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Relentless Guard Passing
Passing The Guard Can Become A Game Of Will... Be Relentless
The days of passing the guard easily on first attempt is very rare except when done on brand new white belts. In fact, passing the guard on the second or even third attempt is becoming just as rare as the guard of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners evolves and leg locks are being added. Because of this, it is important to find better systems for passing the guard. Although technique is important, the approach grapplers take to passing the guard is vital.
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Traditionally, there are two methods for passing the guard: standing passing or pressure passing. Standing passing is usually quick while pressure passing is slow. Most grapplers prefer to play one form but not the other. Small grapplers typically enjoy the standing passing game while larger grapplers prefer pressure passing as can be expected. Realistically, however, the best way to pass the guard is being able to use both forms of guard passing effectively when the circumstances are appropriate.
Another important element of guard passing is directionality. I would say over 90% of Jiu Jitsu students practice passes one side while leaving only few techniques for the other. This is odd because when examined, it is obvious the best guard passers in the world are able to quickly switch sides and are equally proficient regardless of directionality.
The Miyao brothers, although mostly known for their impenetrable guards, are also extremely skilled guard passers. There skill level has benefited from them training both sides and both styles of guard passing. If you watch them, you will see that they seamlessly transition between sides and styles very smoothly. In the following video, Joao Miyao goes through one advanced drill for guard passing.
As you can see, Joao starts his passing in the same position almost every time. The versatility of techniques he uses are all based off the guard player’s counters and movements. This is one important trick in guard passing. Rather than trying to force one guard pass against a bottom player, one must become proficient at using the guard player’s movements to guide the pass.
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With all that being said, to consistently begin pass the guard, not only must someone be able to transition smoothly between pressure passing and standing passing or switch sides quickly, they must be able to continuously and relentlessly work to pass the guard with no stopping until the guard player makes a mistake and allows the guard pass.
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