Jun 05

A conceptual framework for understanding how to pass

Lately, I’ve been giving much thought to passing.

And some improvement to my overall understanding of how passes work has occurred as a result.

For example:

I now categorize guards into two primary types.

In one, control centers around entanglement of the limbs and/or body. Examples at the basic level would be closed and half guard. But there are even a few open guards that can fall into that category like the lasso or even the worm.

On the other hand though, the guards that falls into the other category are built around tension. It’s a constant push and pull that creates in an almost invisible control of distance and space.

Now why does that matter?


I’ll give you an example.

This week, in one of my class agendas, I’ve been focused on breaking down how to pass the De La Riva guard, with a focus on principles first, of course.

And DLR is a tension guard in almost all of its common forms. It’s composed of three pulling grips and a push grip. And the the thing that I always focus attention on is that fragile link in the chain (the foot on the thigh).

Once that foot loses contact with the body, all tension is destroyed in an instant. The structure of the position breaks and many passes become possible. Hell, I’ve even been showing a stupid simple method of forcing the knee cut there.

And it’s not like a ninja trick or anything.

It’s just simple principle.

If you understand how control is being established and maintained, you can attack the weak links of that control and improve your ability to dominate.

Get this though.

The example I gave above just scratches the surface.

It can be taken much further. In fact, I’m quite motivated, so it might just be one of my next projects.

In the meantime though, feel free to check out a visual demonstration of how tension can be broken in DLR.

Learning happens here: