Monday, February 7, 2011

Opening my mind about the closed guard.

My relationship with the closed guard has been a stale one from day 1. We go through the motions, the drills, but the relationship never really goes anywhere. Well today, we had a breakthrough.

Yesterday I picked up the eBook, The 77 Most Common Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Mistakes. I'm only on number 32, so I'll be writing a review of it later, but it answered one of the great "duh" questions I've always had but never really known how to ask. (Loving it so far btw. I corrected at least 5 mistakes tonight alone with very little effort.)

You hear "don't telegraph" left and right, do you not telegraph? Thank you Mistake #10. Its explanation of how to work your way into an armbar without yelling it across the gym made me take a step back from my whole take on the guard.

I worked a white belt into my guard today and before I started thinking armbar or triangle or sweep, I started thinking posture and how best to break it. Once broken, I took time to watch how they reacted, where arms fell, where they were pushing and I let THAT determine where I went from there.

The result? Setting up more triangles, higher percentage of sweeps, better luck getting past good bases.

This may be true of all positions, but the guard, right now in my little green belt mind, is one of those positions that you have to approach passively, before you take it on actively. 


Liam H Wandi said...

Excellent! I've said it many times that we don't get better at jiu jitsu, but rather jiu jitsu makes us more aware and the awareness opens doors so I'm very happy to how beautifully you've chosen your words Megan.

Georgette said...

Ooh, thanks, I will check out that book!

I think this sounds like a SBGi approach. If you don't, you should consider reading Cane Prevost's fabulous blog The Gentle Art (

In it he does a splendid job of teaching in this order-- posture, pressure, possibilities-- which is the hallmark of SBGi's approach to jits as I understand it.

Megan said...

Yeah...I remember you saying that...Thanks Liam:) really seems to be a mix of the things you get corrected while rolling and other pointers. At first thought I was going to say it's more beneficial for beginners, but the errors it corrects likely span a wide range of experience levels.

I've loved Cane's blog since day 1...even though I'm just getting to a point where I feel I can really internalize the info.