Next Edge Academy

Closed Guard

Why would I end up here??

Usually for one of three reasons. 1) You were takedown and they ended up between your legs. 2) You purposely pulled them down into your legs. 3) Your are escaping a worse position like Mount, Side, North South, Turtle or Knee on Belly.

Who as the advantage?

On the surface the top person looks to have the advantage but its pretty close to equal because the bottom person can control the top persons hips. The top person should not be comfortable or happy with this position they should try to get to a better position.

What are some techniques from here?

Armbar from Guard

Baseball Slide Pass from Guard

Hip Bump Sweep from Guard

What should my goal be from top?

From Top

  • Pass the legs. Do not try to submit your opponent from inside the guard. Pass the guard or go into a leg entanglement.
  • Don’t allow your opponent to get head control
  • Keep good posture – You should be able to look at the ceiling and the floor
  • Don’t allow your hands to go to the mat
  • Keep your hands on our opponent
  • Work on standing passes to avoid the closed guard
  • Never put 2 hands on one side
  • Don’t allow them to cross their legs
  • When your opponent puts their arm under your leg to angle, trap it and sit heavy to that side.
  • When creating posture try to walk your hands down their body from the biceps to the chest then hips.
  • Never overreach for their hands if they pull them away this is a setup for triangle and armbar
  • Do Not Tripod up in Guard unless you are using a Colorado Pass Grip
  • Be on your toes from top. Not the top of your foot.

What should my goal be from bottom?

  • Sweep to get on top or Submit
  • Work on spider walk with legs
  • Break your opponents posture by pulling down on the head or crunching your abs forward
  • Create angles off to the side – This is often called not staying “Flat”
  • Use your foot on their hip to create angles don’t create angles with your foot on the mat.
  • Hips up Feet Down
  • Get Opponents hands past the centerline
  • Disrupt their balance when they go to move
  • If the opponent goes 2 hands on one side take the back
  • Break grips with figure four grips
  • Don’t allow them to make frames on your hips
  • Don’t squeeze too much with your legs
  • Pop the grip with a palm strike to the bottom wrist

What other information might be helpful?

Head Positioning

From Top

  • Your head should be up. Forehead looking forward, not looking down.

From Bottom

  • Head positioning is not super important from the bottom but you should try to have the head slightly elevated off the mat.

Leg Positioning

From Top

  • Have your toes on the mat

From Bottom

  • Have your legs wrapping around your opponent. You can also sit out to a side and have your top knee holding their back down.


From Top

  • Try to create frames against them on their hips and chest so they can’t come up and so you can break open their legs
  • Hands on biceps or Below the sternum. Also acceptable but risk to trap one arm behind their back for a colorado pass

From Bottom

  • Collar and Sleeve Grip – One hand grabs the gi collar or the head the other hand grabs the gi sleeve or wrist.
  • Overhook Grip – One arm goes over one of their arms
  • Underhook Grip – One arm goes under your opponent’s armpit
  • Double Lapel Grip – Both hands grab your opponents collar and pull down
  • Cross Collar Grip
  • Cross Sleeve Grips


From Top

  • You want to keep your distance away from your opponent. Don’t allow them to sit up.

From Bottom

  • You want to play super tight or super long. Both work well, just try not to play in the middle. So you should be super tight where it is hard for your opponent to move with their posture broken or so long that they cannot grab your head.

Opponents Submission Setups

From Opponent on Top

  • Dropping back for a straight ankle lock or into a leg entanglement
  • They can grab your collar and do a choke called Amassa pao

Weight Analysis

From the Top

  • Your weight needs to be on your butt for the most part with your toes on the mat.
  • Do not allow your opponent to pull you forward.
  • Try to be one mass straight – Similar to when you squat in lifting. Back straight and head up.

From Bottom

  • Your weight will be on the mat but you can manipulate it by getting off to the side and pinching your knee down on their back.

Ideal Body Type

  • Works for all body types but typically people with longer legs have better guards due to the ability to keep their opponent inside their legs.

Leverage Points

From Top

  • Sternum (Post on the Sternum)
  • Hips (Post on the Hips)
  • Wrists (Control the Wrist by trapping and posting on it)

From Bottom

  • Hips (Use your foot on their hip to create angles on your opponent)
  • Head (Pull down the head to bring their weight forward and eliminate the ability to pass)

Pro Grappler to Review

Roger Gracie