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Systemize Your Guard Passing Game with Gordon Ryan

Systemize Your Guard Passing Game with Gordon Ryan


When it comes to passing the guard, it can seem like a pretty large mountain to climb.

There is an immeasurable amount of choices as to how we can approach the guard pass. Should we stand, or kneel? Should we go over or under the legs? Should we use pressure or stay looser? Of course, all of these things will largely have quite a bit to do with the reactions of your partner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t systemize things to make your options a little clearer and more manageable. 

Your passing style will also reflect your preference as well. Whether you’re a smasher, or like to work quickly to float around the guard, there will be times where you need to be flexible with your choice and employ something that’s not necessarily your “go to”. One way or another, we need to secure the guard pass and keep advancing. 

Check out this video with Gordon Ryan. Here, he explains his passing system and procedures. This gave me a lot of insight on where to start, and how to adjust as you begin to meet the different challenges that passing the guard will present you with. Take a look at this.

You should feel better already. Ryan begins by breaking down the three different styles of passing. He categorizes them as; loose passing, tight passing, and passes using submissions. Using these 3 different types of passing we can string together a passing onslaught to break through our partners guard. 

Ok. So are you ready to ATTACK the guard? Click learn More!


Ryan begins with an example of loose passing, using a type of toreando style pass where he works side to side, staying on his feet and passing around the legs. He then gives us a second example where he steps up the middle and puts his hands on the mat, floating above his partner. Here he can begin pommeling his legs to collapse his partners structure. When Ryan secures this position, his partner has a choice to either defend against Ryan’s upper body from getting too close, in which case Ryan beats the legs with his pommeling. If his partner becomes focused on the legs and begins to hip escape, there’s nothing to stop Ryan from transitioning to the half guard to begin implementing a tighter passing procedure. 

In another example of the chaining of these three types of passes, Ryan performs a loose style pass and as his partner extends his limbs, this creates opportunity for Ryan to begin attacking submissions that will lead to a guard pass. He demonstrates by sitting back for a leg lock, then returning to the top as his partner defends, getting tight, and then loose again. You can see how these transitional phases can be linked seamlessly together to form the ultimate guard passing assault.

Ryan demonstrates another way to use the float style passing when his partner uses a butterfly hook to try to elevate him. In this instance he pommels to the inside of the legs and transitions to knee on belly. Just another great attribute of the system. 

It’s pretty simple to get an idea of how Ryan is systemizing this process, and it looks to be ultra-efficient. He continues to present the guard player with different problems, and as they respond he tailors his reaction to fit the scenario perfectly. Approaching the guard in this fashion will undoubtedly yield results, as this type of passing will be incredibly difficult to keep up with and not make any mistakes. This is pretty amazing stuff!


Check out Gordon’s “Systematically Attacking the Guard”, and while you are at it, you should probably pick up “Getting Swole As A Grappler” his complete meal plan and workout strategy that allowed him to pack on insane amounts of muscle and functional strength.  Besides, does anyone not want to be shredded? Yeah…. Didn’t think so.



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