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BJJ Instructional Videos
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How To Beat The Agile Standing Passers

How To Beat The Agile Standing Passers


We all have that guy in the academy that is young, agile, explosive and aggressive.  The guy that blasts past our guard in all but 2 seconds, the guy who doesn’t know what a knee slice is only cartwheel passes, leg drags, X passes and moves that require agility and athleticism.   How do we beat these guys?  They move so fast and aggressive, what can we do to just slow them down and deal with all of these standing passes?

Well there are several solutions to these problems, the main thing that needs to be done is grip fighting, after that, you need to establish some type of open guard so that you can gain control over your opponent and slow them down.  Simple, right? Nope, this can be incredibly difficult. There are several different open guards that work extremely well for slowing down your opponent, but the first thing you have to do is grip fight. 

Not many people like to work open guards, some people assume they are more difficult, assume they require flexibility, or assume that they are hard to set up.  What if we told you that they present themselves extremely often and even more often than not against aggressive people who like to stand and pass.  Have your attention yet?  Let delve into this topic more.

Grip Fighting

So you’re an older guy, the young gun 21 year old blue belt calls you out to roll and within 2 seconds he has somehow magically passed your guard.  This is a situation that many of us can relate with.  What happened?  Well, it is very likely that you were not aggressive enough with your grip fighting to begin with.  Grip fighting is the start of every roll and it is one of the most important parts of bjj. 

If you don’t allow your opponent to touch you or your gi than you will have a much better chance at stopping their pass.  Many people don’t realize the importance of grip fighting and they don’t put any emphasis on it.  This is how every roll starts; it is always hand fighting first.  You have to be able to hand fight with your opponent and stop them from establishing any grips.  If they are just jumping past your guard from a standing position, there must be a pint in between the transition where they push you or grab a grip.

Next time you are about to go with a young stud, fight like hell with grips, don’t let them touch you and be more aggressive with them on the hand fighting.  Watch how much more difficult it will be to pass.  If they establish grips quickly, break them as soon as possible.  Most of the time there is about one second from when someone has established a good grip before it becomes a strong grip, in this second, break that grip.  It will put their movements at a halt.  Check out this video below with Jimmy Pedro United States Olympic judo Coach and 5x Black Belt World Champion on grip fighting.  Although it is not from a guard position, there are important concepts in the video.

Establishing a Guard

This is one of the most important things that you can do to stop people that stand and pass or just to stop somebody from passing your guard in general.  You have to set up some type of guard.  This will slow the pace of the match down and make your opponent take a more methodical approach to passing your guard.  You can’t establish a guard without grips so your need to grip fight first.

Once you have some type of grip, either a wrist grip, 2 on 1, collar grip, you need to immediately set up a guard.  Some great open guards that can be really easy to play are De La Riva Guard, or collar and sleeve guard.  These are both easy to get to and can be established very quickly.  Let’s look at some important concepts fist.  You want to be the first to act, you want to have a quick draw.  What this means is you want to have a guard you are familiar with that you know you can slow down and control your opponent with that is easy to get to.  Collar and Sleeve and De La Riva can be great for this.

So what is collar and sleeve?  Well these are the grips that you need to play this guard and then all that you have to do is put your feet on your opponent’s hip and keep their posture broken.  Collar and sleeve is an excellent guard for people who are standing in particular.  It will make it so difficult for them to be able to just blast past your guard and they will have things to address.  While they address these things you can capitalize and start to sweep or submit them.  There are so many sweeps and submissions from the collar and sleeve position that the possibilities are virtually endless.  Look below at this video with the Mendes Brothers on several attacks from the collar and sleeve.

The De La Riva guard can also be an excellent option against somebody who is standing and passing, it is one of the easiest guards to get to because it presents itself so frequently.  So many people play De La Riva today.  Why is this?  Well, this is because it is always there.  Anytime that somebody stands to pass they will typically lead with a leg and they won’t be in a square stance, this will allow you to put a De La Riva hook in on whatever leg is leading.   The biggest benefit of the De La Riva is that you don’t need an initial grip to set the position up, all you need is for them to lead with a leg and you can put a De La Riva hook in and put your other foot on the hip.  You can also control their ankle with one of your hands as well.  This will make it extremely difficult for your opponent to pass and it will slow the pace of the match of the match down exponentially.  De La Riva is a great guard because just having the hook can nullify a lot of your opponent’s initial passes.

So there you have it in order to slow down all of these young and athletic guys that immediately are standing and passing on you when you decide to play guard you have to grip fight immediately and not allow them to win the hand fight.  Everything is going to start with that hand fighting, once you have aggressively hand fought, continue to establish a guard that allows you to have control over your opponent.  Don’t let your opponent just jump around you, either get into a collar and sleeve position or get to a De La Riva or some type of open guard that will force them to slow down and apply specified passing.  This is going to be the key to buying you some time to think.  Contrary to popular belief, open guards are extremely useful and they are important to know.  You can’t get away without knowing some basic open guards, this doesn’t mean that you have to go and master the berimbolo but you definitely want to be able to control your opponent.

If you want to learn a good way to play some crafty open guars check out our DVD set, “The Light Weight Guard” by Matheus Gonzaga. Matheus won the adult division purple belt world championship at one of the toughest and most stacked divisions.  There were over 100 people in his division and he came out on top. This is no simple task.  How did he do it?  Simple, it was his superb guard.

You can also check out Luiz Panza’s DVD set “Hidden BJJ Secrets” to learn some awesome ways to deal with somebody who is standing and passing.  Luiz Panza is a beast and considered one of the best black belts in the world by many people.  He has achieved greatness in competition and battle tested his game several times against world champions with great success.  This is one of those DVD Sets that will teach you an unorthodox approach to things and you will be able to learn tricks that have never been seen nor taught.


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