Pressure Passing – Concept and Details

Passing the opponent’s guard is one of the most important skillsets in BJJ. Even the white belt beginners need to learn a few techniques that they can use to pass someone’s guard. With time, the white belts will get to learn many intricacies of how to pass someone’s guard easier and more efficiently. And it’s a matter of styles. Some people will be quicker on the feet and they will likely want to use fast techniques that rely on quick, precise movements of their bodies. Other people will be stronger and heavier – but a bit slower. For these people, it’s important to learn the pressure passing concepts. And this is what this article sets out to teach.

The main concepts of pressure passing

Since this is one of the most important skillsets in BJJ – it’s important to note that there are a lot of learning materials that you can use for learning the subject. That being said, there are a few pressure passing tips that you will see no matter where you look. These are the most basic things that a pressure passer should do.

Utilize your Weight

The first thing to do is to utilize your weight. This, of course, doesn’t even need to be mentioned – it’s in the name of the pressure pass to use your weight for the pass. But what isn’t clear from the main definition is how many ways there are for using the pressure pass. In this sense, you can use your shoulders in order to put weight on your opponent. If you manage to open and pass his guard, then you can immediately shove your shoulder on his chest – preferably at the plexus area. This will create a great pressure on your opponent’s chest – and though this is not enough to make him tap – he will still feel highly uncomfortable.

Make your opponent really uncomfortable

Note that this is another important element of pressure passing – it’s NOT designed with your opponent’s comfort in mind. This doesn’t only mean that you will irritate your opponent – which could be fun in practice, at times. It means that you will sap his energy levels and that you will even distract his attention. It’s hard to keep your opponent in check and to think of your next move when you have a person’s entire bodyweight focused down on your plexus. It would be much more important for you to push your opponent away and get some relief. And this is where your opponent can capitalize and do something that you didn’t foresee.

It’s important to use your body in unison. If you just lay down flat on the ground and put your shoulder on your opponent’s chest – then he will feel no pressure at all. What you need to do is raise your hips and stand on the balls of your feet. In this way, you will be able to drill down your shoulder directly into your opponent’s chest. It will create a big level of pressure.

So, we don’t even need to explicitly mention the fact that your posture is of paramount importance for pressure passing. You can’t use pressure pass techniques if you’re bent over backward. You will need to keep your spine in alignment and your legs straightened out. Only when you make your body work in unison will you be able to utilize pressure passing in your game.

Grips and control

Finally, you need to make use of the grips. The grips are very important in anyone’s BJJ game. We’re of course writing about the Gi grips. You can use them to your great benefit if you wish to use pressure and pass someone’s guard. The grips, combined with underhooks – will give you just about enough to make your opponent’s life miserable while you go and get a better position for yourself. The grips don’t just work on your Gi game. You can use them in no-Gi as well – albeit to a lesser extent. You will need to learn how to control your opponent’s frame without your hands actually grabbing a piece of cloth. A great example is the over-under pass, without the Gi. You will need to grab your opponent by his trapezius muscle while passing his legs. At the same time, you will need to use pressure in order to shove his knees in his face. His life will be miserable while you comfortably pass his guard.

Pressure passing by Bernardo Faria

Pressure passing is a skill that may take years for you to perfect. And pressure passing may very well not be for everyone. If you think you have the natural predispositions and inclinations for the pressure-passing game – then you’re free to try out some of the concepts and techniques. You can learn more about pressure passing by one of the legends of BJJ, professor Bernardo Faria. Just check the video below

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