Closed Guard BJJ: An Easy Guide to Learn This Position

The closed guard (full guard) is one of the most basic and challenging jiu-jitsu guards. It is an excellent BJJ position, especially for beginners, where they will learn many concepts, tactics, etc.

Every BJJ practitioner should learn the closed guard because it is a fertile and efficient position in jiu-jitsu gi and no-gi. It will help you to improve your game by incorporating various submission techniques, sweeps, and explosive moves.

This guide will help you understand the closed guard position whether you are a beginner or an advanced Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner. You’ll also learn savage full-guard submissions, sweeps, and other techniques to help you improve your jiu-jitsu. Stay tuned!

Jiu-Jitsu Closed Guard Position

closed guard

What Is the Closed Guard in BJJ?

The closed or full guard is one of the foremost fundamental positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In this guard variation, the bottom player wraps both legs around their opponent.

What Makes the Closed Guard so Effective?

The closed guard is a good position for the person on rock bottom because they could use their arms and legs to wrap their opponent, attack, and move to the hybrid guard or other transition.

However, the person on the top at the full guard position has few choices unless he can break it. 

In MMA, the closed guard remains helpful with bottom attacks and sweeps, but it is not ideal from a judging and striking aspect.

Furthermore, it could be beneficial in self-defense against an untrained adversary, but it could be dangerous against a trained opponent.

Closed Guard Fundamentals

full guard bjj

As a beginner student in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you will learn the closed guard at an early stage of your BJJ martial arts learning.

First, however, it is helpful to master the basics of the full guard, where you find tons of sweeps and attacks. So, what are the full guard’s Fundamentals concepts and basics?

First, you should secure the closed guard position. More likely, a practitioner goes for the closed guard for defensive purposes because it is a dominant position that strictly controls his opponent.

Therefore, you must maintain this position for a while by keeping your opponent controlled and preventing him from passing your guard.

Although the full guard position could not resist for a long time, this means that after a while, you have to attack your opponent, sweep him, or switch to another dominant position.

Related: Whether a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, knowing how to attack and defend from various jiu-jitsu positions is essential for taking your BJJ game to the next level. I wrote an article that comprehensively lists the fundamental BJJ positions you should know. Click here to learn more!

Build an Effective Closed Guard Game

Full Guard In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

An excellent closed guard exposes many attacking opportunities to submit your opponent. Thus, you’re controlling your opponent in a relatively secure position.

Furthermore, it makes things possible for you, like a series of submission attempts and sweeps.

How Can I build an Effective Closed-Guard Game?

  • Starting by breaking the opponent’s posture must be your first purpose when playing the close guard. This can happen using the proper grip.
  • Then make a transition to your timely submissions or position. But make to prevent your opponent from controlling your hips to facilitate your movements. 

The posture is essential because it will show how vulnerable you are to submissions and sweeps.

Therefore, you should maintain a good posture, which is possible by keeping your head and neck upright and your back straight. Thus, getting an easy sweep or submission will be far more difficult for your opponent.

How Do I Improve My Closed Guard?

Mastering closed guard basic concepts such as the legs, hips, hands, and grip positioning will help upgrade your guard to an advanced level. 

Glance at this instructional video where John Danaher explains the closed guard basics and how to apply them correctly.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

Related: This complete article will teach you everything you need to know about the half-guard in BJJ. It explains this guard type in detail and offers some effective attacks and sweeps to help build a savage game.

Submissions from the Closed Guard

pendulum sweep jiu jitsu

There are many effective submissions from the closed guard in BJJ that you can do when you put your feet on the mats.

Besides, many World Champions like Roger Gracie have well-used a great closed guard submission chain to defeat advanced opponents.

Some of the most compelling submissions from this position include lapel chokes, triangle chokes, guillotines, Kimura, armbar, and many others.

Cross Choke

Cross choke is one of the primary submissions you will learn in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It is among the most effective and sneaky chokes you can perform from the closed guard with several entries.

In addition, this excellent choke might open your game to several other submissions, sweeps, and transitions.

Check out the following instructional video; if you’re wondering how to cross-choke from the closed guard.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

Kimura Lock

bjj kimura from side control

The Kimura could also be one of the foremost popular BJJ submissions. It’s an effective attack from the closed guard.

Nevertheless, I wonder why the closed guard Kimura is such an efficient attack in jiu-jitsu.

Well, it’s an excellent control method, and if you learn its basics, you’ll apply them from numerous positions to submit or sweep any opponent.

How to kimura lock from the closed guard?

Start by forcing your opponent to put his arm on the mat and then control his wrist using the kimura grip, which is almost unstoppable if you do it properly.

Learn more details about the kimura trap system in the video below by Chewjitsu. 

Source: Chewjitsu

Guillotine Choke

The guillotine choke is another excellent attack from the closed guard in jiu-jitsu and MMA. It’s an excellent submission that will come naturally to the beginner due to the human instinct to wrap the neck during a headlock.

As a result, learning the guillotine submission in most cases will be smooth without significant difficulties.

In this instructional video, discover how to make guillotine choke tighter in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Source: Stephan Kesting


The armbar is another effective submission from the closed guard in BJJ GI and No-Gi. It has long been one of the most direct submissions in competition and MMA.

Therefore, many fighters have used the armbar from the full guard to finish several fights.

Learn more details about doing an armbar from the full guard.

Source: BJJ Fanatics

Related: Unleash the power of the armbar and elevate your BJJ game to new heights! This devastating armlock is a must-have technique for any serious practitioner. Click here to learn more!

Triangle Choke

The triangle choke is another incredible submission closed guard in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Like the armbar, the triangle has been utilized at the very best levels of competition.

The video below gives you a straightforward procedure for setting up a closed triangle choke.

Source: The Grappling Academy

Related: The triangle choke is one of the most excellent attacks you should add to your BJJ arsenal. This firm chokehold is a must-know for any serious practitioner. Click here to learn more!


The Americana is a sneaky but not a high percentage BJJ submission. A Jiu-Jitsu Practitioner can get the Americana from several positions, including the side control, closed guard, etc.

However, the closed-guard Americana may be far more effective than the one from side control.

Awesome! So, how to perform the Americana from the full guard?

Source: The Grappling Academy

Ezekiel Choke

The Ezekiel choke is one of the basic chokes learned in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It’s an effective submission that can often be applied from various positions, including full guard, side control, mount, and half-guard.

Here’s how to execute an Ezekiel choke from the closed guard.


Related: Building a brutal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game requires knowledge of several Submission techniques. So, I’ve written a lengthy article on the most effective BJJ submissions you must know, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced practitioner. Click here to learn more!

BJJ Closed Guard Sweeps

how to do a scissor sweep bjj

The BJJ sweeps are among the basic techniques in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to reverse the game. Besides, people enjoy doing it in most cases because it could be your move to escape a nasty position.

A sweep could be considered an attack from a rock-bottom guard, and it gives you two points in an official match.

Otherwise, the sweep from full guard is a plethora of movements that allow the rock-bottom player to use momentum and leverage to flip to the top.

If you’re a beginner practitioner, you ought to learn a plethora of closed guard sweeps, including flower sweep, pendulum sweep, scissor sweep, hip bump sweep, and more.

Lumberjack Sweep

The closed-guard lumberjack sweep is one of the classic sweep techniques in jiu-jitsu. A wise fighter will go for the lumberjack sweep when playing the full guard position, and the opponent tries to stand up. 

Throughout the video below, you’ll get a deep detail on how to set up a lumberjack sweep from the full guard.

Source: Absolute MMA St Kilda – Melbourne

Hip Bump Sweep

The hip bump sweep is among the foremost basic sweeps from guard in Brazilian jiu-jitsu that any white belt should master.

This closed guard sweep involves trapping one of your opponent’s arms and using momentum, exploding alongside your hips to overbalance your opponent. 

In the video below, you’ll learn how to sweep a closed-guard hip bump.

Source: Absolute MMA St Kilda – Melbourne

Scissor Sweep

The scissor sweep is among the first closed guard sweeps you’ll learn as a white belt in BJJ.

This sweep technique works perfectly from closed guard to reverse tough opponents, even heavy people. So here’s how to scissor sweep from the closed guard.

Source: Chewjitsu

Pendulum Sweep

The pendulum sweep is one of the best close-guard sweeps that utilizes heavy hip rotation. So here’s how to do the closed guard pendulum sweep.

Source: Chewjitsu

Flower Sweep

The flower sweep is also one of the top closed-guard sweeps in BJJ. So here’s how to flower sweep from closed guard.

Source: Chewjitsu

Opening the Closed Guard in BJJ

bjj half guard

As mentioned in this article, the closed guard is among the complex guards in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Therefore, several practitioners (even advanced practitioners) find opening the closed guard difficult.

If you’re wondering how to open the full guard? Here’s an excellent video tutorial by Andre Galvao.

Source: Atos Jiu-Jitsu HQ

Jiu-Jitsu Closed Guard Pass

Several effective closed guard pass techniques include stack pass, pressure pass, and standing pass.

Closed Guard Stack Pass

Source: Stephan Kesting

Closed Guard Pressure Pass

Source: Atos Jiu-Jitsu HQ

Standing Closed Guard Pass

Source: Absolute MMA St Kilda – Melbourne


The closed guard has long been one of the most straightforward guards in Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions, MMA, and self-defense. Fighters have used this excellent guard to submit and sweep several tough opponents, even bigger ones. 

Otherwise, a closed guard player should be very dynamic to size the numerous options, including great combinations of attacks. Moreover, it’s an excellent position where you are relatively safe and an excellent place to conserve energy.

Speak your mind; what is your favorite submission from the full guard? 

Related: Whether a novice or a seasoned practitioner, learning several types of guards is essential for pushing your BJJ game to the next level. I wrote an article offering a comprehensive list of jiu-jitsu guards that any practitioner should know. Click here to read more!

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