Analysis of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Part 4): Passing the Guard

This article was written by BJJ.Org featured contributor Roy Harris. Harris is a black belt Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor in San Diego. This article was originally published on his PFS web site.Passing the guard is one of the major tools one should have in his/her BJJ arsenal. If there was one skill to be obtained in BJJ, this would be the one! If you can consistently pass someone’s guard with ease, you will take so much away from their ability to control you. (Add to this some good hold down skills to become truly effective.)

I have spent a little over two years working on it with my instructor Joe Moreira. This one skill has helped me so much that I must recommend it to all. Let me share with you some of what I have learned.

Here are the principles and guidelines to passing the guard:

Space create space to uncross the opponent’s anklesspace while you’re in the process of passing his guardWeight keep your weight centered on the opponent’s upper torso while passing

Formula (This is a simple way to remember where you are in the process of passing.)Step one – establish base and postureStep two – uncross the opponent’s anklesStep three – secure and control the opponent’s hipsStep four – pass under or over the opponent’s legNote: The above formula will work with or without a gi!Based upon the preceding principles and guidelines, I can show you sixty-five (65) different techniques on passing the guard. I’m sure there are more than sixty-five, but that’s all I know. Once you understand these principles and guidelines, you can figure a lot of different ways to pass.

When you begin to put the basic ways of passing the guard together into two and three technique combinations, the amount of energy you spend to pass will begin to decrease. When you can put five and six techniques together into a solid combination, now you’re flowing. And, when you can pass your opponent’s guard and talk to another student about politics, mathematics or sports, while your in the process of passing their guard … well, now you’re really flowin’!

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About the author

Roy Harris