BJJ / Grappling Tips: How to open / pass the closed guard

Guard-top work is a major topic within jiujitsu (Base and posture, Guard Opening…etc.). One of my favourite closed guard opening techniques is a standing one, where you use inwards knee pressure on the hips to lock them in position and, if you need it, reach the opposite arm back to open the much-weakened guard.

If you're not sure what I mean, here's an excellent instructional clip by Dean Lister:

During the Isolation stages, the question is often raised: What if the guard player shifted away from the pressuring knee and re-aligned himself with the top player, effectively taking away the hip control?

One answer* is simple. Switch to pressuring with the other knee.
  1. When someone shows you a technique, it doesn’t mean you can’t counter it
  2. When a technique gets countered, try it again in doubles or even triples (e.g. shrimps. One is seldom enough!)
  3. When a technique gets countered, try it again from the other side
  4. When someone counters a technique, they almost always overcompensate
  5. When someone demonstrates a technique you see it, but you don’t feel it
  6. You don’t always need an instructor to show you. As long as you have a good teaching method that creates a safe learning environment and good training partners, you can solve problems together. 
It reminded me of another quote from Guy Claxton’s book: The Heart of Buddhism:

“On one hand our experience is untrustworthy, perception comes already contaminated... Yet the only way we can recognise them as pernicious is by putting them to the test of experience. The task seems impossible, like trying to clean your hands in filthy water. How can it be possible to find fresh water, more sure or true experience, with which to wash?”

The more concentrated and focused the practice, the cleaner and fresher the water.

*There are other answers such as checking why they had the freedom to move their hips...etc. In fact, Dean shows a nice way to block the ribs.


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