Top 5 best closed guard instructionals: Beginners, Gi & No gi

Closed guard is the first guard that many of us learn in BJJ. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy!

In fact, if you don’t have a good system for attacks, closed guard is almost impossible to play. But that’s where instructionals come in.

In this article I share the best closed guard instructionals for BJJ. I share the best options for no gi, gi and for beginners.

1. Best for beginners: Closed guard by Lachlan Giles

TitleClosed guard
InstructorLachlan Giles
Gi or no giBoth
Duration1 hour and 10 minutes
Year2022
Where to getHere on Submeta

Lachlan Giles had a great introduction to closed guard on Submeta. In a bit over an hour Lachlan shares all the big themes and ideas from closed guard.

I think this short instructional gives just as much value in 1 hour as other instructionals give in 4 hours (such as Tom Deblass Closed Guard Domination and Mica Galvao New Generation closed guard).

You learn how to:

  • Enter closed guard
  • Break posture from closed guard
  • Bring the arm across the centerline
  • Arm bar, pendulum sweep or back take after the arm is across
  • How to sweep if opponent stands up

And that’s the basic game that you need to learn from closed guard. So if you’re just starting out with closed guard, learn this first.

This is by far the cheapest option to learn closed guard. For only $9 (if you use my discount code ‘BJJMORE’) you can get Submeta for a month and study this course.

Also read: Submeta Review – The Best Place To Learn BJJ Online?

Video: Lachlan Giles teaches a closed guard technique

2. Best no gi: New wave Jiu Jitsu: Closed Guard

TitleNew Wave Jiu Jitsu: Closed guard – Building A Complete Closed Guard System
InstructorJohn Danaher
Gi or no giNo gi
Duration9 hours and 33 minutes
Year2022
Where to getHere on BJJ Fanatics
Video: Trailer for this instructional

What I like about it: It’s updated with many new techniques compared to the earlier Danaher and Gordon Ryan closed guard instructionals.

Weaknesses: No real weaknesses, unless you don’t like John Danaher’s teaching style (he’s long winded at times).

Recommendation: This is the best no gi specific closed guard instructional in my opinion. It’s also the newest closed guard instructional that came out from one of the big instructors. (Not that closed guard changed that much over the last years though.)

Also read: The best John Danaher instructionals

3. Best Gi: The Roger Gracie closed guard System

TitleThe Roger Gracie Closed Guard System
InstructorRoger Gracie
Gi or no giGi
Duration2 hours and 35 minutes
Year2021
Where to getHere on BJJ Fanatics
Video: Roger Gracie teaches the best closed guard to Bernardo Faria from BJJ Fanatics

Roger Gracie has the best closed guard ever in jiu jitsu. Nobody submits nearly as many people from closed guard in high level competition as Roger Gracie did back in his day. (And even in his super fight against Buchecha, he pulled his patented closed guard to sweep and submit afterwards.)

What I like about it: Roger is freaking awesome from this position. He has way more details than everybody else, and he explains your priorities extremely well.

Weaknesses: Production quality. It’s an older instructional and you notice that back then, they didn’t edit it out when someone coughed, and Roger repeats the same line verbatim sometimes. Also, this instructional is gi specific (even though Roger also has a great no gi closed guard, even for MMA).

Recommendation: Get it. Master your basics. Learn how he cross collar chokes people like Rafael Lovato Jr. and Saulo Ribeiro. This is the best gi specific closed guard instructional in my opinion.

4. Systematically attacking from closed guard

TitleSystematically Attacking From Closed Guard (formerly ‘Systemizing closed guard’)
InstructorGordon Ryan
Gi or no giNo gi
Duration5 hours and 39 minutes
Year2019
Where to getHere on BJJ Fanatics
Video: Trailer for this instructional

What I like about it: It’s a complete and relatively simple system for what to do from closed guard. It’s more techniques based than John Danaher’s, which is more principles based.

Weaknesses: This instructional is from 2019 and it looks it. It’s still filmed in the old BJJ Fanatics location, the camera is angled towards the corner of the mat, and the editing is a little off.

Recommendation: This instructional is very well suited for beginners and more experienced players that don’t have a closed guard system.

Also read: Top 5 Gordon Ryan Instructionals You should watch

5. Go further faster: Closed Guard

TitleGo Further Faster: Closed Guard
InstructorJohn Danaher
Gi or no giGi
Duration9 hours and 32 minutes
Year2019
Where to getHere on BJJFanatics
Video: Trailer for this instructional

What I like about it: This instructional is gi specific, principles based and very elaborate.

Weaknesses: It’s filmed in 2019 and you can see that from the production quality.

Recommendation: This instructional is much bigger than Roger Gracie’s, so if you want a really big instructional about closed guard in the gi, get this one.

Also read: Top 10 Best BJJ Instructionals Ranked (2022)

FAQ

Why learn closed guard?

Closed guard is traditionally the first guard that you learn. There’s a good reason for that: it’s simple. Your opponent has limited and predictable options, so you don’t have to worry about a 1000 different variations for your techniques.

The downside of closed guard is that it’s static, so you can be stalled out easily. That’s why I don’t recommend you start with closed guard in my course Blue belt in 1 day.

Is closed guard a good position?

Closed guard is only a good position if you’re good at it. It’s like 50/50: whoever has more experience in the position, wins. Who has he advantage in closed guard depends on your grips, your opponent’s posture, and whether they’re standing or on their knees.

Who has the best closed guard in BJJ?

Roger Gracie. He used the position more than anyone else, and found many submissions and sweeps to mount from it. He’s probably the only athlete who consistently hit cross collar chokes from closed guard at the highest level, even when his opponents expected it.

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