Grappling Kings Part 1: The Closed Guard & An Appreciation Of Marcelo Garcia

Helio Gracie, The Man, The Myth, The Father of What We Know

On the basis of some general confusion, and the fact that Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan generally treat every single brand new follower to the sport as though they have seen every single fight from UFC 1 to the present and know instinctively what every last position that they are going to see is, I figured that I would go through the trouble of finding the four main grappling positions most people see when they watch the UFC (and since largely the UFC is on the verge of committing a kind of hegemony, one could reasonably make the argument that at this point UFC=MMA).

Where are we starting? The most flexible position that exists. The Guard. And if you can hang so far through the long explanation, I’ll do you a favor and show you all of the tricks in action by one of the most graceful and fluid men doing anything related to grappling that I have ever seen. Marcelo Garcia.

Ok. Whew. This thing is going to be complicated. But here we go anyway.

The traditional guard is the closed guard, or full guard. it’s the one you most commonly think of. It’s the fulcrum upon which the modern conceptions, and the misconceptions of the past, of what martial arts are have been based.

The Full Guard

Take a look at that picture. No really, look at it. Tell me who you think is doing the most damage. For decades, the stock answer was always the guy on the top. When you would ask someone why that was, the answer was always going to be “because.” Maybe you’d get people who had watched some college wrestling, and understood it from that narrow perspective. But truthfully, that was all anyone ever said when you asked them. “Because”.

Now, look at this. Does it seem like the guy on the bottom is helpless? Of course it doesn’t. That’s the trick to the guard, and really all of these positions I’m showing you. They are only as powerful as the men (and women) who are practicing it. If you have grappling’s equivalent of Keith Van Horn on top of you, you can get some work done from the bottom. But if it’s Tim Duncan? You can absolutely forget about anything good happening for you, and probably you need to hope that the referee gets to stand you up.

OK. I figured you suffered through enough of an explanation. So Here you go.

Marcelo Garcia. One of, if not the most, fluid grapplers I have ever seen. Enjoy.

EDIT: I realized that one link is not enough. Here you go. Here’s more Marcelo:

Comments are closed.