How To Do the Cartwheel Guard Pass


The cartwheel guard pass is one of the most spectacular guard passes out there. But it’s not as difficult to do as you might think.

In the video below I show you an easy four step progression, including some drills you can do on your own, to incorporate this exciting move into your repertoire.

Plus I’ll also share a sneaky way to slap the Rear Naked Choke onto your opponent.

Watch the video. Drill it in private. Then unleash your new superpowers on your sparring partners!!!

Once you get the hang of doing it like I’ve showed in the video above you can start branching out and trying different variations…

Here’s MMA great Kazushi Sakuraba teaching it against the standard open guard in an MMA context. In this version he’s using the cartwheel less to go directly over top of the person, and more to entangle their legs, dragging them to the side where he can then scramble for an advantageous position.

I can hear what you’re thinking, and yes, you’re right. Sakuraba could get punched or kicked in the face in mid-cartwheel…

But make no mistake about it: MMA is inherently very dangerous anyway, with or without cartwheeling.

Also Sakuraba was one of the bravest fighters who ever entered into an MMA match.

And lastly, it’s a surprise move. If your opponent is waiting for you to do it then yes, you’re gonna get punted in the face and it won’t be pleasant. But if you disguise this move by preceding it with the usual regimen of guard passing attempts combined with MMA ground and pound then it’s much more likely to yield good results!

And finally, while my personal preference is definitely to cartwheel with both hands firmly planted, some of the high-flying acrobatic fighters have even started to do no-handed cartwheels. So far I’ve mostly seen this done by lightweight Japanese fighters, but who knows, maybe we’ll see it in the UFC too some day.

P.S. In the video I talk about the Butterfly Guard being one of my very favourite guard positions. Click here to access a video tutorial explaining why the Butterfly Guard is such a powerful platform to sweep your opponents with..

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