Today, I want to talk about the keys to developing a complete passing game. In my opinion, the most important thing to develop a complete passing game, is to train with different styles of guards every day.

It is common to see someone training at a school and he’s always training with the same people. They play the same guards, maybe 2 of them play the butterfly and the other plays spider guard. So this guy is mainly used to passing the spider guard and butterfly guard. He isn’t used to passing against closed guard, the fifty-fifty guard or de la riva.

I think its really important to force yourself to train against all styles of guards. That will be very beneficial when you go to a tournament. Then you won’t be surprised by any unfamiliar guard style.


I think one thing that helped my career is the fact that I’ve trained in several different gyms, so I’ve trained against different guard styles. From 2001-2009, I trained in my hometown. My teacher was under the Carlson Gracie line. So they played closed guard, foot on the bicep guard and de la riva guard. As a result, I became very familiar with those guards. Then, I moved to Sao Paulo to train with Fabio Gurgel at Alliance. I trained with Michael Langhi, who in my opinion has the best spider guard in the world. There was Leo Viera, who has one of the best half-guards in the world. So I became familiar with these new styles. Then I moved to train under Marcelo Garcia in New York, and at his academy I trained against the butterfly guard.

So I believe its really important for you when you can find all styles to train against. For example, you can learn a de la riva pass and drill it all day, but if you don’t have the opportunity to train against someone who has a good de la riva guard, it will be hard to develop that part of your game very well.

We should always try to find people to train with who play different guards. At Marcelo’s, I always try to find people who play different guards. One time we had a purple belt visitor who had a very good worm guard, so I trained with him almost every day just to get used to this new type of guard. Many times when I see someone from a school that’s good at 50/50 guard, I ask them to start the roll with me in the 50/50 to help me understand the position better.

Here is the breakdown of the key points to developing a complete passing game.

  1. It makes a huge difference when you face and train against all types of guards, then your passing game will improve.
  2. Of course, it’s important to learn techniques as well. If you learn the technique and you train against that style of guard, its the best thing to improve your passing game.

I believe this is what made me very comfortable with the over/under pass, because I trained against a bunch of guys with different styles of guards. I had to adapt my over/under pass against all these different types of guards. This helped me a lot and I wanted to share it with you.

I also made a Quiz to help you to figure out what should be your style of passing – Click Here To Check Out.


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