Passing the guard is one of, if not the most important skills to develop. Guard passing is one of the many things in Jiu Jitsu that never gets easier, it’s constantly challenging us because as we get better at guard passing, our opponents are getting better at guard retention. New guards are coming up seemingly daily and the sport of Jiu Jitsu is evolving at the speed of light.
The reason guard passing is so important is because without a strong guard passing game, there is nothing. If you can not get around the opponent’s legs, then it does not matter how great your pressure from side control is. If you can not get passed the opponent’s legs, it doesn’t matter how savage you are at getting mount and attacking the triangle and arm bar at the same time. The point is, without a strong guard passing game, you have no game really.
With the evolution of all of the new guard systems coupled with more guard retention systems, it’s created a time where we need to look at everyone who is competing at a high level and work to understand what they are doing that is making them successful in passing their opponent’s guard, especially at such a high level.
We are seeing a much more obvious mix of Jiu Jitsu and high level wrestlers recently which is not only aiding in advancing our games, but also forcing us to think outside of the traditional Jiu Jitsu box and get creative in our game.
Braulio discusses briefly the thought process behind what you need in order to go from disengaged with your opponent, to engaged with your opponent and what grips and body movement is required for you to get to the cradle position.
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To get to the cradle position we must get a collar grip on the opponents Gi, with our arm reaching under the opponent’s top leg. Once he get’s this grip he uses his hips a in conjunction with a sliding motion to clear the legs and get on the outside of the opponent’s top leg. Once the grip is secured he slides to the same side of the grip allowing him to get head control. Once head control is achieved he then switches his hips, which clears the opponents leg and allows him to use his leg to now control the opponent’s top leg.
Once in the cradle position, controlling the opponent’s top leg and head is considered the cradle position, you have a few options. Option 1 is to simply replace your leg that is currently controlling the opponents top leg with your opposite leg first, allowing you to back out to the other side of the opponent with your original leg, followed by replacing that leg with your arm next and following the same path of backing out the second leg as well. This will leave you in side control with control of the opponent’s head and top leg.
The other option you have when the opponent is in the cradle position is to switch your hips down ward so you are facing the same direction of your opponent first, this will allow you to clear their hips with yours and now switching your hips back to center and stepping over the opponent’s top leg to mount position.
Estima has a very detailed video instructional coming out soon that will dive into these processes in much much deeper detail. In his words, this video was simply a “teaser” to show what we can expect from his detailed video instructional.
In the meantime, while we anxiously wait for the release of this video instructional around using the cradle position to pass the guard, check out “Systematically Attacking the Guard” by Gordon Ryan. Gordon has adopted a teaching style similar to that of John Danaher in that everything is viewed as a system. The thought of changing the way we view guard passing and turning it into an offensive “attack” is incredible. Small shifts in thinking like this can make all of the difference. This video instructional is over 10 hours of highly detailed, systematic guard passing, or shall I say, guard attacking that is not just any system, but rather a system that has been used in competition at the highest levels, and proven to dominate. This is your chance to get inside the head of one of the best grapplers on the planet and understand the thought process that makes him such an unstoppable beast on the mats.
Systematic is more than just a buzzword when talking about Gordon Ryan’s Guard Passing. Gordon Ryan breaks down guard passing to microscopic details that have never been explained on film before. Systematically Attacking The Guard By Gordon Ryan is widely regarded as one of the best guard passing instructionals, and will SURELY increase your GUARD PASSING!