6 Interesting Jiu-jitsu/BJJ Submission Grappling Guard Passes

I like to check out YouTube on a fairly regular basis to find interesting new concepts or techniques in the martial arts. This week, I decided to explore different alternatives for guard passing techniques that can be used in Jiu-jitsu submission grappling. One of the great things about submission grappling as popularized by BJJ is that because so many people are doing it, it evolves very quickly and people develop interesting new ways to improve control, submissions and defense on the ground. In our dojo, we don’t enter tournaments or train for the purposes of competition because our primary focus is self-defense, but we still practice submission grappling techniques. Submission grappling has become so popular as a sport you cannot afford to ignore it in the self-defense world, and it offers a lot of value for improving one’s defensive capabilities on the ground. You’ll see more of my ideas behind this when my book, When the Fight Goes to the Ground: Jiu-jitsu Strategies for Self-Defense which I wrote for Tuttle Publishing, comes out early next year.

Anyway, this past weekend I spent a bit of time checking out new ideas for passing the guard in submission grappling. I found a few cool videos that I’d like to share here.

Sao Paulo Guard Pass

In this first video, the instructor starts by showing the standard guard pass that I usually use to introduce students to the concept, but then moves on to show one that can be used when the chips are down and your posture has been broken forward. This is a great option to use in this situation that can be used in both a gi and no-gi context.

Sauer Guard Pass

In this variation, Keith Owen demonstrates a different way to open up someone’s guard for the guard pass that would work especially well against people with limited flexibility in the hips. It’s nice to have different options for breaking guard, especially when you grapple with much bigger guys like I do.

Guard Pass to Take the Back

Most guard passes end up in some sort of side control, but this unconventional guard pass shown by Augusto ‘Tanquinho’ Mendes has you doing a shoulder roll that ends in a position in which you can take the back. You could potentially do this in a no-gi context, but it would likely be easier if you had a uniform to grip. Fun stuff!

High Kick Open Guard Standing Pass

Emily Kwok demonstrates an effective way to pass an open guard from standing entering straight down the middle. I like the idea of leading with the push, which can give you good momentum to lead into the rest of the pass. While I understand why she uses terminology like “penetrating into the middle”, part of me wishes she hadn’t so as to not encourage all the juvenile comments on YouTube that naturally come to mind when guys watch a woman teaching submission grappling techniques. Regardless, it’s a good technique to know, so try to think past the suggestive explanations.

Leg Drag Guard Pass

Also starting from a standing position to pass an open guard, this leg drag technique shown by Ricardo Cavalcanti is simple and versatile. The opening can be used to lead into a straight ankle lock instead of a guard pass if preferred or convenient.

Switch Kick De La Riva Guard Pass

In this last video, Renato Tavares shows a tricky little pass to use against a De La Riva style guard, making clever use of his legs to control and pass his opponent.

Do you have any other interesting guard passes that you like to use outside of the conventional methods? Please feel free to share them in the comments. 🙂

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Comments (3)

3 thoughts on “6 Interesting Jiu-jitsu/BJJ Submission Grappling Guard Passes

  1. In our dojo we follow the same train of thought: competition grappling definitely isn’t ideal for the street and we usually don’t spend much time on it but as you progress in the ranks you should acquire a basic skill-set that will lead to a) a higher survival rate on the street should you end up on the ground and b) a more or less well-rounded martial artist. It’d be foolish to ignore the ground superiority of BJJ and not borrow certain vital techniques like bridging, shrimping etcetera and incorporate them into the curriculum. What my sensei is doing atm is putting as much techniques as possible into drill-form: for example a number of attacks from the scarfhold, the guard, combinations of escaping and attacking techniques… This greatly helps to remember them and train them in quick succesion. I know I’m still not very good on the ground (know thyself as Socrates advised) but at least I get some practice once in a while, too bad I don’t have the time to join a BJJ school which I plan to do at some point in my life. There’s a great gym in town that produces alot of champions and is headed by an actual Brazilian black belt (Felipe Costa) who’s a two times world champion.

    Obviously passing the guard is a strictly sport application since on the street there’s really no point in trying to mount someone since you’re still vulnerable to all the nastiness that might follow.

    1. Thanks for your comments as always Zara. It’s good that you recognize your own shortcomings. It’s the only way to get past them. As for passing the guard, for the most part it’s only used in sporting applications, but I could see some value in it for law enforcement officers who are trying to control a subject on the ground so that they can be apprehended (more relevant in a partner based scenario).

    2. jeanileeNovember 14, 2011 i switch to an armabr all the time from triangles, only when they’re being stubborn and wont tap to the triangle, or they start to posture up and im starting to lose the triangle. usually if i have the triangle locked in good and they wont tap, they’re usually so focused on defending the triangle that they dont even expect me to quickly switch to an armabr. bread n butter move..

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