Four Basic Ways to Pass the Guard

Updated on April 2, 2020
revolutionbjj profile image

Andrew Smith is a BJJ black belt based out of Richmond, Virginia. He is one of the owners of Revolution BJJ.

Four Ways: Left, Right, Over, Under

Passing the guard can be quite a challenging task (some would argue that it's the toughest action in all of jiu-jitsu, and I would be hard-pressed to disagree). The guard game keeps developing and evolving, and to say that it can be tough to keep up is a huge understatement. However, there are a few different ways to simplify things, starting with four "directions" in which you can pass: you can pass to the right, or to the left; or you can go over the legs or under the legs to pass. That's really it, unless there's something about the laws of physics we're missing (there usually is).


Starting in your partner's open guard, dive both arms under your partner's legs at the same time (one at a time often leads to a triangle). Next, clasp your hands together at your partner's waist, pulling them onto your lap. This will take away their most basic guard maintenance actions. Reach across to your partner's far collar with one hand while controlling the pants with the other hand, with the general idea of putting your partner's knee into their nose. Turn their hips away while doing this, and finish by settling into 100 kilos side control.


Start by opening your partner's guard, or just begin in combat base, with your left knee up. As your partner's hips begin to turn in toward you, use the fact that their left thigh will be lower than your knee to cut your knee across their thigh, pinning their left leg to the mat. As you slide your knee to the ground, turning your hips to your right, attain the underhook with your left arm. Next, take either sleeve or head control with your right arm, ultimately pinning your partner's shoulders to the mat. Free your leg last. For more details on the knee cut pass, check out this tutorial.


Once again beginning in combat base, leading with your left leg, as your partner's hips again turn to face you, their right knee drops this time. Use this opportunity to "staple" their leg in place with your shin, driving forward and across their leg, keeping your foot on the inside for now (mirroring the knee cut pass, but to the other side). As you slide your left knee forward, lift your right foot up to avoid any scissor shenanigans. Next, look to attain head control, helping to gently encourage your partner to look away from where you want to finish the guard pass. For more details on the leg staple pass, check out this tutorial.


Finally, you can pass your partner's guard by going over both of their legs. Start standing, and take pants grips on the inside of your partner's knees. Pressure their knees in toward their chest, making sure to really put your weight in, prohibiting any sort of fundamental guard maintenance or entries into spider guard. While keeping constant pressure with your hands, you can either drop your shoulder down to your partner's solar plexus area to keep controlling them while you pass to the side, or you can pass directly to knee on stomach. For further information on the development of this guard pass, check out this tutorial.

Which direction is your favorite?

See results

That's All, Folks

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an incredible mish-mash of information, and looking for help can often be like drinking from a fire hose: you often get more info than you want, and it can be really confusing. Methods like this (left, right, over, under) can be extremely useful in categorizing and simplifying your understanding of jiu-jitsu, and you can often use this type of study aid to help you figure out your own (often unexpected) solutions! As always, please let me know how these techniques are working for you. It is always gratifying and incredible to me to hear that one of these tutorials has helped you from across the Internet!

© 2018 Andrew Smith


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)