Do you always have a hard time trying to pass your training partner’s guard, and you have no idea how to go about it? If that is the case, the following tips will help you succeed your Guard Pass Skills in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
The guard is among vital positions a Brazilian jiu-jitsu trainee learns. It is the guard position that separates Jiu Jutsu from other MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). Using the guard of your choice, you can choose to submit or sweep your opponent.
The position takes place on the ground, on your side, or from a seated position. Throughout your Brazilian jiu-jitsu journey, you will come across various guards that differ in complexity and control establishment. In addition to their complexity, multiple guard variations depend on the instructor’s style. As complex as it may seem, any practitioner can achieve the development of an impassable guard.
Vital tips for developing your guard pass skills in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:
Be the first to attack
The most dangerous guard fighters advise their trainees to attack first. Do not wait to watch your opponent’s first move.
When you attack first by threatening your opponent with a sweep, control their elbow for an armbar, or break their posture, the passer will stop their pass attempt to defend your attack. Also, if your opponent is busy defending your attack, they will have a slim chance to start.
Get a grip
A good grip helps in controlling your opponent. The grip determines space and distance one can put between you and your opponent. It also gives you a chance to set up your guard. For you to have a firm grip, try simple gi pull-ups exercises, or the farmers walk with kettlebells.
Keep an active guard.
It is essential to switch to an advantageous position in jiu-jitsu, even if it means using different kinds of guards. Most practitioners tend to force and stick to one guard, which is a mistake. It may work in the beginning, but as you progress, you may find it challenging to keep up with an opponent who has better guard passing skills.
Do not keep your back flat on the ground.
The biggest mistake you can make is staying flat on your back. Some guards require a practitioner to be flat on their back, but once you feel you are at a disadvantage, it is essential to try a different guard. Besides, being on your side gives you a chance to move in a different direction or sweep your opponent.
Improve your flexibility
You do not have to split or place your legs behind your head. Learn simple hamstring flexibility techniques that can significantly improve your guard game. When flexible, you can recover your guard effectively and prevent your opponent from passing. Try static holding and stretching for as long as you can, but with a minimum of about one minute to enhance the flexibility of your hamstrings.
Keep your hips moving.
Most MMA instructors claim that hip movement is vital and useful for developing a strong guard. It will provide you with ample space, grip, and the force you need to apply your techniques. The more you move, the lower the chances your opponent will have to pass your guard. Try doing triangle drills solo before your training begins to improve your hip movement.
Find a style that works best for you.
Depending on your persistence in MMA, you will come across a wide range of passes and their variations. Try to find the passes that suit your body type, and adapt it in your game. Whether it is the knee slice pass, legs drag pass in an open guard, or the toreando pass, make sure you master it. Know the inside and out to be able to pass your guard easily. Drill your styles in class and use them when rolling to get better.
Use your body weight.
Whether it is an open guard or closed guard pass, ensure to use your body weight and the pressure that comes along with it. Most practitioners do not feel comfortable using their body weight and pressure since they think they will hurt their opponents when training. However, a little pressure on your opponent’s face, torso, or feet will not hurt him or her. It helps limit your opponent from moving around. It also helps the person get ready for real pressure in a tournament.
Tight, controlled motions are effective.
When passing an open guard during Jiu Jutsu training, most practitioners enjoy using sloppy and incorrect techniques. Some like throwing their legs. However, if you are facing an experienced guard player with excellent pummeling skills, he or she can triangle choke or arm bar you. Use more controlled and tighter motions. Also, utilize small conservation motions that can make your opponent work to re-guard and pommel.
Do not forget your handles.
It does not matter whether it is a gi or no-gi. As a practitioner, you need to use available handles. The handles we are referring to here are your opponent’s parts that you can grab to dominate and pass. In gi, you have access to the pants, belt, and kimono. While for no-gi, you can use your hands to cup your opponent’s head, neck, hips, or legs. The handles can help you significantly in shutting down possible movements of your opponent that they may use to submit you or regain guard.
Time your opponent
Timing is essential, too, in martial arts. Provide pressure to your opponent and get the reaction you want. It will be easier to pass your opponent when you know what is going to happen after exerting pressure.
Observe how a black belt roller often moves the hips from one side to another to adjust to position. Most jiu-jitsu practitioners are accustomed to using their arms in performing tasks in their daily life. Therefore, you have to utilize your hips and legs when performing different drills such as hip escapes and shrimps in your jiu-jitsu training.
Guard passing is not elegant. Every Brazilian Jiu-Jutsu practitioner loves proper submission; however, passing a dangerous guard from an experienced player will increase your chances of winning the match. The above tips and hard work can help you improve your game.