guard, spider guard, you name it. JT Torres starts off by focusing on the position of his knees. Remember you want to maintain a strong base and good posture. Do not get caught in your opponent’s guard with your hands flat on the mat above his head. Always control your training partner’s hips and keep them flat on the ground.
From here you can open up your training partner’s gi. Use the lapels to get some slack. With a thumb in grip, punch both of your hands underneath your opponent’s arm pits. Lock your elbows tight to your body and take one step back with your knees. This will put pressure on your opponent’s guard which will eventually force his legs to break. Now you can step up to your feet one by one. Make sure you maintain your grips while stepping up! This is a very important detail that most BJJ players forget. Torres also points out that when he steps up with the first leg he stays tight to the hip, pushing his knee in towards his training partner’s thigh. This prevents your opponent from pulling your leg out with an under hook. If you allow too much space it is easy for your opponent to sweep your leg, putting you in a bad position.
Once you get up with your second leg, you should go under the thigh instead of going to the outside of your opponent’s hips. You can fold your knee directly under your training partner’s rear end. Once this knee is in, get your other knee in and create a tremendous amount of pressure on your opponent’s legs. From here simply work your hands up your training partner’s body one by one and drop your elbows inside the thighs. Sit back and your opponent’s closed guard will open.
After watching this, it is obvious that we can all use a refresher on the basics every now and then. This is an easy and effective way to pry open a person’s closed guard. Why not stick to the basics and use a technique that is certain to work? JT Torres is a master when it comes to opening closed guard and you can be too. If you liked this video then I highly recommend you check out Torres’ instructional series “JT Torres – Passing, Back Takes and Finishes.” You would be surprised at how many of the basics you forget! So refresh your memory, get back to the basics, and start improving your game one little detail at a time. Oss.
Jimmy Pedro’s Secret to Power Guard Passing starts off with what he calls a split the legs pass – or an over / under grip. You can literally use this pass for any guard and go into it at any time. This pass is used a lot in BJJ – principally by pressure passer Bernardo Faria, but Jimmy has a very different twist on it – literally. It is a different pass but equally as effective. If you like the type of Jiu Jitsu that is simple, strong and works every time, you will be blown away by this pass.