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BJJ Instructional Videos
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Over Under Pass vs Open Guard

Over Under Pass vs Open Guard


We’ve all been in that position with the flexible lanky guy who plays a crazy open guard.  His legs seem to come out of nowhere every time we are about to pass the guard.  The open guard can be one of the most difficult guards to pass because it includes a variety of guards.  Some of the tricky guards we are referring to when we say open guards are De La Riva, Spider, Lasso, Reverse De La Riva and any other open guard.

A great way to stop many of these open guards is to use a pass called the over under pass. The over under pass was made famous by Bernardo Faria.  Bernardo is a 5x Black Belt World Champion and has used this pass against some of the best bjj players in the world including the infamous Leandro Lo.

Why is the Over Under pass so good against open guards?  You can nullify your opponent’s ability to establish a guard, and you can immobilize their hips while applying pressure.  These are two of the fundamental concepts to follow when applying the over under.

Nullifying your Opponent’s Ability to Establish Guards with the Over Under

When you are using the over under pass, one of the most difficult parts about it is just finding the passing position.  Once you get into the position it is such a dominant pass because your opponent will not be able to establish an open guard. The position occurs when you have one hand under your opponent’s leg and one over.

Once you get one hand under your opponents leg and one over you can stop them from getting into all the popular open guards. Some popular entries to the over under are from double unders, from lasso guard, and from attempting a pass and forcing your opponent to retain guard. Check out our article “Playing and Passing the Lasso Guard” to see a cool entry to over under. Also, check out this video below of Bernardo showing the over under against the lasso.

Immobilizing the Hips and Applying Pressure from Over Under

When playing the over under game, one of the biggest benefits is that you can apply a different kind of pressure and immobilize your opponent’s hips.  Because you are over one leg and under the other, your pressure is centralized on the lower body and this makes it very difficult for your opponent to use their hips. Check out our article “Benefits of Smash Passing” to see other ways of using this tactic.

You are also always on your toes and turning your shoulder into your opponent’s ribs, hips, or stomach.  This is a similar concept to shoulder pressure but instead of applying it directly to the face, you are applying lower body shoulder pressure. Check out this cool breakdown of Bernardo Faria and his pressure passing style below and watch how he displaces his weight.


If you want to learn how to implement this type of passing style to your game, check out Bernardo Faria’s 4 DVD set, “Battle Tested Pressure Passing.”  This DVD set will give you access to all of Bernardo’s best kept secrets and passes.

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