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The Perfect Guard Pass with JT Torres
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The Perfect Guard Pass with JT Torres

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No gi guard passing variables can differ quite a bit from a gi setting. It's important to understand these differences, as you will find some of your favorite gi passing sequences will not hold up the same way in a no gi passing exchange. Things tend to be a little slipperier and we’re not granted the accessibility of multiple anchoring points like we are in the gi. The pathways may remain the same but the methods require some special attention in order to hone your no gi guard passing skillset. 

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching JT Torres pass the guard, then you know he’s constructed one of the most beautiful guard passing games in the business. His passing resembles more of an art from than combat and his masterful movement is unlike any other competitor. Torres secured his second ADCC gold medal in 2019 after what was nearly a perfect performance at the Olympics of grappling. Razor sharp and with no wasted movement, Torres worked his way through his division in style, besting some of the greatest names in the sport. His passing pedigree was on full display as he dismantled talented guard players and set himself up for domination. 

With the release of Torres’s new Top Game instructional, we’re finally getting a look at one of the most highly anticipated pieces of BJJ instruction to date. An inside perspective on Torre’s game is quite the coveted piece of information and its available now to anyone! In 4 parts, Torres will walk you through everything from set ups, to passing modern guards, and even some submissions. The content is incredibly innovative and highly applicable. This will add instant value to your no gi guard passing tool box. 

In this sneak peak, Torres demonstrates an absolutely phenomenal no gi passing procedure for Bernardo Faria. He forces the butterfly guard to start and what follows is a fantastic blueprint for a very efficient passing sequence. You have to see this! 

 

Amazing right? I think one of the best things about his sequence is that you could probably add this in to your game tonight. Beautiful stuff. Let’s break it down! 

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First, Torres addresses some common no gi concerns when passing. The open guard can be a scary place at the highest levels of no gi competition. Elevation is real issue here and with the rise of the leg lock, no one wants anyone to be underneath them. Torres shuts this down right away by forcing butterfly guard and getting very heavy on his partner’s tools for elevation. He controls the shins, brings the feet to the floor and then covers his partners insteps with his hips, gluing the feet to the mat. Keeping his toes alive and connected to the mat provides Torres with the ability to drive forward and continue to stay as heavy as possible. 

WE hear a lot of talk about gaining control of the inside track in many positions in BJJ. Things are no different her as Torres settles in, cupping his partners biceps and controlling this inside space. He then decides which side he’d like to pass to. In this case, Torres will be heading to the right. There is a bit of deception at work here as Torres will first move off to the left. To do this he slides his left hand down to his partners hip, planting his elbow on the inside of the thigh. When he’s ready to being moving, Torres starts by traveling left a bit, using his left leg as a kickstand and driving his partner’s knee down to the floor. The stage is now set to complete the second part of the pass…

Now leaning forward, Torres posts his right hand on the floor above his partner’s left shoulder. He simultaneously pommels his left foot to the inside of his partners butterfly guard. IN one quick motion, Torres now jukes back to the other side, landing in a perfect knee cut position. 

Take special note of this concept here. Torres previously used his left elbow to drive his partners leg down tot eh floor but this elbow serves more than one important purpose. As he transitions to the opposite side for the knee cut, his elbow keeps the knee shield out of the game. If you’re a knee cut fan, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the disputation of the knee shield. Keep track of your forearm as you transition and makes sure the knee shield doesn’t enter the fold. Torres does this by flaring his elbow and dropping his body down well below the level of his partner's knee. This can dismantle your entire passing sequence and undo loads of hard work. Keep this on your radar!

When he’s ready to compete the pass, Torres allows his left arm to drop down in front of his partners hip and connects it to the floor. He hugs the hip and uses his arm as a wedge against the back to keep control of his partner. Reaching deep with his right arm underneath his partners head, Torres finds the armpit on the far side and begins to apply a tremendous amount of shoulder pressure to his partners neck and jaw area, causing his gaze to move to the opposite direction. This puts a massive twist in his partners body, making it very difficult to reconfigure any kid of guard. At the peak of this pressure, Torres allows his knee to pass over the leg and completes the technique. He settles in tight, hip to hip, on his toes, and continues with driving pressure in to the cross face to control his partner. 

This is quite the guard passing formula. Recruiting elements of misdirection, deception, and different passing techniques, Torres constructs the perfect guard pass. 

No Gi Fundamentals: Top Game by JT Torres
No Gi Fundamentals: Top Game by JT Torres is filled to the brim with more amazing guard passes and concepts that will amaze and captivate you. Amazing stuff here from one of the very best!

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