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Dealing with Smash Passers
Attack When They Smash For Better Success!
I have always had a harder time defending against smashing passes than I have with fast, standing passes. With enough dexterity and hip movement, you can make your standing guard pass defense pretty sophisticated. When it comes to smashing guard passing however, defending requires a more intricate understanding of both guard playing and guard passing and a lot of experience.
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If a guard passer passer smashes the legs and hips of the guard player on the mat, it can be difficult to move and redraw the legs back to the guard. This can be exceptionally difficult if the guard passer is heavy or skilled at applying a lot of downward pressure. Learning how to defend this guard pass, especially at the early stages of Jiu Jitsu development, is vital.
One great method of defending smashing guard passes is to attack rather than retreat. Continuous retreating in standing passing defense can severely limit you when defending a smashing guard pass. It is extremely important to recognize that the guard passer is attempting to smash before it is too late.
In the following video, Gordon Ryan goes through one way of defending a smashing guard pass using a hook sweep from butterfly guard. Although this is a basic butterfly hook sweep, it works very well against opponents of all sizes and skill level.
One thing you constantly notice good guard players do is pummel the legs to the inside. Pummeling to the inside is important when defending guard and when attacking legs. When playing guard, especially if the passer is seated, it is important to keep your legs to the inside of their thighs.
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When you notice the guard player begin to advance to the smashing position, you need to recognize what they are doing and hip escape appropriately. You should ideally shrimp out enough to where you are seated upright. If you pummel correctly and hip escape to the seated position, you will find yourself in butterfly guard, which is an excellent guard for sweeping and transitioning to superior positions.
One important tip when doing this sweep is to use the toes of the non-hooking foot to push of the ground. If you allow that leg to sit lazily with your knee on the ground, you would be severely limited the sweep potential and open yourself up to back-step passing.
For more from Mikey Musumeci, check out his first BJJ instructional Power Switch Guard Retention and Genius Back Takes! You can get it here today!