Avoiding Knee Injury Against Jumping Closed Guard

I firmly believe that the road to improvement in any sport should involve the mastery of injury prevention. I am constantly trying to understand what positions may lead to injury and look to avoid those positions or it least avoid the aspects of those positions that result in injury. Let me be more specific with an example from a recent tournament…

A common dangerous situation is when I’m looking to take my opponent down and they are looking to jump closed guard. In most cases, neither person has extensive experience with this exact situation. Most grapplers do not drill (nearly enough) jumping closed guard, and I certainly don’t drill shooting a double while a person is jumping closed guard. Those drilling sessions are too painful to imagine. What has happened to me in the past a few times is I made the mistake of not keeping my knees bent (even just slightly). There are a million reasons not to keep you legs locked out, but when you get tired you do stupid things. So when my opponent jumps closed guard, it’s tempting to step the straight leading leg forward. If they jump too low, this will result in their bodyweight slamming up against my knee. Here’s an example:

When your opponent jumps closed guard, they often pull you forward. This naturally forces you to step forward with as the person does in this video. Injury result when this step is taken on a straight leg not a bent one. The way to avoid injury is to keep a strong base and a bent leading leg. That way the leading leg can support the weight of the jumping person’s body. In general it’s good to have at least a slightly bent leg at all time, kind of like Olympic-style wrestlers do. With a slightly bent leg you can change levels quicker, sprawl back quicker, move around quicker, etc.

One thought on “Avoiding Knee Injury Against Jumping Closed Guard

  1. Willian

    I just got injured today with the jump closed guard.. I guess my knees weren’t bent enough… but also I believe someone doing this techinique should be more prepared… It’s a dangerous one. Im white belt and the other guy was also white belt.. I guess I need to learn those king of stuff.. Its the second time I got injured and usually with other white belts trying to apply their techiniques poorly.. Since Im always carefull not to injury my oponents, It really makes me mad . Any good advice for recovery? Do you have any idea how long it might take to train again? It seems to me that itll take sometime…


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