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How To Pass The Closed Guard…Catch Wrestling Style!



In Jiu Jitsu, there are plenty of ways to pass the closed guard. There are passes that work in the gi and passes that work only in no gi. There are pressure passes and athletic passes. Depending on what kind of Jiu Jitsu player you are, there is a pass for you. But there is a way to pass the guard and it is brutal. It comes from the western style of Catch Wrestling. Unlike Jiu Jitsu, which is referred to as the gentle art, there is no gentle aspects of Catch. Catch is all about rough and tough techniques to incapacitate your opponent. Let’s see how Neil Melanson (a Catch Wrestling coach) passes the closed guard, being anything but gentle…

Neil starts out in a safe position in his opponent’s closed guard. He has his head right in the middle of his opponent’s chest before attempting any kind of pass. He keeps his left hand right by his opponent’s arm pit and uses his right hand to trap the right hand of his opponent. As he traps the hand, he pins it to the ground, near his opponent’s own hip. Neil drives his head right into his opponent’s jaw as he tripods up on his feet. He transfers his opponent’s hand from his right hand to his left hand. But instead of just being a feed-through pass, it becomes something much more solid. Because of when he posted up tripod-style, his opponent’s arm is now trapped under his own back.

Neil moves his left knee to the center line (or butt) of his opponent. This should break the guard right open. But just because the guard is open, does not mean it is time to quit. He uses his right hand to push down the opponent’s knee and gets his right leg/shin over the thigh to pin it to the mat. At this point, he can uses his arms to lock up head and arm control. He can either pass to side control, or set up a nasty arm triangle choke. The choice becomes his.  And trust me, it is a happy choice.

There are too many elitists out there that refuses to cross train. As a BJJ competitor and coach, I welcome input from other style, especially Catch Wrestling. It makes a great partner to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. If you’re interested in learning the brutal techniques of Catch then check out…

The Catch Wrestling Formula by Neil Melanson. Click here!

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