Guard Passing Concepts For No Gi
When people go from gi to no gi, the hardest aspect to transfer over seems to be guard passing. It is totally understandable why. When you pass in the gi, you have so many controls to break and then pass the guard. But when the pant and jacket grips disappear, passing the guard becomes harder. You have to be more careful, as scrambles and sudden submissions can appear out of nowhere. But there are some real fundamental concepts from gi that will pass on over to no gi for guard passing. Without getting too specific about passing techniques, here are some solid concepts to use for guard passing without the gi.
Use Strong Hips & Posture –
This is a universal truth. To pass guard in no gi, just as in gi, you need to first have strong hips. Don’t lean over in your opponent’s guard. That is one quick way to get caught in a submission and have the match ended not in your favor. Have the forward hip positioning, while maintaining good posture. Without correct posture, you will have a hard time starting any pass, let alone actually getting close to getting a pass. When you use hip position and posture, you can then be in a safe enough place to work on a guard pass to attempt.
Stay Tight With Your Limbs –
Once again, this is the same as in gi. You have to stay tight with your limbs while you are in someone’s full guard. Without the pant grabs, the common issue is that people wing out their arms and get caught in common guard submissions like armbars, triangle chokes and omoplatas. Remember, that even in gi, you elbows are tucked in. Keep that same position in no gi. While the lack of a belt can screw with your hand position, you can use your opponent’s hips as a safe spot to put your hands and to try and control their hips so you can control their movement, and prevent many of the common guard attacks.
Try Passing While Out Of The Guard –
To pass the guard, as in gi, you don’t always have to be in your opponent’s full guard. You can pass, while out of your opponent’s guard and still be highly successful. There are some great modified passes that work in no gi. The no gi versions of the toreando pass, the knee slice pass and the step over pass all work great. And because there is no cloth to grab, even if you don’t successfully pass at first, you’ll most likely still be out of the guard and can attempt again. With constant passing attacks, you will eventually get a full, completed pass. Here in the video below is of Kit Dale, a BJJ black belt that shows how to use the toreando pass in no gi.
Guard passing for most people can be a tall order. But don’t be intimidated by it. If you follow good concepts, you’ll be able to be a guard slayer. Nothing is more frustrating to someone when you can constantly pass their guard and put them on the defensive, never letting them get an offensive technique in. A DVD about guard passing that is very phenomenal is one by JT Torres called Passing, Back Takes & Finishes. While the techniques are gi techniques, you can use the concepts and ideas to modify them for no gi.