How to Open a Stubborn Closed Guard

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Passing the guard and establishing a stable position is maybe the single hardest thing to do in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. You can know a ton of guard passing techniques, but what if you're in the Closed Guard and can't start your pass because your opponent absolutely refuses to open up his legs.  He just keeps you in his guard with his ankles crossed and wears you down with his wickedly strong legs, … [Read more...]

Some Tweaks for Tightening the Armbar from Closed Guard

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Chances are that the armbar from guard is one of the first techniques you ever learned in BJJ. In fact the closed guard armbar is one of those fundamental techniques that results in submissions every day at every BJJ school in the world (in fact it's the fifth most popular submission in a poll of 533 Grapplearts readers). But just because you learned it early in your career, and just because … [Read more...]

How to Transition from Half to Closed Guard

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The half guard is a sophisticated tool in the grappler's toolbox that can be used to defend, sweep your opponents, or submit them outright. But just because you've got a hammer doesn't make the whole world a nail. And that means that you can't rely on any one guard position as the be-all-and-end-all. Even if you're a half guard wizard you'll still end up facing opponents who know all your … [Read more...]

Some Principles and Concepts for an Effective Closed Guard

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Too often people forget about the bread-and-butter strategies that have been effective for decades and get seduced by the latest shiny technique. Maybe there's not a better example of something that has stood the test of time like the closed guard. The closed guard has been controlling and submitting opponents with the gi, in no gi submission grappling, in MMA and self defense for a very … [Read more...]

The Easiest Way to Teach (and Learn) the Armbar from Guard

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The armbar from guard is one of those bread-and-butter techniques in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. A signature move, if you will. Unfortunately it can also be difficult for some people execute the mechanics of the armbar from the guard correctly. It's easy to get confused with all that gripping, shifting, adjusting and swivelling, and then completely botch the whole technique. But I've found a … [Read more...]

A Closed Guard Pass Direct From Brazil

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I’m in the middle of trying something new at Grapplearts.com… The lion’s share of the BJJ videos in the article and technique section of this site have been produced by yours truly (Stephan Kesting). But recently one of my very first BJJ training partners also wanted to contribute some cool footage to the video vault. … [Read more...]

What Do White Belts Need to Learn in Their 1st Year of BJJ?

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by guest author Mark Mullen I'm currently in Rio de Janeiro doing a little training in BJJ. While here I have met a number of white belts at the Connection Rio BJJ hostel. Sitting around the pool or over acai after training, inevitably the topic of conversation turns to BJJ and the struggles of the white belts trying to find their way in the art suave. … [Read more...]

How to Counter the Stupidest Closed Guard Break Ever – The Elbow Grind on the Inner Thighs

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Grinding away on your inner thighs is the favourite (and often only) closed guard breaking strategy of meathead grapplers everywhere. I don't know who originally came up with this bush league, Dim Mak wanna be, pressure point bull**** strategy, but for some reason you run into 'grinders' at almost every club. Like most pain compliance techniques the elbow grind is something that works … [Read more...]

My 2 Best Triangle Choke Escapes

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I hope you enjoyed yesterday's tip about escaping the armbar from guard. Today I want to continue exploring how to get out of submissions and share my two best triangle choke escapes with you. I've experimented with lots of different triangle escapes. Unfortunately I've found that many commonly-taught techniques … [Read more...]