Sooner or later – and in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, probably sooner – you will wind up in somebody’s closed guard. If you plan on advancing, you’ll need to break the closed guard, and, coincidentally, that’s just what BDMMA‘s coach Tim O’Connell demonstrates for you in the video above. Here are the major points:
Hand and arm position. This will vary some, depending on the length of your limbs and your opponent’s proportions. Generally, though, you want something like this:
Your hands should ordinarily be planted right on or just below your opponent’s floating ribs. For this move, you’ll want them lower than that, because you need to keep your opponent’s hips on the mat.
You absolutely do not want your hands on the mat on either side of your opponent, as that frees his hips and invites him to attack your arms.
Your elbows need to be pinched in. With your elbows flared out, it’s too easy for your opponent to break your posture.
More importantly, your elbows are an essential part of this guard-break. Keep them anchored just on the inside of his thighs. Even before you get to the leg movement, digging the points of your elbows into the meat of his thighs will make your opponent pretty uncomfortable.
Legwork (lame pun not intended).
Move one knee inward to your opponent’s centerline. That already puts more pressure on your opponent’s locked ankles, because it squeezes more of you into his closed guard. This positioning is also key to passing, once you’ve broken your opponent’s guard.
Swing your other knee back and out about ninety degrees. This widens your base, making you more stable, again, and puts still more backwards pressure on your opponent’s legs.
Finish breaking the guard.
At this point, settling back onto your legs should be enough to break your opponent’s guard. Essentially, you’re moving backwards slightly while you’re keeping your opponent’s hips stationary. You aren’t moving far, but there’s a lot of power in the move.
Add to that the fact that your elbows are digging into the flesh of your opponent’s thighs, and it’s almost certain that you’ll break his guard.
Finally, step up your centerline-knee as soon as the closed guard is broken. That way, if he tries to pull you back in, your opponent is actually pulling you into a pass.
For more sweet BJJ action, check out Coach Tim – live and in the flesh – teaching at RI’s Black Diamond MMA.