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The Importance of Guard Pass Prevention

Guard Pass Prevention is a topic normally reserved for students with more experience. However, since every BJJ student on the planet has to deal with Guard Passing we’ll look at the principles in hopes of gaining more understanding.

At a high level, we must understand that space is our friend when the opponent is attempting to pass your Guard. When dealing with the Closed Guard, maintaining barriers with your knees and freedom of your hips is paramount, as well as understanding the power of arm and hip control of your opponent. The benefits of having an offensive Guard approach can’t be overstated. It’s also important to know that Closed Guard Pass Prevention is related to Open Guard Pass Prevention and skill.

Foundational pass prevention tactics include what Jason Scully, owner of the website The Grappler’s Guide, calls the “Crazy Legs” concept, which utilizes a good amount of hip movement. There are also other technical concepts like leg circles, heavy legs and the stiff arm that must be learned and utilized. As well as the concept of resetting, where you regain a secure position that you may not have had or had lost.

As stated previously, Closed Guard pass prevention has similarities to Open Guard pass prevention. Many of the same ideas are utilized by both. However, due to lack of connection with your opponent while using an Open Guard, there must be confidence in your ability to use and maintain it.

Some concepts for Open Guard Pass Prevention are:

· “Headlights” principle

· Scooting vs Shrimping theory

· Having the ability to scoot multi-directionally

· Pop & Scoot concept

Let’s look at the Half Guard Pass Prevention as well, since it falls into the Closed Guard family. One important idea when in this position is understanding proper body positioning when you have the Half Guard. Being flat on your back is not proper. Get onto your side. Protect your head/neck from being controlled by the crossface at all costs. Make this a priority. Lastly, be aware that transitional escapes may be even more important when defending against Half Guard passes.

Aborting a Guard position is something that many BJJ players constantly avoid doing, even when they are in serious trouble of having their Guard passed. If you concede the pass for the sake of laziness, or just being comfortable laying on your back, then you may deserve what you get…SMASHED!!! Sometimes scooting away or getting to your feet can be more advantageous than trying to keep your opponent in a failing Guard.

Learn. Drill. Roll. TRANSFORM!

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