Gold Quality Guard Passing With ADCC Champ JT Torres
Guard passing is king. Especially in no gi, this theme is always apparent at the highest level. We witness some of the most masterful guard passing tin the game in the sport’s biggest events. Relentless gaur passing is very tough to deal with from the bottom. It not only takes a physical toll on the guard player but a mental one as well. This wearing down of the guard, leads to mistakes and creates pathways to victory for the passer. At the highest levels, the execution of a guard pass can in many cases may be the beginning of the end.
The cementing of a guard pass opens the gateway to a new world of possibilities and forces the bottom player to accept that they’ve just put themselves in danger and have now become vulnerable in the match. In no gi, where things are quite slippery, guard passing must be approached a bit differently. The security and the anchoring points of the gi are not present here and we must find ways to navigate the body that keep us connected. This often comes with many directional changes and the switching of passing plans during a sequence. Its common that your first pass will not be the one that sticks and you may have to adjust.
JT Torres is an incredibly well-rounded BJJ competitor. From back takes to executing submissions, and everywhere in between, Torres is more than proficient in all aspects of his BJJ. He has been hard at work, establishing his own academy, Essential BJJ, in Hartsdale, NY, where his students are receiving what’s undeniably some of the best teaching and training in the country. Torres emerged this year at ADCC 2019 and for the second time, took home a gold medal. He was razor sharp in his performances, with no wasted movements and beautifully executed technique on his way to the top of the podium.
It’s been too long since we’ve seen some instructional material from Torres. His previous instructional, Passing, Back Takes & Finishes, was a great inside look at Torre’s game but there’s undoubtedly been some evolution since this release and we’re chomping at the bit to see what’s changed and what’s been added. Torres recently filmed an entire instructional with BJJ Fanatics all about no gi guard passing. This particular element of his game is incredibly strong. He’s tested his no gi guard passing at the absolute highest levels and now he’s ready to share his studies with us. The release may be available by the time you’re reading this.
In this video, Torres demonstrates some open guard passing technique and philosophy. Forcing the butterfly guard to achieve the guard pass, is the topic here. You don’t want to miss this one. Check it out!
From a disconnected guard passing scenario, with his partner lying on his back anticipating Torre’s approach, Torres looks to control the ankles. The idea is to force butterfly guard, so as Torres gets control of the feet, he then drives them down to the mat. As this occurs, he then drives his hips forward over his hands, covering the feet and forcing the butterfly guard. With the feet secure, Torres turns his attention to upper body controls. He looks to gain control of the inside track and plants his hands in his partner’s armpits. Don’t forget to stay on your toes here and provide pressure back at your partner to keep them flat.
While you wait for the latest and greatest from JT, check out his previous work! Click Learn More!
Torres has elected to pass to the right in this instance, so to initiate the pass he first takes his left hand down to the hip and uses a scooping style grip in combination with his elbow inside of the thigh to secure it. Torres now steps up on his left leg and tilts his partner to the left using his controls.
TIP – AS Torres explains, when we force our partners hips in the opposite direction of the way we which to pass, this automatically puts us a step ahead. Keep this in mind for any guard passing endeavor.
Next, Torres transitions his right hand to the shoulder, then with a subsequent lean forward he allows the hand to travel over the top of his partner’s shoulder and connect to the mat, making a post. Once this post is established, Torres can now pommel his left foot to the inside of his partners leg and plant it on the floor.
Still with us? This is intricate but incredibly efficient!
With everything now in place, Torres whips his hips to the opposite side, transitioning into a deep knee cut variation. Arriving on the other side, Torres makes mention of one of the great killers of the guard pass. The knee shield. IN this position, Torres needs to keep his body low and flare his left elbow to keep the knee shield from coming in to play. This is also coupled with the stapling of the bottom leg to the floor to keep the legs split and immobile.
Torres then transitions his left elbow down to the mat, leaving the knee shield safely behind him. Reaching deep with the right arm for the cross face, Torres finds the spine and then pulls his partner in tight to him, rolling his shoulder forward to provide plenty of shoulder pressure. Here, even if his partner locks the half guard, it will be incredibly difficult to fight the pass with this heavy twist in the body and the immense shoulder pressure. Its important to always remember that the guard pass is not enough. Once we pass the guard, we’ll need to control the position effectively so that we can advance. With all of these important aspects of control at work, Torres can easily slice through the guard and secure his side control.
This is quite the deceptive passing sequence. Torres pulls in elements from several different types of passing here to create a truly innovative passing procedure. It's easy to see why Torres has done so incredibly well in his competitive endeavors with detail work like this. There are so many golden nuggets of information here it's just staggering. I can’t wait to see more!
JT Torres is at the top of his game! Learn Passing, Back Takes, & Finishes with JT Torres today!
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