1. Be Knowledgeable of all Guard Positions
Even though there are some common principals to passing any guard an understanding of each type (i.e. closed guard, spider guard, half guard, butterfly guard, etc.) will help in ultimately being able to pass someone’s guard. The more you understand about each type of guard the more you’ll be effective in knowing what the guard player will be looking to achieve in their offense.
2. Control the Legs and Kill the Hips
A universal and fundamental truth about passing any guard is knowing how to control the legs and kill the hips of a guard player. Once someone is able to fundamentally wrap their head around this principal the sooner they’ll start passing guards. Controlling the legs is sometimes in the form of redirecting or pinning the legs to name a couple. Killing the hips simply means immobilizing the hips so that the guard player is limited in their movement. This can be done in numerous ways such using your elbows to limit lateral motion or using your hands to push the hips to the floor, for example.
3. Standing vs. Kneeling Passing Styles
Generally speaking guard passers can be divided in to two categories, standing or kneeling guard passers. Players naturally gravitate toward being one or the other. Each passing style has it pros and cons. Generally speaking standing passers are less likely to get submitted, however are more likely to get swept. Where as kneeling passers are more likely to get submitted, but are less likely to get swept.
4. Know your Preference
Depending on your style of jiu jitsu some like to close the distance and have a smashing style passing game. Where as others prefer a more distant and fast pace style passing game. Traditional old school jiu jitsu players typically prefer to stay close when they pass the guard. The “new” style of passing has seen players using distant type passing such as the example with a long step pass
5. Be Relentless
One of the most important factors in passing any guard is being relentless! Passing guard is one of the hardest tasks to accomplish in jiu jitsu. Rarely do you get the pass off of your first attempt. Not only be relentless in your guard passing on the mat, but in your thirst to learn about guards and guard passing off the mat (i.e. videos, seminars, etc.).