Many Jiu-Jitsu schools have their newer students learn to play the Closed Guard first. For reasons too many to go into here, let’s just say a main one is for control over an overly aggressive or larger opponent. In this context, that reason is legit and warranted. However, embracing a Closed-Guard-Only strategy can also be flawed, especially first time an opponent stands up. Having this happen can leave the newer student lost or confused on what to do.
Let’s examine instead, the methodology that newer students should be acclimated towards playing the Open Guard sooner so they are more comfortable and aware when their opponent stands up on them.
Open Guard utilizes more movement and speed, whereas a Closed Guard is more controlled and methodical, using slower movements. Learning various Open Guards first can teach the student important principles and movements such as:
· General grip breaking
· Leg Circles
· Hip Control
· Biceps Control
· Utilizing the legs
· Collar, sleeves & leg control
· Creating distance & reengagement
Understanding these concepts and principles, if an opponent does break open the legs from the Closed Guard, and stands up, the bottom player has an awareness of what to do. Even better, the student who embraces playing an Open Guard earlier in their training, becomes more formidable from the bottom position, and can force a Closed Guard game if desired. This can be very important and relevant, especially when an opponent opens your Closed Guard to implement a Guard Pass, and having a good Open Guard game is the only way to prevent it from happening.
Learn. Drill. Roll. TRANSFORM!