9.8.17

BJJ / Grappling tips: How to Open the Closed Guard by Standing

From "Becoming the Supple Leopard"

While I've never been a Cross-fitter (besides stealing a couple of Workout-Of-the-Day off their website here and there), this paragraph out of Kelly Starrett's book "Becoming the Supple Leopard" really resonated with the martial artist and teacher in me.

Most judo or Jiujitsu sessions I attend, whether at EKBJJ HQ, New School BJJ, Tokei Martial Arts or the Budokwai (or any other academy I happen to visit) will easily exceed 25 attendees. Most of these academies hold 10-14 such sessions each week and are open an average of 48-50 weeks a year. This alone means that each year, each one of these academies / dojo / gyms will facilitate 12,000-17,500 athlete training sessions. Each year!

So if an academy has been in business for say 10 years, that translates to 120,000-175,000 athlete training sessions.


If an instructor does not dedicate themselves to learning and fine tuning the art and craft of teaching then they are, in my opinion, committing a crime.



Teaching is a very difficult skill and while skilled and experienced teachers make it look easy, it never is. From curriculum design to long- and short term planning to pace of delivery to continuous and formative assessment of learning to differentiation of tasks to scaffolding of material vs extension of the higher abilities. Teaching is difficult and the repercussions of bad teaching, especially of a physical skill or a movement pattern, are grave and far reaching.

I am not exaggerating by saying that teaching someone a movement pattern (such as a double leg takedown or how to stand up in someone's closed guard) 95% correctly instead of insisting on 100% accuracy could result in knee surgery 3-5 years time, due to compounded minor injuries.

To demonstrate my point, here are three perspectives on how to open the closed guard by standing:

Professor Rolles Gracie:


Professor JT Torres:


Competition analysis of amongst others Roger Gracie's style of opening the closed guard by FixYourJiujitsu:



Teachers, take responsibility and be accountable for what you teach and how you teach it.

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ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!

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