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Tighten Up your Stack Pass
The stack pass. Tried and true, this classic guard pass is one of the foundational pillars of passing in BJJ. Most likely you’ll be introduced to this technique early on in your practice. In the beginning we get exposed to so much passing material, sorting it all out and choosing your route can be difficult. I often explain to my newer students that there are only 2 ways around the legs, over or under. It’s easier to think in these terms at first, until you gain some semblance of all the different passing variations. The basic stack pass will be your standard and jumping off point for under the leg passing. There are many ways to perform the pass, and countless variations. If you haven’t been introduced to the stack pass yet, grab a higher belt and get to work.
Why do we call it a stack pass? When performing the technique, “the stack” refers to our partners hips being stacked above the shoulders. Although the methods of executing the pass are great in number, this seems to be a detail that cannot be ignored. Have you ever seen someone or experienced yourself the placement of your partner legs in the crack of your elbows while trying to execute the stack pass? Most of the time, unless we switch to a different technique, this is the beginning of the end for the stack, unless you call up your strength to finish the job on a weaker opponent. To get the job done, we’ll need a solid anchor that keeps us connected to our partner while we keep one or both of our partners legs on our shoulders and use the driving force of our hips and legs to achieve the classic stack position. Once the proper position is achieved, the finish is almost inevitable.
As the stack pass becomes a solid part of you BJJ repertoire, you can then begin to explore the rest of the under the leg passing family and contingency movements to common defenses. Here’s an excellent video demonstrating a drill that includes several under the leg passing movements. Notice how effortlessly these movements are strung together based on the reactions of the bottom player. Enjoy!
Want to dig into your passing game even more? Then check out the Pressure Passing Encyclopedia from five time world champion Bernardo Faria. You can get it here at BJJ Fanatics.