BJJ Tips: Base and Posture inside the Guard

It is fair to say that having good base and posture when inside the guard is one of the most important, if not the most important details or "concepts" for survival within and progressively opening and, eventually, passing the guard.

"there is never a reason to look at your partner inside the guard"

Where do I get the right to prioritize and label what does and doesn't crack the top priorities? I have a simple formula which I’m happy to update:

If everyone does it, it’s done right at the start and the consequences of ignoring it are dire then chances are it’s pretty important.

As a Part Time Grappler I always seek to find the most basic adjustments because they have a habit of giving me the most Return On Investment (ROI) and let’s be honest, with training only 3-4 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling sessions per week, that’s all I can afford to focus on. Here are my ideas on the Base and Posture inside the guard.

1. Knees wide apart but feet close.
2. Sit your butt down.
3. Stay alive and monitor your partner's hip movement and other attempts to circle around you.

1. Look at the ceiling. Literally, not figuratively.
2. Create a straight arm* (elbow pointing down, not out) frame against their chest.
3. Stay alive and monitor your partner’s grips and other attempts to break you down.

There are many other ways to play Base and Posture inside the closed guard and I use some of them every now and again but the above is what I do 90% of the time.

Here’s my Return On Investment (ROI):

1. They can’t sweep, reverse or topple me easily.
2. I stay connected to them and keep a low centre of gravity
3. They can’t take my back nor set up attacks easily.

1. They can’t establish head / neck control easily
2. They can’t sit up into me for a hip-bump sweep easily
3. They can’t get set easily and I can set up my own next step (opening their guard)

As you can see, this means I’m relatively safe and ready to progress while they are 2-3 steps behind.

"I wonder what distracted Thomas so he left his elbow dangling like that?"

*Cane Prevost does a much better job than me at explaining his take on Base and Posture in the guard. I say his take because there are a couple tiny differences in the outwardly expression of the concepts but if you look closely you'll see that his version gives him the same ROI mine does, it's just done slightly differently. Funnily enough, someone commented on his blog with a link to a Saulo clip which looks a bit more like what I (badly) seem to emulate.


cprevost said...

Nice job Liam! Building good posture in closed guard takes time to learn. The tips you outlined are absolutely critical. Just like you mentioned I've seen a couple of different ways of doing this. I currently subscribe to Saulo's approach as it has worked best for me. It's a dynamic position though and you'll find that you can't simply build posture and hold. It takes some movement and readjustment of hips and arms as you hold. Having a solid base to adjust from though is critical.

The Part Time Grappler said...

Many thanks Cane. To tell the truth, most of the time having a solid base a la Gunnar vs Xande (which is noton YouTube anymore!) and solid negating grip-fightig ends up opening the legs for me.