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Unlocking the Secrets of Guard Passing: Expert Tips from John Danaher



John Danaher, a revered figure in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), recently shared invaluable insights on guard passing, a crucial aspect of BJJ that often separates the good from the great. In a YouTube video titled '5 Tips To Pass ANY Guard by John Danaher,' he provided a systematic approach to improve your guard passing game. Here's a breakdown of his key tips:

1. Posture and Base

Danaher emphasizes the importance of maintaining a strong posture and base when passing the guard. Your opponent will try to break your posture by manipulating the position of your head relative to your hips. To counter this, keep your chest higher than your hips, distribute your weight evenly on the soles of your feet, and avoid letting your hands touch the mat involuntarily.

2. Breaking Connections

Your opponent will aim to establish multiple points of connection with your body to control your movements. Danaher advises breaking these connections by focusing on one point at a time. Start by breaking the grip, then control the foot, and gradually reduce your opponent's points of connection to make your guard passing more effective.

3. Distance Control

When approaching your opponent, manage the distance effectively. Avoid going beyond your opponent's toe line, which can give them an advantage. Instead, stay just outside the toe line with one foot on the center line. This positioning allows you to control the distance and make it difficult for your opponent to establish strong connections.

4. Neutral Position Advantage

In a neutral guard passing situation, look for ways to gain a technical or mechanical advantage. Danaher demonstrates an effective technique of lifting your opponent's feet off the ground, exposing their lower back, and creating a defensive position for them. This puts you in a position of advantage, allowing you to control the pace of the match.

5. Hips First, Head Second

A common mistake in guard passing is rushing to control the head before adequately controlling the hips. Danaher emphasizes the importance of focusing on the hips first, using movement to control your opponent's actions. Once the hips are under control, transitioning to control the head becomes much easier, leading to a successful guard pass.


Mastering these five tips can significantly enhance your guard passing game in BJJ. By focusing on posture, breaking connections, managing distance, gaining advantage in neutral positions, and prioritizing hip control, you can become a more effective guard passer. Incorporate these principles into your training and elevate your BJJ skills to the next level.



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