Building Passing Sequences Using a Base Pass
Building your passing game from the ground up
Passing the open guard of skilled Jiu Jitsu practitioners is difficult because it requires dexterity, the ability to switch sides quickly, and ability to alternate between pressure and fast passing as allowed by the circumstances. A common problem with approaching the open guard is deciding how to begin passing. I always recommend to new grapplers that they have one guard pass they consider their base pass as something to start with and continuously return to through a passing sequence.
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The two most common passes many grapplers have as their base pass is the leg drag and the X-pass. The reason these two are so popularly utilized are that they are easy to set up, easy to abandon when needed, and can be used to set up more intricate and effective guard passes. Also, because these two guard passes are very easy even for the new student, they can be used on both sides without much difficulty. Also, it is important to mention that one is not limited to these two passes as their base pass as there are many more.
So how do you decide which guard pass you will utilize as your base? Well, it mostly personal preference. Some grapplers are more successful with the X-pass while some are better at leg drags. Some grapplers even find the stack pass or over under pass better fitting for them. It is important to pick a pass that you can easily transition from to other passes depending on the guard player’s defense. If you are a bigger, heavier practitioner, you may want to develop a series of pressure passing sequencing that take advantage of your size. If you are a smaller grappler, you should utilize your dexterity and agility by using standing passing sequences.
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I personally use the X-pass as my base pass. I find it to be equally effective in the gi and without the gi which is important if you do not want to have completely different games depending on the format. There are numerous quick set-ups of the X-pass from most popular guard styles as well so that I always have a quick pass to go to.
After deciding through practice which pass you will utilize of your guard pass it is important to set up systems are guard passing sequences based off the guard player’s counter to your base pass. Also, it might be important to mention that you don’t have to have one base pass, but it is important build a solid system first before moving on to the next.