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Benefits of Smash Passing

Benefits of Smash Passing


Smash Passing has long been one of the best ways to pass someone’s guard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  What is smash passing?  Smash passing is the strategical implementation of pressure and weight to pass the guard.  To smash someone, you need to maximize your weight distribution and make yourself heavy.

What are the benefits of smash passing?  Smash passing can be a great way to slow down the pace of the match, nullify the movement of a flexible guard player, and pass complicated guards.  When you apply pressure correctly and smash your opponent, if they are a flexible guard player, you can nullify a lot of their dexterity.  

Smash Passing and Pace

Whenever you are in a high pace match with a good guard player, an excellent way to slow down the pace of the match can be smash passing.  What we mean by “high pace” match, is a match where the person playing guard is constantly attacking, and you are constantly defending.  There is a common misconception with smash passing, people assume you need to be bigger to smash pass.  This is untrue, anybody at any weight can smash pass.

To slow down the pace of a match, you can apply smash passing.  Typically, a good way to apply smash passing is to pass from your knees and go into a double under, over under, or half guard passing position.  What is the similarity with all these passes?  Well, you need an underhook on something for every single one of these passes.  We recently wrote a post on the “power of the underhook,” if you want to learn more on the effectiveness of an underhook, check it out.  

Underhooks will allow you to control your opponent and apply proper weight distribution so that you can implement smash passes.  Rodolfo Viera is infamous for his strategical smash passing, check out this guard passing study of him below.

Smash Passing to Nullify Flexibility

Another immense benefit of smashing your opponent is the ability to nullify their flexibility.  What does this mean?  This means that if you are going against an extremely flexible opponent, the strategic implementation of pressure can nullify their ability to utilize their dexterity.

Assuming you’re going against a guy who is very flexible, their guard retention may be amazing, so you may need to implement a more methodical approach to passing their guard. Smash passing can be a great way to pass slowly and stop them from using their flexibility to retain guard.  You can stop inversions, legs that come from nowhere and more. Check out our post on “guard passing concepts” to learn more, also, check out this video of how to use a cradle to smash bjj guys.  The cradle will help you with nullifying flexibility and a guy who has good guard retention.

Smash Passing to Pass Complicated Guards

Smash passing can be very effective when passing complicated guards such as De La Riva, Spider Guard, Lasso Guard, or Reverse De La Riva.  Why is this?  Well, smash passing allows you to dictate the pace, and get to a position that you’re more familiar with.

For instance, if an opponent is playing De La Riva and you are not the best at passing De La Riva, if you can manage to get double underhooks and stack them, you have now beat their DLR guard.  You may not pass immediately, but now you are in a different position that you may be more familiar with. 

If you take them out of their comfort zone by applying pressure and smashing, you can also slow down the pace of the match, nullify their flexibility and get away from complicated guards all at once. If you want to learn how to avoid getting smashed, check out this video from 8x Rooster Weight World Champion, Bruno Malfacine on how to avoid getting smashed.

Smash Passing to Conserve Your Energy

Smash passing also has hidden benefits that many of us may not think of.  One of the most important things to do when you are smash passing is to be able to conserve your energy.   Sometimes when we try and do things like the torreando, the leg dra, and these new more elusive and agile passes, we will gas out quckly.  Not all of us are super athletes and young.  So in this case, smash passing can help us to slow down the pace as we mentioned above, but we can also conserve our energy. 

Energy conservation is something that can be learned from tediously applied pressure and smash passing.  Some of the best bjj players in the world have used smash passing to be able to compete at the highest levels and fight the dreaded adrenaline dump.  It is one of the best ways to slow things down and allow yourself more time to think and more time to breathe.

Smash Passing For Self-Defense/MMA

Smash passing is also one of the best ways to pass the guard in both MMA and self-defense.  In self-defense scenarios, we are almost always assuming our opponent is untrained so we may not need to "smash Pass."  Smash passing is still god though because you will be able to close the distance on your attacker and it will minimize the chances they have to hurt you with big strikes or anything like that.  

In MMA it is imperative to smash pass in an effort to also avoid getting hit or getting yourself to far from your opponent.  The main reason you are going to want to smash pass in MMA is going to be to hold your opponent down.  You need to be able to keep your opponent on the mat and not let them get up.  All to often people try and get up when you are in MMA fights and this is the best way to keep them on the mat. 

If you are interested in adding smash passing to your arsenal, make sure to check out Rodolfo Viera’s “Jiu Jitsu Domination, Smash, Pass, Finish.” 3 DVD set.  It is a great resource to learn high level smash passing from one of the best to ever do it.

Jiu Jitsu Domination Rodolfo Vieira


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