Rule of Thumb for Guard Passing

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There are all sorts of rules of thumb for guard passing as well as for everything else in BJJ.

These rules of thumb/principles/concepts are helpful to know/have because you can use them to check how you are doing against your opponent.

For guard passing, I make sure either that I’m occupying the space between my opponent’s legs or that I’m folding my opponent’s legs.

In the former case, basically, I’m opening my opponent’s legs fully so that they cannot open their legs further or close their legs at will because I am occupying that space between their legs. The knee cut pass is an excellent example of this situation.

In the latter case, any kind of smash passing, including leg drag, would be a great example. Probably this one is easier to understand what it’s like, too. You use your body weight and/or positioning to pin your opponent’s legs down. So they cannot open their legs at all… which makes it easier for you to complete the pass. You keep it that way until you complete the pass.

This rule of thumb makes it easier to assess my situation when I’m working on my guard pass because my question can be reduced to: am I positioning myself in such a way that my opponent’s legs are fully open/closed?

If the answer is no, I adjust my position, and if the answer is yes, I move on to execute my pass.

It’s a simple rule, but it works for me.