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Passing Flexible Guards with Rodolfo Vieira and Rafael Mendes

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by DanOfEarth, May 21, 2014.

  1. DanOfEarth Brown Belt

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    It took me much longer than I had wanted to come out with this but I've been quite swamped.

    I switched from GIF format to video format just to give it a whack. It leaves more for the reader/watcher to find themselves, but I think that may be a good thing. There was a lot more I could have added, and more examples for sure, but I didn't want to make it too long and just wanted to give people a general idea of some ways they can improve passing a flexible persons guard.

    Enjoy!

    http://danofearth.com/2014/05/21/passing-flexible-guards-with-rodolfo-vieira-and-rafa-mendes/
     
  2. theD0N White Belt

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    Great post! One thing that I wanted to comment on. To pass a flexible guard, I truely believe that you have to use a ton of strength and that you have to be stronger than your opponant. Yes, technique is key, but strength is the true nemesis of flexibility.

    Almost in every situation that I see a flexible guard player getting passed, the passer has a significant strength advantage. Rodolfo v. Keenan, Rodolfo v. Lo, in each case Rodolfo is stronger. Same with Rafa v. Grippo, Rafa v. Miyao, Lo v. Miyao, Keenan v. Miyao...in each case one guy is stronger than the other; there are few exceptions to this rule. And it makes sense, if the passer is using his arms to get past the guard player's legs, it certainly helps that the passer has some strong arms.

    And this is reinforced in my training. All else equal, I can pass flexible guards when I have the strength advantage. But when the guard player is as strong as me or stronger, then I'm having a hard time keeping his legs from coming back inside, even when I use the proper technique. At that point, I just "create my own strength advantage" by using the techniques outlined in your post to tire out the guard player. Once I create a disparity in stength, I can pass guard.
     
  3. Sexy Pants Blue Belt

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    Very Interesting!
     
  4. DanOfEarth Brown Belt

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    I 100% disagree with everything you just said.
     
  5. Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    I have an alternative theory: good guard technique beats mediocre passing technique unless the passer has a significant strength/size advantage. Very flexible guard players who are able to invert and reguard effectively have very high level guard technique. Your passing technique is not as good as their guard. As such, you only get the pass if you have a strength advantage, whereas guys with technical advantages like Rafa and Gui Mendes pass essentially everyone's guard regardless of size.

    And just for the record, a significant strength advantage is the nemesis of all technique, not just guards. You can't armbar a male lowland gorilla, even if you're Rickson Gracie.
     
  6. junco Blue Belt

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    This. Everything becomes easier if you have a huge strength advantage. Passing included.
     
  7. invertcheguard Orange Belt

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    the mendes bros are also insanely strong not that they arent technical but people often forget that.
     
  8. Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Definitely, but I don't know that they're abnormally strong for top level BJJ competitors. But again, I don't think for a second they pass guard so well because they're strong, they pass because they're technical and being in really good shape is basically just table stakes to compete at the level they do.
     
  9. joeytriangles Orange Belt

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    Pressure and tightness, not strength, are the true nemeses of flexibility.
     
  10. theD0N White Belt

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    Yes, I agree. That said, I don't see Rafa being able to pass Lo's guard, or even Langhi's guard.

    Pressure, tightness, stength, or muscle effort, whatever you want to call it, Rafa won't have enough to hold Lo down long enough to pass Lo's guard, at least in the traditional sense. That's not to say he won't be able to take Lo's back.
     
  11. ThatBJJGuy Brown Belt

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    couldnt have said it better!
     
  12. dokomoy Green Belt

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    I also strongly disagree with this. You mention all the time's a bigger guy has passed the Miyao's/Keenan/Lo/whosoever guard but that totally ignores all the times someone bigger has failed to pass their guards. Paulo and Joao have been doing absolute divisions since they were blue belts, they've had tons of matches with guys much bigger than them and most of those guys haven't even come close to passing there guards and the same is true of Lo and Keenan. Keenan went to Copa Podio as a brown belt and faced off against a bunch of world class black belts(every one of them competed at a higher weight class than Keenan does AND had medal'd in the absolute division at worlds as a black belt) but only Rodolfo was able to pass his guard(and if I remember correctly no one else got close).

    As far as your training goes, I don't mean to be disrespectful but how sure are you that you're using "proper technique". I don't mean to imply that you're spazzing or anything but to finish a pass against someone who's fast/flexible/technical you need to have proper pressure and control from the start of the pass to the finish and unless you're at a pretty high level there's probably a bunch of things you(and I and everyone else in this thread) could be doing to make our techniques better.
     
  13. rturo White Belt

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    Also good timing and misdirection Rodolfo combines his passes to be able to catch a lot of his opponents off guard.
     
  14. Vitamin C Black Belt

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    Rodolfo's claim to fame is as one of the best passers in today's elite BJJ competition scene. Rafa and Keenan are also known as incredibly technical and talented passers.

    Didn't Keenan pass Miyao's guard with a smooth step through to knee on belly? If I recall correctly it wasn't exactly a pass I would call reliant on strength, rather timing and accuracy. Rafa passes people guards with diligent and persistent redirection. Of either Mendes, I'd say Gui's passing requires more strength.
     
  15. invertcheguard Orange Belt

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    agreed. it will probably look alot like rafas match vs cobrinha at the pans last year. his guard passing though seems to be looking a bit more like his brother with that stack pass he did vs gianni, hes doing that more now. but for sure hes way more about transitions and movement while gui is more pressure.
     
  16. Rod1 Titanium Belt

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    Good isometric strenght is key to pass someone guard, if you constantly need to readjust and your opponent can explode out of every step of improvement you wont pass the guard of someone better than you.

    Im not the most technical, nor the faster when guard passing but i can pass the guard of all my teammates due to the fact that i dont give out any inch i gain, and thats something i got from training judo and weightlifting, isometric strength and dynamic grips.
     
  17. theD0N White Belt

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    OK, OK. So of all the things talked about here, technique is THE most important aspect of passing guard. That is true.

    My point is that with technique, a passer can control the right places, i.e., get tight, and generate immense pressure. But an important aspect of generating pressure comes from strength and sustained effort, and that strength can be amplified if the guard player isn't as strong either physically or mentally.

    The best advice that anyone has ever given to me for passing guard (which I'll share here), especially flexible ones, is that "Passing guard is jiu-jitsu 'gound and pound,' you need to keep thowing passing attempts until you get through or the guy mentally breaks." In order to sustain that type of prolonged physical effort, you need to have proper technique and be well-conditioned. If you can't beat the guy physically, you'll have to resort to beating him mentally (or find a way to transition to the back). Nonetheless, the ultimate act of passing guard to side control, caging his hips, and holding the guy down, that requires not only technique but a fair amount of strength.

    Yes, people a lot stronger than the Miyaos and Keenan have not been able to pass their guards, but make no mistake about it, no one weaker than them is going to pass their guard either. And the weaker guy is going to have a far harder time than the stronger guy is.

    Also, I'm a small guy, a light feather. If I'm passing guard on anyone, it requires a fair amount of technique AND strength on my end.

    Rod1 - I agree with you. I think you said what I was trying to say best.
     
  18. fanboysareevil Green Belt

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    Pretty sure Rafa passes Keenan's guard when they roll. Your premise is false and you sound like a meathead white belt.
     
  19. Rod1 Titanium Belt

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    Rolling around and competition are completely different things.
     
  20. DanOfEarth Brown Belt

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    Strength is simply one factor, just as flexibility, skill, endurance etc are all factors.

    Insinuating strength overcomes flexibility is simply wrong. Caio Terra beats big black belt monsters in open weight divisions quite a bit....

    The biggest part of what you should have seen in the clips is that they aren't using strength to get past their opponents. Both are finding ways to not have a muscle to muscle battle using technique. Rodolfo may be stronger than Leandro Lo, but Lo's legs are definitely stronger than Rodolfos arms. They are bringing their hips and space into play.

    Hips pressure and the lack of hip pressure paired with directing your opponents isn't about strength.
     

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