André Galvão Exploring Closed Guard: Closed Guard To Back

In Issue 35 we interviewed one of our favorite jiu-jitsu athletes, Andre Galvao. Andre’s always up for showing our readers some sick techniques and this was no exception.


Closed Guard To Back
This is a back take from the closed guard that relies on your opponent to react a certain way. If he doesn’t then you have other options. However if he does respond with the reaction you’d expect the door is open to use this slick move to the back.

1. With your opponent in closed guard get a pistol grip of his cross sleeve and hold his triceps with your free hand.



Tip: Andre gets the pistol grip by picking the sleeve with his fingers to expose the fabric then quickly grab with the other hand. Whenever Andre uses a cross pistol grip like this, he uses his other hand to stuff his opponent’s hand to his right side as shown in the picture on this step. That helps Andre to keep his opponent to defend what comes next.

2. Now with control of the sleeve and the back of the arm pull your opponent’s arm across your bodies.


3. If he doesn’t pull the arm back then continue the motion stretching your arm out and moving to the back. However, his more likely response is to resist and pull his captured arm back.


4. When your opponent pulls back use that momentum to push the arm back, let go of your grips and “swim” your arm under his armpit.


5. Sit up and quickly bring your arm up and over his back to push him to the mat.


6. Reach both of your hands over and grab his far side lat to hold onto keeping your weight on top of him. Don’t let him turn into you.



Mike Velez is the Editor and Publisher of Jiu-Jitsu Magazine. He has been training since 2009 and is a brown belt under Rafael Oliveira of Gracie Barra in Chino, CA. You can contact Mike at

Leave a Reply





    Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Ricardo De La Riva Main Achievements: ❖❖World Bronze Medallist ❖❖Copa Cantao Champion FAVORITETECHNIQUE/POSITION: De La Riva Guard. WEIGHT DIVISION:...
  • The Dichotomy of Freedom

    “Freedom ain’t free”. A short, simple statement that serves to put on display the idea of irony. Now, the path to freedom will have a different look for many...
  • Jiu-Jitsu Geometry

    One of the first phrases you’ll hear when you start training jiu-jitsu is “position before submission”. This principle, which is a helpful rule of thumb, introduces the importance of...
  • Catching Pain With Erik Paulson

    We hear it all the time, “keep an open mind”. I think it’s safe to say that Minnesota native Erik Paulson is among the crop of people that continually...