Phases of Passing

Pass the guard in three steps: disentangle, control, pass.

When you’re the guard passer, it’s important to break down the passing process into three specific steps:

  1. Disentangle: Defeat your opponent’s attempts to get dominant grips.
  2. Control: Stabilize the position to deny your opponent movement.
  3. Pass: Complete the actual passing technique.

This conceptual approach to guard passing is different from the technique-oriented approach taught at most gyms. Students are normally presented with a few different pass techniques (step 3), but aren’t taught about the importance of disentangling (step 1) and controlling (step 2).

When you skip the phases of passing, you aren’t properly “setting the table” for the guard pass. If your opponent has dominant grips on you, or is able to move freely, it’s easy for them to counter your guard pass attempts. This is why sweeping and submitting white belts is so easy: they try to pass before they’ve disentangled the grips or established control.

The main takeaway here is: don’t skip the phases of passing. Ensure you disentangle and control before you attempt a pass.

The phases of passing mirror the phases of guard, but from the perspective of the guard passer instead of the guard player.

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