Closed Guard Game

Bottom Position (Dominant)

  • Realise they will be wanting to pass your guard/legs so they can get more control and access your upper body
  • Keep your legs locked for the most part
  • Work on the basic sleeve and lapel grip as pictured, try to get a nice deep lapel grip
  • Aim to break their posture (using grips and legs)
  • Also, aim to get their elbows across your centre line and utilise angles (?)
  • The basis of your attack is cross collar choke
  • Be aware of when they get into vulnerable positions (and try to get them into these positions)
  • If they post an arm out you can attack it with kimura
  • If they put their elbow across your centre line you can attack with armbar 
  • If they reach one of their arms under your leg you can attack with triangle choke
  • You can also “sweep” opponents in order to get into a more dominant position
  • Scissor sweep transitions into a mount position. When to use scissor sweep?
  • Hip bump sweep also transitions into a mount position. When to use hip bump sweep?

Top position

  • In top position, you are vulnerable to various attacks and sweeps and you can’t effectively attack them (without punches or leg locks)
  • So what you want to do is defend against sweeps and attacks and pass their guard
  • Don’t post your arm on the floor (kimura)
  • Don’t put your elbow across their centre line (armbars, sweeps etc)
  • Be careful about putting one arm between his legs (triangle)
  • You want your body to be very upright
  • Keep your chin level
  • Work on the classic posture pictured below


  • This is where you pin their hip down with one hand (makes it difficult for them to work angles)
  • And grip their lapels pinning their chest down (makes it difficult for them to sit up or break your posture)
  • To pass their guard try the over-under guard pass
  • Aim to get to a better position such as half-guard or side control
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