Danaher - Guard Passing vol1

Introduction to passing the guard

Bottom player can attack you with 100% of their body

You can’t strangle until you pass guard

Very limited submissions while in guard

  1. Open closed guard
  2. Pass open guard

Focus on high percentage passes that work against high level guard players

Begin by:

  • Breaking dangerous connections
  • Avoid letting guard passing degenerate into slogging match
  • Negate opponents offence
  • Gain advantages in neutral position
  • Overcome predictable lines of resistance

Five steps to guard passing

  1. Break dangerous connections
  2. Make opponents feet point away from you
  3. Seek mechanical / tactical advantage
  4. Make their knees face away from you or move around them
  5. Kill the hips and transition to their head to pin

Philosophy of opening closed guard

When you are in closed guard your opponents hips are actually on top of yours

Any sweep will have your opponents hips on top of yours

Opponent has the most submissions

Kneeling guard openings rarely work against high level opponents

Best option is standing guard breaks

Even though your opponent can potentially sweep you it isn’t as bad as having posture broken in closed guard

There are many sweeps and submissions when you get broken down in closed guard

When you are swept backwards it can become a scramble which you can still win

Always try to open closed guard by standing

Opening Closed Guard 1 - Standard stand up method - the 3 steps!

None of the guard passing process happens until you open the closed guard

Always stand to open guard, even if you get knocked down repeatedly

To prevent your partner from pulling you down close your knees tightly around their hips

If your knees are wide your opponent can jackknife their hips and pull you forward

Don’t just have your elbows down crunched in, they can easily break you down

  • Get two lapels with one hand, keep your knuckles facing towards your partner so you stiff arm them
  • Your fist should be near the middle of their torso

The majority of your opponents attacks involve two hands

If you tie up one of their hands you take away a lot of their offence

  • After you get the lapel grip, get a four finger cuff grip on their hand
  • Move their hand onto their stomach under your elbow
  • Rise off your ankles
  • Step up on the same side as the hand you control

Do not stand up with your feet too far back

  • Step up with your foot right next to where your knee is
  • Your other foot (the kneeling one) should turn out (this widens your base of support)
  • Step up with the other foot (your stance should be strong and wide)
  • Pull the elbow of your ‘control’ hand to the inside of their knee. Keep holding their sleeve

Open Closed Guard

  • Pinch your knees in so its difficult for your opponent to pull you in with hips
  • You are currently sitting on your toes
  • Get a strong grip on both lapels and have your fist pointed at them
  • Get a cuff grip on their arm and bring it over their stomach
  • Come to your toes, bring your body up and hunch forward, bring your foot to where your knee was
  • Second foot swivels out (same time as first step) and then you make your second step up
  • Take a third small adjustment step forward (with first leg)
  • Release the lapels and get your elbow on the inside of their leg near the knee (trapped arm)

Opening Closed Guard 2 - staggered vs square stance

Some people advocate standing in staggered stance

It’s hard to keep your balance when your opponent pulls with their legs, you will be forced to a square stance anyways

If there is any resistance you’ll end up in a square stance

The problem is both your feet are exposed to their grips, but there are ways around this

The goal when standing up:

  • Create stability by pinching your knees
  • Pin their chest to keep their shoulders on the floor
  • Negate their attacks by taking away one hand
  • Get on balls of feet, bring your first leg up and swivel your other leg out
  • Stand up with second leg
  • Make adjustment step and push your knees in together a bit
  • Release lapel and get sleeve grip locked against their leg
  • Keep your feet about shoulder width apart

Opening Closed Guard 3 - staggered stand up (and why to not use it)

Stability from square stance comes from ability to pick up feet and move them forward and backwards

Feet slightly wider than shoulder width

Slight bend in the knees

Make sure to push your knees inwards

Staggered stand up (not recommended)

  • Grip both lapels as before
  • Grip the pants by belt with other hand
  • Stand up on same side that lapel grabbing hand is
  • Turn your other foot out, come up with other foot backwards

Opponent can easily square up, so this is not worth it

Opening Closed Guard 4 - Subterfuge and indirect grips - dominating the inside space

Your opponents best submission holds come when you have a posture of 45 degrees (broken) on your knees.

To some degree you open up attacks on your legs. At fundamental levels it’s not as much a danger (due to better submissions being illegal)

To stand up you need two grips. A torso grip to keep his body down and a sleeve grip to take away one of his hands.

You can use subterfuge and indirect gripping to get a grip on your opponents sleeve.

Focus on one grip, when they try to pull away your collar grip then grip the sleeve.

For the lapel grips, go direct method by just going in and grabbing.

After you have stood up keep the sleeve grip, then get your other hand on their knee to push it down. You will need to turn your opposite foot out a little.

You must dominate the space between their knees.

When you come back down to your knees you keep your elbow with the sleeve grip strong on their inside leg.

One the leg you pushed down you use your own knee to pin their leg.

Keep your chest inbetween their knees so they can’t pummel their leg back in.

Opening Closed Guard 5 - Dealing with locked legs

After you have stood up in their guard.

Turn your body towards the sleeve grabbing arm

Post your hand on their knee and make a post.

Shake your body and do a little turn to break open their guard.

Remember to force your knee inside their leg. Keep the sleeve grabbing arm inside their leg.

Opening Closed Guard 6 - Reach back method

Similar standing as the previous method.

Note: lock up on their jacket right away so they can’t pull your arm.

As you are standing, instead of posting on their knee:

Use your hand to reach back and slice between their legs behind you (elbow deep).

Scoop up so you cradle their leg and break their legs apart.

Unlike the other method, step back for the guard pass (i.e. toreando)

Opening Closed Guard 7 - Correct Posture When Breaking Closed Guard

There are a series of postures that you work through when opening closed guard (no one right posture)

When on your knees, your knees, keep them tight under their hips (45% posture)

This prevents them from using their hips to move you around

Get a double lapel grip to pin them down (mid chest)

Keep your toes active

Gather their lapels in one hand, trap one hand and hold old their stomach

Perform the stand up (45% to stand up, one hand on sleeve)

After standing change to a vertical posture, chest directly over your hips

Drill: Practice Posture

  • Put your hands on the floor
  • Come up in a pike pushup where your toes are on the mat and your hands are flat
  • Float your feet up to your hands (they should land on the outside and be flat on the mat)

Opening Closed Guard 8 - Subtle Difference in Hand Position With Reach Back Break

Perform a standing guard like before

Start the reach back where you put your arm through their legs

If you have difficulty getting your hand through to lift up for a bicep grip

Put your hand on your own bum

Turn your hips out a bit, then get the bicep curl

Opening Closed Guard 9 - Double Lapel Grip Sequence - Alternate With No Initial Sleeve Grip

When you anchor your hands with the double lapel grip it makes it hard for your opponent to move your arms

Peel their lapels out towards their armpits (pins them down)

Switch to the single grip with both lapels in one hand

At this point you need to get the critical sleeve grip (four finger)

If they deny your sleeve grip then take a pants grip (right below belt on their hip)

If you are going to stand up like this, you need to step up on the side of your forward lapel gripping hand

They will start standing up

The moment your opponent starts reaching for an ankle you reach down and grab their sleeve

Opening Closed Guard 10 - Two Ways You Will Get Knocked Down and How To Counter

The most common way of getting knocked down when standing up is backwards

If you stand up without a sleeve they can either knock you down with

  • A scoop grip under one leg and hip into them towards the scooped leg
  • Double ankle pull, dropping bum to the mat and knocking down

Against Scoop Grip

  • You need to turn your knee inwards towards their body
  • Take one step back with your free foot and lower your level
  • Put your elbow inside their knee (grab pants near their hips) and push down (on your free leg side)

Against Double Ankle Pull

  • You stand up and they reach around your ankles to knock you over
  • When they open their guard to drop their bum to the ground
  • Put your head over one foot and hold onto their pants briefly for stability
  • Kick your foot forward on the other side and swing your foot forward (to free) and then back

Opening Closed Guard 11 - What to do When They Knock You Down

You will be knocked down when you try to stand

This is not a major concern, you just need to not let your opponent get on top

Drill: Getting On Top After Double Ankle Knock Down

  • You are standing up from closed guard
  • Your opponent gets the two ankle grip and knocks you over (perhaps they grab the gi pants)
  • You need to pinch your knees together to prevent them from coming up on top
  • Open your elbows, bridge and expose their feet
  • Grab their feet with your hands and lift them up
  • Then put one hand back and hip heist / technical standup to knee to stand up

Drill: Getting On Top After Scoop Grip Knock Down

  • You are standing up from closed guard
  • They get a scoop grip and knock you down
  • When you get knocked down you stay up on a hand
  • Keep them from coming up (but keep your reaching arm short so you don’t get armbar / triangle)
  • Hip heist up to your knee and start your guard passing again