About Open Arms, Closed Guard

Who am I?

Hello! I am Bridgit, founder of Open Arms, Closed Guard. I was the last of my family to start training Jiu-Jitsu. Volleyball is my sport and I never even considered trying a martial art. My husband, Matt, and our twins, Matix & Elise, had been training for years and constantly pushing me to join them. Once I saw the benefits Jiu-Jitsu brought to my family and the positive community our gym fostered, I convinced myself to step out of my comfort zone and onto the mats. So glad I did! I was welcomed with open arms and closed guards. Get it??

The owner of Open Arms Closed Guard posing with her family after jiu jitsu class.


Why Open Arms, Closed Guard?

Most people don’t associate martial arts with inclusivity & positivity, but anyone that has trained Jiu-Jitsu knows how welcoming and inspiring the BJJ community truly is. Whether you're rolling with teammates in class or competing with opponents at tournaments, the spirit is the same:

You battle, but you bond.
You break each other down while building each other up.
You challenge each other while cheering each other on.

This paradox was the motivation for the Open Arms, Closed Guard brand. I combine my love of BJJ with my skills as a graphic designer to create sometimes funny, sometimes inspiring, always positive, apparel and accessories. Say you train, without screaming that you train.

First person perspective of a team huddle with hands in before cheering.

A note about our products:

Open Arms, Closed Guard designs are inspired by our family conversations, our beloved training partners and our individual Jiu-Jitsu journeys. All designs are original creations which I obsess over and perfect before making available for purchase. We order samples of and proudly wear our own products so we can be confident in the materials, colors and fit of each item. We’ve chosen a print-on-demand partner for production to ensure the best and most consistent quality across our catalog. Doing so means products are produced especially for you at the time of purchase, so they do take a bit longer to arrive at your door. Hopefully, you’ll find they are worth the wait, like a stripe on your belt.

Our plan is to continually produce and release new, awesome collections of apparel for great Jiu-Jitsu conversation starters. We hope you enjoy what we make here and keep training!
Bridgit & Matt