The Power of Pressure Passing
In the world of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu pressure is one of the most sought after skills that we work on attaining. Good pressure means the ability to crush someone under our weight and simply do what we want to them. It also can be used to make an opponent pliable, and can be used in maneuvering even the toughest of guards via a methodology known as Pressure Passing.
Guard passing can be a difficult proposition in high levels of competition. There are two main ways to pass: through and around the opponent’s guard. Around tends to be a more “modern” method, with various patterns of footwork and timing coupled with intelligent grip sets. Going through the guard is more of an “old school” pressure oriented notion that is not as “trendy.”
Probably the most effective way to go through someone’s guard is by utilizing a method called pressure passing. The idea behind pressure passing is to force the opponent to bear increasing amounts of weight until their guard fails them. This can be done from various angles and has been employed highly successfully at the top levels of competition. Simply put: pressure passing works.
Bernardo Faria is one of the top players in competition jiu jitsu today. His competition record speaks for itself, winning multiple absolute titles with his crushing pressure followed up by brutal techniques. The soft spoken, affable member of Alliance BJJ is currently an instructor at Marcelo Garcia’s academy where he is honing his pressure passing craft.
So what makes Bernardo Faria’s passing so effective? For starters he knows where and when to drop pressure. Dropping pressure isn’t always enough; you need to know exactly where to drop it so that you can actually use it to nullify your opponent’s movements. It may sound simple, but it’s not. Where one should or shouldn’t drop pressure is directly correlated with what the opponent is doing at that given moment. You need to know where to pressure at any given moment or else it will not wind up working well…
Another key aspect to his passing is his understanding of weight distribution. Bernardo Faria is a big guy who has a lot of weight that he can force his opponents to bear, but this same methodology can be used to great effect by smaller competitors. If you’re smart enough with your use of pressure it doesn’t really matter if you’re smaller or bigger. 145 pounds dropped on the right place at the right time can be devastating, and Bernardo Faria’s pressure passing system does just that…
What about exotic guards? Very often we see larger practitioners be simply overwhelmed by the intelligent use of De La Riva/Berimbolo, spider guard, leg lassos etc. These are problematic because competitors who know how to use these guards well can be very deceptive and can use your placement of weight against you. However, many top level practitioners have found that simply using old school pressure passing methodology can negate these confounding guards. However difficult this may be, it is relatively simple…
The power of pressure passing, and Bernardo Faria’s success when using it, are both undeniable. There are a lot of instructional videos out there about how to intelligently use pressure passing, many of them are of very high quality. If you look at Faria’s competition track record, particularly over the past couple of years, and more importantly look at what he’s done to win the matches that he has won, you’ll see how critical his ability to pressure pass has been to his success.
Bernardo Faria has put together a series of videos in which he explains the specifics of his pressure passing system. This system has propelled him to the top of the current competition scene, so it will be interesting to see if and how his take on techniques will begin to permeate the landscape of competition jiu jitsu.
There are some sample videos that show you how Faria likes to teach and what direction he’s going in with his techniques. Maybe you’ll win your next tournament by pressure passing all of your opponents!
Here’s a taste of what you’ll get from Faria’s system: