Passing the closed guard is huge and very important part of Jiujitsu. In fact, there are many competitors who specialise in the guard pass: old school names like Rickson Gracie, Royler Gracie, Saulo Ribeiro and practically everyone on the Carlson Gracie Sr team plus new school names like Rodolfo Vieira and Leandro Lo. Even the rules of Jiujitsu competition recognise the importance of getting past the opponent's guard: 3 points. That's right. You don't get any points for the side control itself. You get three points for passing the opponent's guard, second only to the mount and back mount.
I've always enjoyed both sides of the coin: playing guard and passing guard and while I appreciate the array of new techniques for both that are constantly cropping up everywhere I've always stuck to my mantra:
I don't have time to training variations. I therefore need to spend my limited mat time on:
1. Perfecting a small number of techniques from 1-2 positions
2. Perfecting ways to guide the game / match to these 1-2 positions
This is why my eyes perk up when I hear Jiujitsu teacher Eddie Kone say:
"We're going to spend the next month on the guard pass"
Not guard passes (multiple ways to pass). Not pass of guards (how to pass a variety of guard such as butterfly, closed, delariva...etc.).
The guard pass.
We start in the opponent's closed guard. We neutralise their attacks. We open the guard while staying safe. We control and slowly but surely inch our way past the guard. The tightness is ridiculous. The pressure is generated before during and after is ridiculous.
I'm talking about the kind of guard pass that makes the opponent TAP.
How? By spending a disproportionate amount of time fine tuning details upon details. No stone is left unturned.
It inspired me to devote the same amount of attention to every aspect of my Jiujitsu. I want my stand up, passing, guard, mount, back, side control and half guard to have 2-3 techniques each with 20-25 details within each move, with the same reflected in my escapes / recovery game and I urge you to do the same.
In the mean time, I leave you with this awesome clip:
ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!
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