The Closed Guard is a fundamental position in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). It represents a situation where a practitioner is on their back, with their opponent between their legs, held by the interlacing of the ankles or feet. It not only provides a high level of control over the opponent but also offers various attacking options.
Start by laying back on the mat, bring your opponent into your closed guard. Your legs should be wrapped around their waist, and your ankles should be crossed behind their back. Control them with your arm around their neck and the other arm keeping their arm trapped.
Now actively engage your hips and legs to limit their movement and secure them within your guard. Make sure your hips are slightly elevated, and your legs are squeezing their torso. Always remember to keep your head and shoulders off the mat to maintain balance and orientation.
Defending against the closed guard includes dealing with potential sweeps and submissions. You should aim to keep posture, control their hips, and prevent them from breaking your balance. Keep your hands active and prevent them from controlling your arms.
The counter for the closed guard is to put pressure against your opponent's legs. You can also try to control their body movement by gaining underhooks or controlling their hips. The ultimate goal is to pass their guard, you can use popular passes such as the knee cut pass, stack pass, or leg drag.
In competition, a closed guard is used when you find yourself on your back and need to control your opponent. It is a foundational ‘survival’ position that prevents the opponent from advancing their position and also opens opportunities for you, the bottom player, to launch attacks. It is often used to secure the opponent and then execute sweeps or submissions.
Avoid opening your guard unnecessarily, as it might provide space for your opponent to pass. Also, staying too passive might lead to penalties in certain competition rules.
Therefore, mastering the closed guard is crucial in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It is an effective defensive position that also paves the way for numerous offensive maneuvers.