The butterfly guard is a very popular guard position in no gi grappling because it doesn’t rely on fancy sleeve and lapel grips.
So if you’re going to be competitive in no gi you definitely need to know how to deal with the butterfly guard, how to shut it down, and how to pass it.
There are some very athletic speed-based passes for butterfly that involve jumping, spinning, floating, flipping, and other gymnastics movements. They work great if you’re young, athletic, and faster than the other guy.
But if your breakdancing days are behind you? Should you just pack it up and go home whenever you’re facing butterfly guard? Not at all.
The answer is to switch to pressure passing!
The central idea of pressure passing is to shut down your opponent’s guards, wear them down, tire out their legs, and then and have them practically give you the pass because they’re so tired of fighting you.
There are several core passes that show up again and again in pressure passing, including the folding pass, the stack pass, over-under pass, and the double unders.
The trick is figuring out how to get into these core passes against different kinds of guard (fortunately if you stay low and on your knees you’re going to eliminate quite a few of the trickier modern guards so your opponent is left with fewer options).
Here’s a clip from The Pressure Passing System where Fabio Gurgel, a 6th degree black belt and coach of a TON of guys who have done very well in no gi, shows you one way to force your opponent into the folding pass position when he starts in butterfly guard.
Check it out, because if you’re looking for an effective way to pass butterfly guard in no gi you can’t find a more highly pedigreed coach than Fabio to show you how!
It took me a long time to appreciate this folding pass position. But once I started playing with it I started seeing it everywhere!
For some examples, check out some of Demian Maia’s fights in the UFC; he often hits the folding pass multiple times in a single match, including the variation below that takes him directly to the mount.
(Demian Maia is Fabio’s student by the way, so maybe it’s not surprising that this is one of his favorite passes.)
For a complete system on pressure passing, including the folding pass to mount technique used by Demain Maia in the UFC and many others, click here check out The Pressure Passing System as a DVD set, an online streaming instructional, and in app format.
This is a topic I have been wanting to learn more about for a while, so I brought Fabio Gurgel into my home studio to shoot it. I learned a TON and I think it turned out exceptionally well, so it will help a lot of people with their guard passing game I’m sure!