This Is How You Should Approach Passing The Guard With Chael Sonnen
Philosophy of Passing Guard to Attack by Chael Sonnen
If you have been around the world of mixed martial arts you will likely have heard of Chael Sonnen. Chael is a UFC veteran and title contender from the United States who is currently competing in the heavy weight division of Bellator MMA. Chael has been a professional competitor since 1997 and has also fought in the UFC, WEC, and Pancrase. Chael Sonnen has been wrestling since a young age. Chael is very good when it comes down to talking technique and methodology. He is a very good way of breaking things down into simple, very easy to understand concepts. Today Chael Sonnen is here to talk to us about his philosophy of passing the guard. If you are a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player, or a grappler of any kind, you likely will already be familiar with the concept of guard. The guard is the first thing you learn in Jiu jitsu. Usually you start with concepts like closed guard, half guard, open guard, and from there, a whole world of different ways to play the guard open up. And with learning the guard comes learning how to pass the guard. There are many different fundamental concepts when it comes to guard and guard passing. Here we will learn how Chael Sonnen approaches guard passing. Watch the video below and then we will break down Chael Sonnen’s philosophy when it comes to guard passing. Check it out now!
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Chael starts off this demonstration in a position everyone in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is familiar with, closed guard top. Chael goes on to suggest that if you want to get past a BJJ player’s guard, one of two things has to happen: You either need to get double under hooks on the legs and pull your opponent up so his hips are up high, or you need to get one knee inside to open up the guard. Any time you are in one of these positions you open up a lot of options. It is simple enough to pressure your opponent from closed guard top while you use your elbow to pry on of the legs down to the mat. As soon as the guard breaks is when you slide your knee inside instantly. It is very important to realize you do not want to delay once you have opened the guard. Your training partner is going to be trying to get that guard back as quick as possible. Once you have the knee pinned you have to start looking for a pass. Keep in mind that you want to get as many moves in succession as possible. Pressure down the leg, and get your knee in instantly. Go for the pass, and get the mount. Get his head off the mat instantly. Start looking for submissions. If you can get 2 or more moves for every one of your opponent’s moves you are at a massive advantage. A lot of battles come down to who gets more opportunity to move and attack, and there are a lot of intangible concepts behind a good grappler who is able to do this.
Remember that it is not always going to be perfect. Sometimes you are going to try something and it will not work. Sometimes you will make a mistake and your opponent will gain an advantage, and you will have to work to try to get your positioning back. Pay attention to how Chael is moving the entire time, looking for a position, especially when his opponent counters. It is important to remember you should not get into a position and get frustrated, thinking your opponent won. Ultimately, it comes down to who really wants it more and this is the kind of intangible thing Chael Sonnen so eloquently frames in this demonstration. So remember to keep moving, keep looking for opportunities, and do not hesitate to react. Nothing is ever won or lost until both grapplers stop.
Chael Sonnen is a household name in the MMA community, and it is for a very simple reason - he talks a big game, and then he backs it up.
The Chael Sonnen blueprint is really pretty simple at its base: take the person down, smash through the guard, and start hunting for chokes and joint locks. This is the formula that he has used to fight more world champions than anyone else, with incredible and consistent success. See the techniques that brought us epic main events like the vice-like Guillotine that he used to choke Shogun Rua unconscious, or the throws and passes he used to edge out greats like Michael Bisping and Wanderlei Silva. In fact, Chael is so confident in these BJJ hacks that he has competed at the highest levels of submission grappling, including 3 trips to ADCC, where he has always won in the early rounds and a huge win in a Superfight where he defeated the legend Leo Viera in 2017.