One of the most difficult things you’ll do in Jiu Jitsu is competing a BJJ guard pass. The question to answer with passing is how do you know which pass to use against a specific type of guard? with so many guard options out there, the answer is not a technical, but rather, conceptual one. Instead of having a bunch of techniques n your head, stick to these 5 BJJ guard pass staples and you’ll get past all modern guards out there. 

Passing the Guard: The Most Difficult Thing in Jiu Jitsu

Passing is a thing of dynamics. But you’re aware of this. The same BJJ guard pass won’t work on different people, or even the same person if you do it more than a few times. In order for a pass to work, you need to really exploit your opponent’s guard weaknesses.

If you really want to make it to the end-game though, you have to take it for granted that your opponent can and will do everything right. Even so, even if they do everything right, with the right tools, you will be able to pass and submit most people you come across.

To get there, the first thing you’ll need is the right mindset. You’ve got to enjoy passing. You’ve got to enjoy Jiu-Jitsu. If you feel like you’re losing every time you try to work the pass, it’ll kill your determination. Accept and the grind, and remember that completing a BJJ guard pass is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever have to do in Jiu Jitsu. 

When it comes to putting passing into practice, you’ll need to categorize your technique in a way that will give you opportunity to study what and when something will work. We’ll go even a bit further and explore how you can use general concepts and nothing more than a few BJJ guard pass options to deal with any guard in existence. There’s no realistic way of hoping to learn a pass for every guard out there, so you might as well stick to those that universally work.

We’ll list five different passing positions below. We’re calling them positions because getting there doesn’t get you past a guard.  You’re not in side control. Once you’ve established grips, there’s still a lot that your opponent can do to stop you. mastering these BJJ guard pass variations, though, will provide you with a passing system that is very hard to resist. 

5 Essential BJJ Guard Pass Positions

Before we go on to explore the top 5 BJJ guard pass positions, let’s make it clear that these are not the only high-percentage passing options you have. They’re just the most reliable ones that have been proven to work at all belt levels and even against world champions. If you spend time messing around with the leg drag, double under, knee cut, knee staple, and over-under pass, you’ll build a passing game that will scare anyone. 

1.  Leg Drag

The first position we’ve got for you is the leg drag. It is a position that is very powerful because it doesn’t just work as a BJJ guard pass, but also as a great controlling position, In fact, the leg drag has the option of opening up nut just a pass to side control, but directly to mount or the back swell if you play your cards right. 

The leg drag works when you take the leg of n opponent and literally drag it across your hips. The goal is to place your hip behind their knee while pinning the bottom leg with a knee of your own. There are several different ways of maintaining the leg drag position, but in all of them, you’ll need to grip the collar and find an udnerhook in order to get control. Passing is a breeze once you establish a strong holding position. 

2. Double Under

The second thing we’ve got for you is the double under pass. This staple BJJ guard pass works great in both Gi and No-Gi. It is a highly uncomfortable one as well, which adds to its efficiency.

The pass starts with you placing both forearms, and eventually shoulders, underneath the legs of an opponent. The goal is to have the back of their knees on your shoulders and your hands clasped in front of their hip. Keeping an opponent stacked on their shoulder is why this pass is uncomfortable, and why it offers so many different ways to get to side control or the back. 

bjj guard pass: dobule under pass

3. Knee Cut

The knee cut is the third passing position we’ve got for you. ITis one of the most utilized BJJ guard passes in modern Jiu Jitsu. The position is not hard to obtain, but getting the balance right can be tricky, and will require getting used to. The goal is to get one leg in between your opponent’s legs, and then use ti to staple one of their legs to the bottom. 

The position is unstable, so you’ll absolutely have to get an underhook on the opposite side for the pass to work. Once you get it though, you’ll be in a very controlling position that offers leg lock entries as well as great pressure passing options. 

The Knee cut BJJ Gurd Pass

4.  Knee Staple

This is my own personal favorite and it combines really well with the backstep BJj guard pass. To go for this one you need to have both your legs in the inside position. By inside position, I mean you need to have killed your opponent’s hooks. Your legs are both on the inside. Your shins are pressing down on their legs.

The first order of business here is to underhook one leg. Then, look to drive your other shin into their bottom thigh. You’ll get the rubber band effect because in effect you’re trying to split them apart. It is similar to a knee cut pass, but with the other leg literally stapling the bottom thing to the ground.

Once you feel the tension, you can think about executing the actual BJJ guard pass. From the staple position, your other options include passing with a single underhook pass to the other side or flowing into let locks. Finishing the staple pass just requires you to backstep and you’re pst the legs and in side control. 

5. Over-Under

This is a pass that has really been popular lately, and it is, in fact, a great option to get past the dreaded half guard. The over-under BJJ guard pass works as a pressure pass. To get it you need an underhook on one leg, similar to the knee staple, just placed lower, with your grip on the hips. The second arm controls the bottom leg by going over it, whether with a grip or a full-on overhook. 

The trick with this pass is that it is the only one in our list here that will have you go head down and butt up to pass. As long as you keep your head glued to the opponent’s hips, and your elbows to tight to your body, they’ll be powerless to prevent it from happening. For the pass, a subtle shift in your hips to the outside will allow you to easily backstep into side control once again. 


Once again, this is just a referral list to five of the best BJ Jgaurd pass positions. It’s not a detailed instructional on any one of them. I’ll be happy if it makes the passing system of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu even a shade clearer. You don’t even need to have gone over them in detail. Just get the grips and set up the positions. Stay there to tire your opponent out and get a feel for things. Things will start to make sense very soon.