The Best Time to Pass the Guard

Many matches are won or lost in the struggle to pass the guard.

In fact passing the guard of a skilled player may be the single hardest thing to do in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

It’s not uncommon for a high-level competitor to spend 8 or 9 minutes of a 10 minute match fighting like crazy trying to pass the guard. These guys know a ton of guard passing techniques, have amazing base, balance and athleticism, and they’re STILL having problems…

Fortunately there’s something you can do to make passing the guard a LOT easier.

It’s all about taking advantage of a very special moment. You see, there are specific moments in a match when it’s much easier to pass the guard.

And that’s right after you sweep or throw your opponent.

Let’s say that you’ve just nailed your opponent with a sweet hip toss. Or folded him in half with a double leg takedown. Or dumped him on his back with a sacrifice throw.

You’ve got momentum now…

The split second after you throw your opponent onto his back is a golden opportunity. You’ve just taken your opponent into your world, and you’re in control of the match. Maybe he’s had the wind knocked out of him.

At this time he’s usually still a little disoriented. Discombobulated. And if it was a hard throw, then maybe he’s even stunned.

Don’t rest on your laurels, and don’t pause to catch your breath – your opponent is tired too!

It’s Go Time!

If you score a takedown then work to pass his guard NOW. If you need a breather take it when you’ve first gotten to a dominant position.

The same thing applies to when you sweep your opponent.

Let’s say that you’ve just used the roll-under half guard sweep to reverse your opponent, and now you’re on top in half guard.

In all likelihood your opponent will need to readjust his legs and arms for a half second or so to convert from an offensive posture (which he would have been using on top) to a defensive position (now that he’s on the bottom).

Don’t give him that half second.

Sweep and move. Sweep and go. Sweep and pass his guard right now!

Yes, linking two moves together like this can be hard to do. But the alternative – laboriously fighting your way past his guard – is much harder and will take much more effort.

Sweep/throw, and then immediately carpe the diem!

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