BJJ Tips: How to Open the Guard from Standing

In this post, I will show you two versions of the same closed guard opening in BJJ.

The ever fantastic resource of BJJ and Grappling, and friend of the Part Time Grappler Blog, Mr Stephan Kesting consults with Numerous World BJJ, MMA and ADCC champion Vitor "Shaolin" Ribeiro on guard passing in a video called "A BJJ World Champion's Perspective on Guard Passing"*. The discussion between the two is worth gold, but I'll leave it to you to watch and take what you take. What really caught my attention was a small move Shaolin did at 6min 44 sec which immediately solved a problem I've been having with opening the closed guard from standing. Can you spot what I'm talking about?

Did you notice it? It's a small thing but it makes a huge difference. Instead of revealing which BJJ guard opening detail I'm referring to here, let's have a look at the same pass performed by 3rd degree BJJ black belt: Mr Kazeka Muniz (twice world BJJ champion and one of very few to receive a black belt in less than 5 years, from none other than Carlos Gracie Jr):

Can you tell the difference between how these two awesome grapplers perform the same technique, and address the follow-up? Both grapplers are aware of the danger of the opponent wrapping their leg with the free hand, making it difficult to move the leg back to add leverage to the guard opening or possibly sweeping them. They both address that problem, but in two different ways:

Shaolin switches the hand that he controls the arm with
Kazeka simply angles his knee in to make any wrapping obsolete.

Which one is right? Both. The question becomes: "Which method to open the guard from standing suits you more?"
*If you haven't already, I strongly advise you subscribe to Stephan's newsletters and YouTube channel. The man gives away a huge amount of great information. Even better, invest in some of his published material and your BJJ game will soar for it!

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