Unlocking the power of closed guard: Probably the single most iconic Jiu Jitsu position and the one that we all started with is closed guard. While mount and rear mount are the most positions, there is nothing really surprising about their dominance. If a total neophyte saw them he would intuit very easily that they are superior positions conferring great advantage to the player in the attacking position. But if that same neophyte saw a closed guard and you tried to tell him that the bottom closed guard player had a tactical advantage over the player – he may well call you a fool – after all, he is in bottom position in a that looks more appropriate for the bedroom than winning fights. Yet the bottom player assuredly doesn’t have a tactical advantage in a grappling situation from bottom closed guard. As long as the guard is closed, the top player cannot engage in any serious positional or submission attacks. All he has are a few very low percentage options that are very likely to be strongly countered by a good bottom player. He cannot initiate any serious positional or submission until he opens the guard. The bottom athlete on the other hand, can immediately begin attacking from closed guard with some of the best submission and positional attacks in the sport. There is a powerful asymmetry here between the players inability to do much until he first opens the closed guard versus the bottom players ability to attack very strongly from the same situation. to faith in this tactical advantage is a BIG part of your early development in bottom game Jiu Jitsu. In time you can make yourself a nightmare to anyone trapped inside your closed guard – to the point where opponents fear it almost as much as your mount or rear mount. That journey begins with understanding and trusting in the tactical asymmetry in attacking opportunity between and bottom player in closed guard. It may not be obvious to the neophyte – but one day your ability to exploit this will identify you as an expert!

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