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Passing Guard: BJJ 101

passing guard bjj

Guard passing is a key part of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) that every student needs to learn. It means getting past your opponent’s legs to get a better position, like side control or mount. This article will explain guard passing in detail, giving you tips and strategies to help you get better and win more matches.

Understanding the Basics of BJJ Guard Passing

Guard passing isn’t just about using strength; it needs a mix of technique, timing, and strategy. To pass an opponent’s guard well, you need to know the basic positions and moves in BJJ. This basic knowledge will help you learn more advanced techniques.

The Importance of Basic Positions

Before learning specific guard passing techniques, you need to understand the basic positions in BJJ. These include mount, side control, and rear mount. Knowing these positions will help you keep control and take advantage of chances to pass your opponent’s guard.

Developing a Strong Base

A strong base is important for good guard passing. This means keeping a low center of gravity, staying balanced, and using your legs for power. A strong base makes it hard for your opponent to sweep or submit you, so you can focus on passing their guard.

Essential Guard Passing Techniques

There are many guard passing techniques in BJJ, each with its own benefits. Here are some of the best techniques to learn:

The Knee Cut Pass

The knee-cut pass is a powerful technique that works against different types of guards. It involves driving your knee through your opponent’s guard while controlling their upper body. This pass works well against the half guard and open guard.

The Torreando Pass

The Torreando pass, also called the bullfighter pass, uses your hands to control your opponent’s legs while you move around their guard. This technique is great against the open guard and lets you quickly move to side control.

The Over-Under Pass

The over-under pass is a pressure-based technique. It involves controlling one of your opponent’s legs while pushing your shoulder into their chest. This pass is effective against the closed guard and can stop your opponent’s attacks.

Strategies for Effective Guard Passing

Besides learning specific techniques, you need a good strategy for guard passing. Here are some key strategies:

Maintain Constant Pressure

Keeping constant pressure on your opponent is crucial for good guard passing. This means using your body weight to pin your opponent’s hips and stop them from creating space. By keeping pressure, you can control your opponent’s moves and find chances to pass their guard.

Control the Hips

Controlling your opponent’s hips is key for successful guard passing. You can do this by using your hands, knees, or body weight to pin their hips to the mat. By controlling the hips, you limit your opponent’s movement and make it easier to pass their guard.

Use Feints and Misdirection

Feints and misdirection are useful tools for guard passing. By faking one pass and then quickly switching to another, you can surprise your opponent and create openings to pass their guard. This needs quick thinking and adaptability but can be very effective.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Even experienced BJJ practitioners can make mistakes when trying to pass the guard. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Relying Too Much on Strength

While strength can help in BJJ, relying too much on it can be a problem. Guard passing needs skill and technique, so focus on improving your skills instead of just using strength.

Neglecting to Control the Hips

As mentioned earlier, controlling your opponent’s hips is crucial for good guard passing. If you don’t control the hips, your opponent can regain guard or sweep you. Always focus on hip control when trying to pass the guard.

Failing to Maintain Pressure

Keeping constant pressure is essential for successful guard passing. If you let up on the pressure, your opponent can create space and defend their guard. Stay focused and keep the pressure on throughout the pass.

Advanced Guard Passing Concepts

Once you’ve learned the basics, you can start exploring more advanced guard passing concepts. These techniques need more skill and understanding but can be very effective.

The Leg Drag Pass

The leg drag pass involves dragging your opponent’s leg across your body while controlling their upper body. This pass works well against the open guard and lets you quickly move to side control or mount.

The X-Pass

The X-pass is a fast and explosive technique. It involves using your legs to create space and pass your opponent’s guard. This pass is very effective against the open guard and can surprise your opponent.

The Smash Pass

The smash pass is a pressure-based technique. It involves using your body weight to pin your opponent’s legs to the mat. This pass works well against the half-guard and can stop your opponent’s attacks.

Training Tips for Improving Guard Passing

Getting better at guard passing needs regular practice and dedication. Here are some training tips to help you improve:

Drill Specific Techniques

Practicing specific guard passing techniques is important for developing muscle memory and improving your skills. Focus on one technique at a time and practice it until it becomes second nature.

Positional Sparring

Positional sparring is a useful training tool for improving guard passing. This means starting in a specific position, like the closed guard or half guard, and working to pass your opponent’s guard. Positional sparring lets you focus on specific parts of guard passing and improve your skills in a controlled setting.

Seek Feedback from Instructors

Getting feedback from experienced instructors is crucial for improving your guard passing skills. They can give you valuable insights and help you find areas to improve. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and use it in your training.

FAQs

What is the most important part of guard passing?

The most important part of guard passing is controlling your opponent’s hips. By controlling the hips, you limit your opponent’s movement and create chances to pass their guard.

How can I get better at guard passing?

Getting better at guard passing needs regular practice and dedication. Focus on practicing specific techniques, doing positional sparring, and getting feedback from experienced instructors.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when passing the guard?

Common mistakes to avoid when passing the guard include relying too much on strength, not controlling the hips, and not keeping constant pressure.

What are some advanced guard passing techniques?

Some advanced guard passing techniques include the leg drag pass, the X-pass, and the smash pass. These techniques need more skill and understanding but can be very effective.

How important is pressure in guard passing?

Pressure is crucial for good guard passing. By keeping constant pressure, you can control your opponent’s moves and create chances to pass their guard.

What is the best way to develop a strong base for guard passing?

Developing a strong base for guard passing means keeping a low center of gravity, staying balanced, and using your legs for power. A strong base makes it hard for your opponent to sweep or submit you, so you can focus on passing their guard.

Conclusion

Mastering guard passing is essential for success in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. By understanding the basic positions, developing a strong base, and learning essential techniques, you can improve your guard passing skills and win more matches. Remember to keep constant pressure, control the hips, and use feints and misdirection to create openings. With regular practice and dedication, you can become a great guard passer and take your BJJ game to the next level.

Sources

  1. BJJ Fanatics – Guard Passing Techniques

  2. Gracie Barra – How to Improve Your Guard Passing

  3. Jiu-Jitsu Times – Tips for Better Guard Passing

  4. BJJ Eastern Europe – Guard Passing Drills

  5. Reddit BJJ – Guard Passing Advice