How To Pass Guard BJJ

Passing guard is one of the most challenging aspects of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to master.

The guard permits the person on the bottom of a grappling situation to use all four limbs to stop their opponent from getting the better of them while threatening sweeps and attacks at the same time. 

How To Pass Guard BJJ

There are many guards that a person can play against you, and it is important to be prepared to stop them.

However, the best thing to do is not learn a different guard pass for all guards you could come across.

Instead, you should learn some passing positions. 

In this article, we will tell you all you need to know about passing positions so you can find the best way of defeating your grappling opponent.

Read on for more! 

The Five Best Positions For Passing Guard 

Here we have the best passing positions for you to successfully pass guard.

Please note that there are many more passing positions not included in this list, but these are the ones you can rely on the most no matter your belt level or the level of competition. 

Passing Position One: The Leg Drag 

In BJJ, this can be a confusing name because it is a verb as well as a noun.

However, in this case, we are not referring to a leg drag pass as a verb, but we are referring to a leg pass position as a noun.

A leg drag is a powerful guard pass that allows you to pass directly to mount, to side control, and to transition to the back. 

To perform a leg drag, you need to situate your hip so it is behind the knee of your opponent and pin down the bottom leg of your opponent so it is under your shin.

There are many ways to maintain this position, but for every single one of them, you will need a very strong collar grip.

You will also need to place powerful pressure on their leg.

To successfully pull off this position, then you will need to consolidate it, rather than rush it.

You should make sure you are locked into the leg drag position, and only transition the pass when you feel secure enough. 

Passing Position Two: The Double Under 

The next passing position is known as the double under. This works very well no matter if you are wearing a go or not.

It is also an uncomfortable place for your opponent to be in. 

To successfully pull off this guard pass, you will need to place your forearms and then, your shoulders, underneath your opponent’s legs.

Here, you should aim to get the backs of their knees on top of your shoulders, while your hands are joined together just in front of their hips.

Making sure your opponent is on their neck and shoulders (stacked) is what allows you the additional control you need to pull off this move. 

How To Pass Guard BJJ (1)

Passing Position Three: The Knee Cut 

This passing position is known as the knee cut.

This is a common passing position and is much easier to pull off successfully when compared to the previous two mentioned in this article.

However, it can be difficult to maintain your balance, so you will still need to practice it a lot to ensure you get it right. 

The goal here is to place one leg in the middle of the legs of your opponent and use your leg to stick one of their legs to the floor.

However while this passing position can work when done effectively, it is quite unstable because your opponent has the option to move onto their side.

So, to stop this from happening you will need to make sure their shoulder that is furthest from you is always pinned to the floor.

You can do this with a stiff arm or an underhook. 

As soon as you master the balance necessary for this move, you will be able to pass almost any guard! 

Passing Position Four: The Knee Staple 

The knee staple is a very old guard pass and an extremely effective one.

While a knee cut position means you need to cut your leg placed over their furthest leg, the knee staple allows you to pin the leg of your opponent with the leg on the same side.

To put it simply, with a knee cut you pass your right leg so it is situated over their own right leg, but the knee staple allows you to pass your right leg over the left leg of your opponent.

When you go into this passing position, you will need to get a cross face and an underhook in at the same time.

You will still be able to pass guard with a knee staple position if you don’t, but it will be a lot more difficult to do so! 

Passing Position Five: The Over-Under 

The final passing position we will discuss is known as the over-under.

The over-under is a powerful move and it forces you to rely on control of and the smothering pressure on the legs of your opponent to pull it off. 

The first thing you need to do is perform an underhook on one of your opponent’s legs, as you would in a knee staple but placed in a slightly lower position.

Then, you grip their hips while your other arm goes over the leg on the bottom to control it. 

With this particular guard pass, your shoulder drives your weight into the diaphragm of your opponent, so you need to make sure your head is secured onto the hips of your opponent and your elbows are secured to you. 

Then, you will need to move your legs to the center by walking them, so you can perform a shift in your hips (subtly!) and then perform a backstep so you are in side control. 

Final Thoughts 

Guards can be difficult to work your way back from, so it is important that you learn different types of passing guards to defeat your opponent.

We hope this article told you everything you need to know about passing guard in BJJ! 

Christopher Anderson
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