BJJ Fundamentals: The Toreando Pass
Guard passing is a somewhat difficult to pick up, yet highly important portion of Jiu Jitsu. So much goes into guard passing. Grips, controls, timing and correct body movement. I know many newbies to BJJ have a hard time when it comes to learning and actually using correct guard passes. My favorite to teach, due to its effective simplicity is the toreando pass. The toreando pass, meaning bull fighter pass uses a motion similar to how a matador would entice a bull with the red cape. It works beautifully in both gi and no gi, which adds to its value as a high percentage pass. Here are the ways that you can use this pass differently, but with the same result…getting the pass.
There are two main ways you can hit the toreando pass in gi. While there are a lot of variations out there, these two I believe work best. The first version of the toreando is when you are above your opponent, you can grab the bottom of the pants by the ankles. This first version allows you to have solid control and pressure to bring the feet to the floor, and slide chest down to complete the pass. The ankle pant way is a great way to get into the toreando.
Once you can do the first version, there is a second way of performing the pass. Instead of grabbing the pants by the ankles, you can actually grab the opponent’s pants by the knee. By using that grip, you can get your opponent’s tail bone off of the mat, and use a twisting motion to simply spin him around to get past his guard. In the video below, BJJ black belt, Kris Kim shows both of the basic ways to finish the pass.
As I said earlier though, you can still perform the toreando pass in no gi, just modified for the lack of pant grips. The no gi style of this pass is kind of similar to that of the first version of the gi pass. You can control the opponent’s ankles and provide an inward pressure to get the opponent to press back. Once he presses back, you can throw the opponent’s legs down, almost to the slight side of you, almost as you were throwing them to your pocket. It is not a big swinging motion. It is a quick throw, space efficient to the side. You should end up in side control or a modified scarf hold.
Once you start finding your pressure and timing, passing can be fun. Being able to pass someone’s guard at will is an accomplishing feat, where you will gain confidence and take it away from your opponent. If you want to get that point, start with the toreando first. It might even end up as your favorite pass that you go to first.
If you are looking to up your pass game, especially with the toreando, then check out Lenardo Lo’s DVD set, The Lo Guard and Matrix Passing. It has some really interesting passing techniques and concepts.