When it comes to passing guard, a lot of technique comes down to your body size… It’s a personal preference, but it helps to study grapplers who are similar in size to you…
For smaller guys, passing the guard typically involves clever use of inversions, deep half guard, and more. For bigger guys, guard passing can be done effectively using smash passing, pressure and slow methodical grinding to keep your opponent pinned as you work around their legs. No matter what your preferences are, an efficient pass is a beautiful pass. The more time you spend studying BJJ and grappling and general you start to notice a trend: everyone has a different style, or a different approach to their passing methodology. What works for you might not work for someone else, but that does not mean you shouldn’t be playing around with new ideas. With that in mind let’s take a look at 5 BJJ passes for bigger guys. Check it out!
The Greatest Passer In BJJ History Reveals His Complete System For Destroying The Best Guards In The World And Why He Hasn’t Lost A Match At Worlds in 6 Years!
#1: Butterfly Guard Pass by Carl Masaro
Carl is a third degree black belt under the legendary Renzo Gracie. Carl has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over a decade and has his own school in New Jersey in the United States. Carl is an expert when it comes to passing the butterfly guard in no gi. Watch the video below and then we will break down Carl Masaro’s butter fly guard pass technique. Check it out now!
The first variation of the butterfly guard pass that Carl Masaro shows is one where he likes to jump over his opponent’s hooks. A lot of people telegraph when they go to jump over the hooks by placing their head on the mats next to their training partner’s ribs. Carl keeps his head on the wrong side of Bernardo’s body until he is ready to jump over the hooks. This fakes your opponent out, making them think you are going to pass one way and then going the other way.
#2: Closed Guard – Knee in the Middle Guard Opener By Fabiano Scherner
Fabiano Scherner has a great instructional series called The No Gi Road Map For Masters Competitors available exclusively on BJJFanatics.com. This instructional series is full of great advice for anyone looking to compete at Masters level, or just anyone in general looking for a very basic and effective approach to Brazilian Jiu jitsu. That is the beauty of Fabiano Scherner’s game, his concepts are so simple they just work. Let’s see how Fabiano opens the closed guard. Check out the video below and then we will break down the technique.
When playing closed guard top, Fabiano Scherner likes to first control his opponent’s arms by pushing them into the mats at the biceps. This type of control allows for him to scoot his knee underneath his opponent’s butt and then readjust his base. Fabiano steps up with his outside leg and then stands fully into a tripod base. Normally this is not enough to break the guard though so Fabiano shows how to do that. Your leg should still be a wedge in your opponent’s guard. Fabiano steps back with his outside foot. His inside knee is now slicing down the middle of his opponent’s guard in order to pry it open. As Fabiano sits, his back forces the guard open. His knee is now completely in between his opponent’s legs and he is set up for an easy pass.
#3: Body Lock Guard Pass From Gordon Ryan
When Gordon burst onto the scene he dominated his way through tournaments like EBI and the ADCC with an unreal guard passing system. If you are tired of getting caught in leg locks or looking for more points in a competition, Gordon’s guard attacking series is packed with over 10 hours of the most comprehensive and detailed instructions out there. Check out the video below of Gordon demonstrating his body lock guard pass.
Typically when playing bottom half guard, your opponent is going to have an under hook secured on one side. The first thing Gordon Ryan does is initially set an under hook of his own. He pulls his opponent’s body in towards him and secures his grip. For a grip, Ryan prefers using either a 10 finger, palm to palm, or wrist to wrist grip. He suggests that the wrist grip is the tightest. From here Gordon Ryan wants to push in towards your opponent, bringing his head over his opponent’s far shoulder. You always want to pass on the opposite side of the under hook. Gordon does this by bringing his head to the floor in order to establish his base. This allows him to secure butter fly hooks in between his opponent’s base, controlling the knees. From here Ryan escapes his right leg and pummels his left leg over, sliding his knees behind his opponent’s hips, bringing his head back to the opposite shoulder. This body lock completely controls his opponent’s hips, which allows him to finish it top side control.
#4: Behind The Back Guard Pass By Coach Neil Melanson
When it comes to using catch wrestling techniques for BJJ, Neil Melanson has all the years of professional experience as a coach. As the former head grappling coach for the Backzillians, and current head grappling coach at Jaco Hybrid Training center, Coach Neil Melanson is one of the most sought out instructors in the world. Let’s take a look at Neil Melanson’s behind the back guard pass. Check out the video bleow and then we will break down the technique!
In this technique, Coach Melanson starts by controlling the insides of his opponent’s arms at the biceps. He uses his head to apply pressure to the chest while establishing a downward grip (opponent’s arm down at his side). Or, he postures before getting the downward grip. Once Neil has that arm under control he puts his head into his opponent’s chest, and stands with a wide base. From here Melanson passes the arm under to his other hand and walks his hips over so that the guy on bottom is now lying on his own arm. Now that arm is secure, Melanson is comfortable with using his arm to posture, get up to his knees, and slide a knee inside the middle of his opponent’s guard, causing it to open. With the guard open, Melanson can push his opponent’s leg to the ground and pass by sliding his knee over the thigh. This sets up Melanson perfectly for the triangle. He uses a cross grip to pull his opponent’s arm, using his chest to trap the arm as he dives to the back, securing the arm and head. Melanson never lets go of the arm, and as he passes this locks up the triangle.
#5: Slick Tripod Pass by Gabriel Procopio
Gabriel Procopio spent a decade learning how to solve the puzzle that is half guard. A good half guard BJJ player can be incredibly difficult to pass – especially if you are a newer grappler. Let us explore one Gabriel’s most notorious ways to defeat half guard: the tripod pass. Watch the video below and then we will break down Gabriel’s technique. Check it out now!
Gabriel Procopio starts the technique in the top half guard knee shield position. The first thing he does is secure an over hook on the leg that is currently in knee shield. He goes directly behind his training partner’s knee and grips the opposite leg gi pants. Procopio reaches for his opponent’s collar and pulls him in closer. From here passing your opponent can be an issue as his legs are very strong. To deal with this Gabriel places his head on his opponent and pressures down while he jumps up to his feet. Notice that his legs and feet are spread wide apart and he maintains his over hook and his pressure. This is where the tripod name comes from. From here Gabriel extends his right leg and pushes his training partner’s leg to the mat. Now he extends his arm, and walks around to the side of his opponent. Notice his head maintains connection while walking around – this is a very important detail. Gabriel ends the pass in top side control and now has the advantage over his opponent.
THE SCIENCE OF GUARD PASSING BY LUCAS LEPRI
Lucas Lepri’s Guard Passing Science Will Teach You How To Diagnose & Dismantle Any Guard In Your Gym Or In Local Competition – He Regularly Makes The Very Best Competitors On Earth Look Like White Belts
Passing the guard is a very easy concept when you break it down: you can go over, under or around the person’s legs. Lucas has taken that concept to a science like no one else in history. His one buzzword in every pass: Precision!