Are you ready to learn everything there is about BJJ’s most versatile position? If you’re wondering what position it is I am talking about, you must not have been paying attention lately. After all the inverted spinning, leglocks, and lapel guard craziness, we’re seeing re re-emergence of a true Jiu-Jitsu classic: the Closed Guard. We all know that it never really went away, but there was a period in time where nobody seemed to be working on the closed guard. Well, that has all changed now. Now, particularly during the last year, there has been a surge in BJJ instructionals covering this subject. In order to ensure we found the Best BJJ Closed Guard Instructionals out there, we did the painstaking job of selecting and reviewing all the latest issues.
There’s a certain comfort when you’re playing a position that is not new to you. Moreover, when you know you can ask virtually anyone in the academy to clarify things, it becomes even more comfortable. The closed guard is probably the only position that fits in this category perfectly. Since the very early days of BJJ instructional, going back to old VHS tapes, the closed guard has been a regular subject. During the last few years, BJJ DVD instructionals have gone from scarce to more than you can handle. Among those, closed guard instructionals are all the jazz nowadays, with dozens of DVDs coming out.
So how do you figure out which ones really work and which are just a waste of time? Check out our ultimate guide to the Best BJJ Closed Guard Instructional. WE did all the heavy lifting for you, sifted through tens of hours of material and reviewed it all to get to the very best!
Back to Basics With Closed Guard Instructionals
It seems that the trend of BJJ instructional DVDs has somewhat followed in the usual progression of BJJ belts. It all begins with the closed guard at white belt. Then you move on to defense and survival at blue, before going all out experimenting as a purple belt. At brown belt, things calm down a bit, and you actually look back to the fundamentals you first encountered as a white belt. However now, you look at things from a much different perspective. Well, it is safe to say that BJJ instructionals, at least the best ones out there, are now slowly growing into their brown belt phase.
There is a reason why the closed guard is the base for many different Jiu-Jitsu systems out there. From the old school Gracie Jiu-Jitsu guard, through Eddie Bravo’s rubber guard all the way to the grilled chicken guard, the BJJ closed guard works! One reason is that working form the closed guard does not require you to poses any particular athletic abilities. It is a position of safety, that can get you two of the most desirable outcomes in grappling – a submission or a path to the top position. To that extent, the best BJJ Closed Guard Instructionals are actually the best way to learn all the secrets of the position.
The reasoning here is that your instructors, as high level as they might be, probably have their own style of closed guard. And, as effective as it may be, it might not be the perfect one for you too. In order for you to be able to find your style, or develop something brand new, you need variety. And, in today’s day and age, there’s nothing that can help you more than the Best BJJ closed Guard Instructionals.
In-Depth Reviews Of The Best BJJ Closed Guard DVD Instructionals
How do we know which of the hundreds of DVDs out there are the Best BJJ Closed Guard DVD Instructionals? Well, we tested them all. First, we gathered pretty much every closed guard instructional we could get our hands-on. Next, we went through it all, reviewing the material along the way. Finally, we put everything to the test, some in the gym, and others at tournaments. Factor in that we used all the resources of every world champion and elite level coach out there, and we have the winning formula to uncovering the best BJ Closed guard instructionals.
And still, this was not enough for us. In order to make sure we really have the best, we also established a baseline of technical qualities we expect from a closed guard BJJ DVD. For starters, sound and camera work have to be nothing short of flawless. No sound issues, muffled microphones, or out-of-focus frames. Moreover, there’s a huge question of organization. Some of the closed guard instructionals you’ll find in our guide are technical, others are conceptual, while some cover entire systems. IN all of them, a clear progression and an easy-to-follow teaching style were the norms. This was not that hard if I’m being completely honest. After all, most of the coaches behind the best BJJ closed guard instructional are huge names in grappling.
When it comes to learning the closed guard, these instructionals below should be your bread and butter. In fact, anyone that can get the entire collection is probably going to develop a Roger Gracie-like closed guard, unbeatable even at the highest level of the sports. It will take time, but now that you know what your best resources are, you can get straight down to work!
Let’s open the account with a classic instructional from one of the most decorated grapplers of our time. Bernardo Faria is a 5x World Champion with both Gi and No-Gi titles. He is also one of the most charismatic and knowledgeable coaches out there, not to mention that he is an impeccable Jiu-JItsu Professor. His take on the closed guard is a simple one – he likes stuff that works. And by works, we mean stuff that’s easy to execute and chain together against pretty much everyone.
“The Closed Guard” instructional by Bernard Faria follows the modern organizational structure of BJJ DVDs. That means you get a four-volume set that runs at about four hours. Inside, you’ll find critical instructions on how to get to the closed guard. However, instead of the usual pull guard, you get to learn different ways of safely jumping straight into the closed guard. OF course, this is all followed by an array of sweeps, armlocks, and chokes of all possible varieties. In fact, all four offer intricate ways of chaining together submissions like triangles, armbars, and chokes with come basic and some new and innovative sweeps. The best part is that Bernardo also covers grip fighting as well as strategies to retain the closed guard and prevent passing. All in all, one of the most well-rounded closed guard instructionals in existence.
Thomas Lisboa brings us one of the truly best BJJ closed guard instructionals in his “Closed Guard: Back to Basics” DVD set. AS the name suggests, it is all about the basics of the closed guard. However, if you think that Lisboa is going over white belt level basics, you can’t be more wrong. The Fabio Gurgel black belt and elite competitor dissects both fundamental and advanced closed guard strategies down to the very basic, making them ultra-simple. Once again, this is a four-part DVD, with a very precise progression throughout.
Similar to Faria’s instructional, this Lisboa DVD begins with ways of getting to the closed guard. However, instead of jumping, here the confused is on pulling guard, along with all the black belt secrets on braking posture. A few submissions and sweeps follow, before a look at advanced basics, like Gogoplatas, Brabo chokes, and a wide array of accompanying drills. Lots of attacking grip strategies also feature heavily, particularly when it comes to cross-sleeve gripping. In the final portion, you can expect chains of attacks that actually form an endless loop from which no opponent can escape.
One of the most active competitors of our time, Jake Mackenzie also makes a hugely important contribution to the best BJJ closed Guard instructionals list. Mackenzie is one of Roberto Cyborg’s top black belts and an avid competitor. On top of it, Jake is very well-known for his bottom game, particularly in the guard department. However, opposed to most others, he is a tireless innovator that likes to introduce new, exciting, and extremely effective ways of using the closed guard.
His “Competiton Closed Guard’ DVD instructional is a BJJ competitor’s best friend. The three-part DVD set offers tried and tested moves and tactics that are certain to get you lots of victories in tournaments. One thing Jake likes to use is the arm drag, which he has taken to perfection. His entire closed guard arm drag system is in the DVD, as well as a crazy effective overhook system. In terms of submissions, you get a deep dissection of the Brabo choke, as well as some new stuff like the elbow lock. Sweep-wise, there are innovative lapel sweeps and concepts, topped with a few brutal wrist locks. Short, sweep, and to the point, ideal for anyone looking to compete.
If you have no idea where to start with the closed guard, Dan Covel\’s “Black Magic Closed Guard” instructional is always a safe bet. While it may not contain as much information as the instructionals above, it does contain nothing but important stuff. In fact, everything Covel has to offer on this DVD is more than important. As such, this DVD is perfect for beginners, but also full of trickery that’ll benefit even black belts.
There is 21 chapter in this hour-long instructional. The opening covers guard drills, something which is essential to success with the closed guard. Following closely are Dan’s favorite attacks – armlocks. From the standard armbar all the way to nutty inverted armlocks, it’s safe to say you’ll get lots of taps with this piece of Dan Covel black magic. But that’s not all, Right on the tail of the last armbar, Covel goes into triangles, once again covering a whole array of variations and modifications. However, being an armbar guy himself, he eventually heads back to armlocks. However, now he covers bent arm locks in the form of Americans and Kimuras before offering a few sweeps and back takes to complete the system.
When you consider that Rodrigo Artilheiro is an elite level BJJ, Judo, and Wrestling competitor. InN BJJ he holds the rank of a second-degree black belt and is an IBJJF No-Gi World Champion and multiple-times ADCC trials winner. He is also a National Judo champion as well as Greco Roman champ. In other words, he is a man who knows his grappling. And he has a different take on the closed guard, that lands him right in the middle of the best BJJ Closed Guard Instructionals.
What you get are four different parts, all covering some innovative ways of being “lazy” in the closed guard. Opening the DVD is a portion of Omoplatas that quickly transitions into the largest instructional on guard wrist locks ever put together. Following suit are sweeps of all varieties which all have one thing in common – they require next to no energy to execute. Rodrigo’s take on things is to show every little detail so you do not have to substitute technique with effort. That’s why his system is called “lazy’. It is also why everything inside, from armbars to closed guard variations and back takes, works like a charm.
Everyone’s favorite catch wrestler turned Judok, turned BJJ grappler is back with yet another original instructional. “The Ground AMarshall” Neil Melanson is one of the most entertaining people in BJJ nowadays. He is also a candidate for the best coach of all times, given his vast amounts of knowledge and teaching style. First and foremost, before we go into why his work is on the best BJJ closed guard instructional guide, let’s make something clear. All of Neil’s instructionals are No-Gi, so don’t expect lapel work in the “Advanced Guard Systems” DVD. That said, what you get is one of the very best and unorthodox closed guard systems in existence.
Also, something you can expect to feature heavily in any Neil Melanson DVD is submissions. Conversely, this instructional kicks off with a guillotine. Neil also shares crucial instructions on how to engage an opponent from the closed guard when in No-Gi. Moreover, as he is a triangle man himself, he shares some of the craziest setups and finishes you’ll ever see! There is also a lot of modified catch wrestling submission, like reverse kimuras in here. What’s most notable, though, are the original concepts Neil has developed himself. The K Control, the Snare, Hello Darling, and all the other stuff in there is going to blow your mind!
A man with the perfect combination of BJJ titles, Bruno Frazatto is a featherweight that is one of the best guard players alive. The Roberto Godoi black belt is a tireless competitor, and his closed guard is one of the positions most of his opponents try to avoid. Speaking of which, this is not just a closed guard instructional. In fact, this is instructional like no other.
The reason why this DVD lands in our best BJJ closed guard instructionals is because of its importance. This Frazatto DVD covers what you need to do in order to prevent someone from passing your guard and get back to the closed guard. The instructions cover more drills on the subject than any other, both with and without a partner. There are also essential concepts in there to help you deal with the most common BJJ passes of today. Leg drags, Torreando, Over Under, Knee slice, they will all be powerless against you. What’s more important, you’ll learn how to get back straight o the closed guard, so that you can attack from safety once again.
Daniel Beleza out of the famous “Sazinnho” BJJ academy in Fortaleza is one of the best masters competitors of all time. His take on the closed guard is going to be of particular interest to anyone in the master’s divisions, particularly those looking to compete. A 4 time World Masters Champion, the 43-year-old knows exactly what works and what doesn’t. Throw in the fact that he loves working from the closed guard and you have a winning combination right there!
Before we go into what Beleza offers in his “Masters Closed Guard” instructional, let me say that this is not a DVD exclusive for Masters competitor. Anyone can benefit from this instructional, and in particular, beginners of all ages. That said, what you get are three volumes of instructions on submissions from the closed guard. It all begins with an overview of loop chokes, including some very original variations. Furthermore, you get to learn Omoplatas, and armbars that are so versatile nobody will be able to see them coming. Triangles are also a huge part of the DVD, particularly in the final volume. One to keep an eye out for is the Leg Sneak Triangle that’ll save you from many guard pass attempts
If you like to play the closed guard in No-Gi, very often you’ll get referred to the Rubber guard as your best option. Well, the Rubber Guard, as effective as it is, can be challenging for certain people to perform. This is exactly where the Willimas Guard comes in. This is certainly one of the best BJJ closed guard instructionals to ever come out. Shawn Williams is a Renzo Gracie black belt and one of the most innovative grapplers out there. His Willimas Guard is the perfect blend of the rubber guard and some old-school closed guard. Moreover, it is perfect for both Gi and No-Gi.
Many people, me included, were waiting impatiently for this DVD to come out. It has two parts, with the first covering all the possible guard setups. The second one is all about traps and submissions, which is where Williams shines. The guard itself is a hybrid of the Rubber Guard, but one that requires no athletic abilities in order to play. Shawn shares his most effective pummeling drills and setups as well as ways to switch back and for between positions. The attacks are the real star of the show, though. The triangle, Omoplata, and Kimura setups are some of the slickest and easiest you’ll ever see.
Here’s an instructional that delivers not only an innovative guard but also a very cool name to go with it. Malachy is an MMA veteran and a very seasoned JIu-JItsu competitor. As a member of the American Top Team, you can rest assured he has tested his stuff against the best in the world.
The Heisen Guard DVD is one of those instructionals that you might be surprised are among the Best BJJ closed guard instructionals. That’s because you haven’t given it a try. The Heisen guard DVD explains a new and improved closed guard variation across 20 chapters. The focus of this guard is on submissions more than anything. In fact, it actually favors armbars, from the basics all the way to Heisen arm ars. A few back takes and sweeps are also thrown in for good measure.
You didn’t really think there’d be a guide to the best BJJ closed Guard instructional and the Rubber Guard wouldn’t be featured? However, this is not just your regular rubber guard DVD. Brandon mcCaghren is one of 10th Planet’s top black belts and one of the best JIu-Jitsu coaches in the world. He has a really in-depth style of teaching, making you understand things rather than just copy them.
His take on the rubber guard, at least in this DVD, is all about using the meathook. There are four parts to this incredible DVD, the first of which introduces you to the Rubber Guard like never before. Brandon shares incredible tips and tricks on getting and retaining the guard, before moving on to explore the meathook. The meathook is just one means of control from the rubber guard that opens up many attacks. In terms of attacks, you get to learn anything, from triangles to heel hooks followed by some crazy rolling transitions. Finally, you get a flash preview of the mounted rubber guard as well, which is a different riddle entirely.
Once again, we have a Neil Melanson Instructional featuring in our best BJJ closed guard instructionals guide. Neil’s knowledge of grappling and his pedigree are definitely beyond doubt by now. However, it is his style of teaching that really makes his DVDs different. He likes to use as few chapters as possible but likes to go in-dept in each one. That manas you might get a chapter that runs for the better part of half an hour. Just like in the “Ground Marshall Guard” DVD.
This four-part DVD set is yet another NO-Gi masterpiece of Melanson’s. It starts off with body positioning and some leg and foot control basics. OF course, a triangle setup is never far away with Melanson. In fact, there are a bunch, including an arm on the mat one and a brand new socket triangle. In order to keep the variety alive, there are also Kimuras and armbars too. However, the best apt, for me at least, was the Irish Collar closed guard system. Suffice to say, this one is a game-changer, particularly for No-Gi.
Bouhey is one of those black belts you might not readily know. However, once you see him compete, or teach, you won’t forget about him in a hurry. The Hawaiian black belt is extremely versatile, particularly when it comes to fighting off of his back. His take on the closed guard is his famous Falcon Guard, a concept developed for use in MMA. That means this is a guard you can use in anything, from self-defense to Gi Jiu-Jitsu.
The Falcon guard DVD comes in a single part, covering all the basics of this brand new position. Achieving the position and controlling it is the main focal point in the opening chapters. As the DVD goes on, Joel covers sweep after sweep, with each decreasing the opponent’s defensive options. Finally, rounding things off are a few submissions, most of which very unorthodox. Namely, this is where you’ll find the Hawaiian necktie, a brutal choke that’ll tap pretty much anyone out. Wrist locks, guillotines, and flying triangles also make the cut, offering lots of variety.
As we’re nearing the end of our best BJJ closed guard instructionals guide, we have a real treat lined up for you. Pan No-Gi champion and World Masters Champion Abraham Marte is here to bring you his highly competitive aggressive closed guard system. Marte is a man everyone knows and fears for his closed guard abilities. He has never strayed from the position, meaning he has been perfecting it for decades now. That is exactly why his “Aggressive Closed Guard” DVD is such a treat.
This instructional might just turn out to be the simplest one yet. Still, you’ll be amazed at how effective every single move in it is! Marte likes to work fast, not wasting time on elaborate positions and attacks. Instead, he sticks to what he knows work- aggressive attacks from the closed guard. In this DVD, those are back takes, sweeps, armlocks, Triangles, and collar chokes. In each of these categories, Marte offers several ways of getting what you’re after. However, submissions make up from most of this instructional, including the coveted Hammer-Lock barely anyone knows how to use. A six points sequence for tournaments is also inside, for those really sharpening their tournament game.
Hands down the most uniquely named instructional in our best BJJ Closed Guard instructionals guide. Priit Mihkelson is one crazy character that knows his grappling, though. The Estonian black belt travels the world with BJJ Globetrotters teaching invaluable concepts and systems. His “Grilled Chicken Guard” is now available on DVD, and it is not something you should miss out on.
This is, first and foremost, guard retention instructional. That means that across four volumes, you get different ways of maintaining your guard against most passing attacks. In fact, the entire first volume is all about maintaining the Grilled Chicken. Defensive movements make up the second part, while part three covers dealing with plenty of passing options. Disc four picks up for the same spot, offering options to prevent and deflect passes like the knee cut and even leg lock attacks. This is one DVD that is certain to change your game for the better.
The very last member of our best BJJ closed Guard instructionals club is one of the most recent BJJ DVDs. The man behind it is the legendary Xande Ribeiro. The multiple times World, ADCC, and Pans Champions share his tips and tricks on never letting anyone pass your guard. Similar to Priit’s instructional, this is a DVD that covers guard retention and recovery more than attacking. In that sense, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone better than Xande to teach you about the defensive side of the closed guard.
The DVD has four different volumes, covering unique Xande Ribeiro concepts. The First one is all about the Super holds system, a concept that’ll stop every passer in their tracks. The second volume moves on to cross-knee defense. This is a system you use when opponents manage to open your closed guard up. With Xande’s strategies, you’ll be able to get back to the closed guard even from spots like bottom Kesa Gatame and side control. Moreover, he shares his Diamond Concept of defense, one that includes the cross knee and Superholds concepts. This is an instructional great for anyone, but higher belts that are looking to compete will definitely benefit the most.
For now, this completes our Best BJJ Closed Guard Instructionals Guide. WE offered reviews of each and every one of the top DVDs to help you develop a nasty closed guard. From old school concepts like Faria’s, through innovative guard like the Williams guard, all the way to defensive concepts like Mihkelsons, you now have many options. Just remember that this is not the end product, though. Insturcitonals will keep on coming, and we’ll make sure to look at them all as they do. That means that we’ll update this article on a regular basis, so make sure you check back!