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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

10 December 2014

10/12/2014 - Teaching | Private | Top Guard Posture & Triangle

Teaching #245 - Private #002
Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 10/12/2014

We went through two main areas in today's private: posture in somebody's closed guard and reviewing the triangle. In their guard, stay upright, with your head up. Curving your back slightly can help too. Don't let them bend your arms: keep at least one of them stiff into their hip. It is very important to control their hips, as they need to angle off to attack effectively, though it's tough to completely shut off their hips with just your hand. Your other hand is ready to push them down if they attempt to raise their torso towards you, or more typically, gripping both collars and keeping their back on the mat.

A key detail is to come up on your toes. This will feel uncomfortable at first, but it provides you with much better base than having your insteps flat on the floor. With your toes up, you can resist their attempts to pull your around. It also enables you to drive forward and improves your mobility.

Another way they'll be looking to disrupt your base is to angle their hips away. To prevent that, you can simply follow them, making sure you keep squaring back up so they don't have that attacking angle anymore. You could also try caging their hips by squeezing your knees together, but that can result in a less stable base.

On the triangle, it was mainly just reviewing what I've taught already, along with a couple of pointers on escaping. You have the early escape, where you posture up to stop them closing their legs up and pulling you down. Wriggling your shoulder and arm back inside will help too, if you get that early enough. Later, you can try grabbing their knee and driving it to the mat, then coming up on your legs and pushing your weight through to try and break it open (be wary of them going for your arm, though).

The last ditch one I go for if none of that work is stepping over their head to generate some more leverage, but I don't get it that often. By the time I'm thinking of going for that it's normally too late.

My student seemed happy with what she'd learned, so that's the main thing: I tried to avoid throwing too much at her, responding to what she asked for as well as adding in my own thoughts on things she could work on, based on sparring with her. Hence why I thought doing some work on posture in closed guard would benefit her, as I had noticed in sparring that she wasn't staying upright, often turned so much that I could take the back, etc. Which is all understandable, as she's still quite new: there was a very marked improvement after the private. Yay! :)

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