GB Fundamentals: Passing Open Guard with Technique and Principles

The Bullfighter Pass – known as the “Toreando” Pass in Portuguese. It is named that as the passer is playing matador to the “bull” of the strength of your opponent’s pushing legs and controlling sleeve grips.
The Toreando pass may be the first open guard pass that you learn in Gracie Barra Fundamentals and you will see it used in the black belt division of the World Championships. Everyone needs to master the Bullfighter pass and variations to pass an opponent’s open guard.
In addition to learning specific passes (remember: the right tool for the right job!), we will also examine some general principles for passing the open guard.
Let’s see some advanced techniques especially for your no-gi game by some of the top Gracie Barra instructors from Brazil.
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1) Passing the Spider Guard / Passagem da Guarda Aranha
In this pass, there are 2 important things to observe. The first is that Prof. Marcio controls the distance by stepping in too close to the guard player. The Spider guard player wants to use the strength of their legs and their sleeve grips to control the distance.
When Prof. Marcio steps in close and crowd the guard player, He removes the powerful pushing power of the opponent’s legs.
The 2nd important detail is removing the opponent’s grips. When a Spider guard player has secured strong grips, it is their much stronger legs fighting only the strength of your arms – a battle you are likely to lose. Breaking that sleeve control is critical to start your open guard pass.

2) 3 Options For Toreando Guard Passes
Note the technical gripping details that Prof. Marcio demonstrates for the different variations.
In the next 2 videos, we want you to pay attention to the same principle of guard passing – even if the passing techniques themselves are different.
The principle: redirecting your opponent’s hips to face away from you and passing to their back. When you turn the opponent onto their side all of their defense will be facing in one direction. We then switch direction and pass to their weak side to the back where they have little defense.
3) Open Guard Pass #1 / Passagem de Guarda Aberta #1

4) Open Guard Pass #2 / Passagem de Guarda Aberta #2

5) Passing Lasso Guard / Passagem da Guarda Laço
Lastly, let’s see how we can apply the principles that we just saw in the previous videos to passing the pesky Lasso Guard.
Note how Prof. Marcio breaks the opponent’s Lasso grip before moving to the opponent’s backside to pass.

See also on GB: GB Technique: No-Gi Submissions
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Asia