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The Over Under Pass With Bernardo Faria
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The Over Under Pass With Bernardo Faria

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If you’ve spent any time in martial arts, I can almost guarantee that you’ve been trapped in someone else's guard before.

We all know those people that seem to have arms and legs coming from every direction, and the pathway to get where we want to go just seems impossible to follow. Depending on your experience, and more importantly your partners experience, there are many different options to pass guard.

Having so many options can be nice, since no two guards are the same, but it can also be frustrating when you’re first starting out. Different passes are easier and more successful for different frames, so finding a few that work for you in various situations is important.

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Today we’re going to focus on the over under pass, a technique that Bernardo Faria is well known for. His goal in this pass is to use direct pressure to make sure the person on the bottom isn’t able to move their legs to block his own as he eventually passes into side control.

The key component to focus on when adding this technique to your arsenal is the ability to control your opponent's legs while keeping them apart, making it near impossible for them to defend with the bottom half of their body.

How do we do that?

The Over under pass is named for the configuration of your arms; one of your arms goes under one of your partner's legs, while the other comes over the opposite leg and reaches towards that foot. The over arm’s shoulder them comes down onto their belly, applying a great deal of pressure onto them and inflicting a lot of discomfort. To finish the pass, the “over’ leg is pushed towards the midline of the person on the bottom, and then you take a step back into side control.

When applying this pass in the gi, there are handles everywhere for you to use! You can grab the lapel with your ‘over’ hand before you even begin to do anything with your shoulder or legs. The under arm usually connects by grabbing the gi pants, giving a fantastic point to center your pressure around.

Keep your elbows tucked in tight tight tight to immobilize the legs. The ‘over’ hand can also grab the gi during the pass, which is great for smaller people that don’t have long arms. For nogi, it can be a bit more challenging to find a strong grip. A key point it to get a deep under hook on that leg to give you more control. Staying heavy on your shoulder is also important, so you have a consistent pivot point to work around.

Incorporating the over under pass into your grappling game will take time, especially if you aren’t used to pressure passing. Remember to drill carefully and slowly while learning the precise movements of the pass.

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Pay attention to the grip details when working through the motions to avoid getting caught in common trouble spots, such as a kimura on the over arm or allowing your opponent to post on your head and redirect or ward off your pass.

Keeping all of that in mind, here is a video tutorial of Bernardo Faria explaining the over under pass to give you a visual on what it should look like when you master it!

Bernardo Faria is arguably the most well rounded BJJ Athlete in the world, with 5... yes 5 world titles. Check out his DVD series called Battle Tested Pressure Passing By Bernardo Faria. 

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