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Technical Pressure Passing

Technical Pressure Passing


Pressure passing is one of the best ways to deal with a tricky guard player.  Pressure passing has a common misconception of being a strength application.  Many bjj practitioners also assume that pressure passing is utilized more by heavier people. That is simple not true. 

Pressure passing is actually an extremely technical way to pass your opponents guard.  Many people don’t realize how important precision pressure application is when pressure passing.  To properly apply pressure passes, you must have incredible timing, weight distribution, and patience.

Pressure passing has a myriad of benefits and there is good reason that we have seen some of the best competitors in the history of bjj doing pressure passing.  Pressure passing is versatile, it will work in both gi and nogi and it will work in MMA.  Pressure passing can also help you to conserve your energy and slow down the pace of a match and pressure passing does not require an crazy athleticism or flexibility. 

Some of the best people to ever compete including names like Bernardo Faria, Rodolfo Vieira, Rafael Lovato Jr, Xande Ribeiro and many more have used pressure passing to win the Black Belt World Championships time and time again. 

Timing and Pressure Passing

When attempting to pass a well-rounded guard players guard, a useful tactic may be to slow down the pace and use a pressure passing technique.  This may keep you out of harm’s way, and allow you to dictate the pace of the match.  If you want to learn an incredible pressure pass, check out our post “How to Pass the Half Guard with Pressure.”

Pressure passing is much easier said than done, in order to have precision pressure passing, you must be able to use timing to pass.  Timing is an extremely important element for almost everything in Jiu Jitsu.  To have good passes, sweeps, and submissions, you will benefit from developing your timing. 

The same applies to pressure passing.  It is very action-reaction based.  For instance, you may apply pressure in a position and wait for your opponent to react, and as they react you can capitalize on their reaction to finish the pass. 

When you develop good timing with your pressure passing you will be able to pass guards easily.  We assume that since we are applying pressure that we will not need timing and we can just grind out our opponent, this is not the case.  We can use pressure and when our opponent gets frustrated and opens their legs to bridge or turns the wrong way then we can hit the pass.

For example, a lot of pressure passes come from the half guard.  We force the half guard and we get an under hook and a cross face or something.  They will hold the half guard with their liife and when they get sick of the pressure there will be a moment where they bridge or open their half guard and this is the moment that timing comes into play and we need to be able to get to the mount. Check out this breakdown below of World Champion, Bernardo Faria’s pressure passing.

Weight Distribution and Pressure Passing

Another quintessential detail to developing a strong pressure passing game is the ability to have proper weight distribution.  Weight distribution is one of the most important elements to successful pressure passing.  If you want to learn more on weight distribution and the application of pressure passing, check out our post, “The Power of Pressure Passing.”

When we talk about weight distribution in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we know it is extremely important for almost every technique.  It is even more important when pressure passing, but why?  When you apply to much pressure in the wrong direction, this may present your opponent an opportunity to capitalize on your weight distribution, and ultimately, sweep you. 

If you are applying to much forward pressure from half guard, you may get rolled over.  If you have to much overhead pressure from De La Riva or the closed guard, you may get swept overhead because of the momentum.  So in order to develop dominant and technical pressure passing, you need good weight distribution. Check out this video of Marcelo Garcia Black Belt and instructor, Paul Schreiner, really breaking down the key points for weight distribution during a half guard pass. 

Patience and Pressure Passing

When trying to incorporate pressure passing into your bjj game, you have to also adapt patience.  Being patient when pressure passing is another imperative detail.  When attempting to have technical pressure passes, you NEED to be patient.

The combination of timing and patience will supplement each other well when pressure passing. For example, if you are smashing someone with pressure while passing their half guard, you may have to be patient and wait for them to bridge and open their legs so you can complete the pass using timing.

Energy Conservation and Pressure Passing

Energy conservation is one of the most important parts of pressure passing and it is one of the best reason to do pressure passing.  Not all of us are in our twenties and star athletes that can do cartwheel passes or roll very hard, that being said it is always good for us older guys to learn how to conserve our energy by pressure passing.  

Sometimes we get paired with the class spaz or the young guns that like to compete and when this happens we need to be able to slow down the pace of the match and conserve our energy by applying a meticulous system of pressure passing.  Pressure passing can be the saving grace for us when we need to save our energy.

When you combine the energy conservation with the timing and precision of good pressure passing you will find it much easier to deal with all of these modern complex guards. 

If you really want to incorporate Precision Pressure Passing into your Jiu Jitsu game, get your hands on 5x Black Belt World Champion and world renowned pressure passing expert, Bernardo Faria's DVD "Battle Tested Pressure Passing." 



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