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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

18 July 2016

18/07/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Bournemouth 2016 | Posture Inside Closed Guard (Christian Graugart)

Class #757
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Phoenix MMA), Christian Graugart, Bournemouth, UK, 18/07/2016

For my last class of the inaugural UK BJJ Globetrotters camp, it was Christian heading things up, this time covering posture inside closed guard. In his introduction, he talked about how this was one of the fundamental classes he would teach to kids. He also make the important point that frequently in a competition (especially early on), you will get stuck in closed guard as your equally nervous opponent clamps down and barely moves.

They generally want to do one of three things: sit up to get close to your chest, pull you down to achieve the same, or climb their legs up your back to again dominate your posture. You are fighting for that space. Christian's grip is different to the chest and hip control I'm used to.

Instead, he concentrates on the chest, grabbing the collars as normal (rolling them over if you can), but then putting his other hand directly underneath (like you're holding a sword, or a baseball bat to use the typical US simile).

Keep your arms straight: a good comparison is a press-up, where you can hold yourself a long time with straight arms, not very long with bent arms. Have your chest out, head up (don't look at them), sitting low on your heels. Your head stays over your bum: I often say keep your head behind your knees, but this is more specific.

They will eventually break your strips. Simply regrip, aiming to get back to your previous posture whenever they are able to bring you out of it. An effective way to prevent them pulling you down is to shove your arm into their throat, though that's rather unpleasant. I preferred Christian's second option, which was to thrust your hips forward, like you're in a rodeo.

Should they climb their legs up your back, swim your shoulders through. You don't want them to have that control of your chest. You may also need to push your chest forward too and come forward. At some point, you will get broken down. If you can catch yourself before you're all the way down, one hand slides slightly forward, your other hand is on the wrist to support it, elbows tight. You want to get back to your previous posture.

Alternatively, gable grip, elbows into their knees and your head down. It is very static, but fairly safe as they have to open you up in order to attack. Again, you are always looking to get back to your original posture. If they get an overhook, block their other arm. Turn, reaching back and twisting your arm so your hand is palm up, then fire your arm out elbow first.

If they've wrapped up your head and pulled you down, use 'squirrel hands' to retreat out of that position to regain your posture. You're hooking your fingers over their armpits, knees into their bum. Pull your head back, being careful not to extend your arms, as that leaves them vulnerable to attack.

Sadly that was to be my last class of the UK Camp 2016, but I'm hoping to be back for longer next year. I'll have to see how my holiday allowance works out at work, but hopefully I can manage two or three days. If not, then a Monday full of classes is still gives me loads of technique to take back to the Artemis BJJ mats. :)

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