Roger Gracie Most Effective Closed Guard Armbar Set Up

Roger Gracie Most Effective Closed Guard Armbar Set Up

Roger Gracie is known for having the best closed guard in the world. In this video, Roger will fix your closed guard by explaining the do’s and don’t of the position, he then finishes it by showing a closed guard arm lock that he has started using just 2 years ago and has had great success with…

Your closed guard is only as effective as your ability to use it for sweeps, transitions and submissions is… However, it’s only as useful as your ability to preserve it when your opponents are trying to open it.

One of the steps in opening the closed guard, often times, is to stand up while you are in it. Roger Gracie, has some great details on how you can prevent your opponents from doing that.


First things first: if your lower body, your legs that is, are relaxed – then it is very easy for your opponent to bring his leg up, in order to start standing up.

So, the first thing that you need to do once you have locked your closed guard is to pinch your knees together. Then, lower your heels towards the mat so that your hips are up and engaged, and pull your shoulders back. All together, this will add up to a great initial posture.


Having implemented these adjustments, you can start feeling when your opponent goes to stand up. You start feeling his weight shifting to one side, which he does in order to make his other leg lighter and more easy to stand on.
From this point on, Roger shows a great detail to making it very difficult for your opponents to stand up.

And what does he do, exactly? As he feels his training partner’s weight shift towards one leg (to make it easier for himself to stand up on another one), Matt wants to place as much weight as possible on his partner’s opposite leg.
He does this by making his left knee heavy, twisting it into the partner’s left (stand-up) leg and having his own right leg relaxed a bit; all the while keeping his hips engaged and off the mat. All together, this ends up with him loading his own weight towards the partner’s stand up leg.

This is important not only because it makes it hard for your opponents to stand up, Matt explains; but also because your opponents will waste much more energy trying to do so, making it easier for you to sweep and submit them.

The new armlock

Now let’s get to this famous armlock. Roger shares some incredible details. He starts by trapping the arm that is grabbing the collar, by going OVER it and he grabs the opposite collar deep. He then grabs the cross sleeve with his his right arm.

He then clamps over the shoulder with his legs and from there, he shows some great details on how to finish this armbar.

Check out the video:

Learn from the most successful closed guard player ever with Roger Gracie’s closed guard system, totally explained in this 4-part series

  • Lock on airtight submissions that work at elite levels, including cross chokes, lapel chokes, arm locks, and more.
  • Roger Gracie is one of the most dominant grapplers in history, with 10 Black Belt World Championships and 2-Time ADCC Champion – and he did it with old school Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.