When Passing Guard, Plan B is Worth Considering

Alright, so I’m at that stage where I figured out a couple of techniques I like. I’ve drilled and am constantly drilling the crap out of them. The result is that I’ve gotten pretty good at executing those techniques (for my belt rank), whether the opening for them is there or not. A good example is the x-pass that I now force on people no matter what their approach to the open guard is.

I believe that ultimately this is the way to win at competition: to be so good at a technique that you can announce: “I will now pass your guard with the x-pass, using this grip and this footwork” and proceed to do it. What I mean is that I don’t believe in jiu jitsu that “tricks” the opponent in some big way, but instead uses very minute details to trick their body into creating the opportunity for the technique that you have drilled tens of thousands of times.

That all sounds wonderful, if not confusing and wordy, but it’s not even the point of this post. The point is that as your main powerhouse technique gets better and better, the “Plan B” technique openings become bigger and bigger. And at my current novice level, I often keep forcing the main technique and don’t consider Plan B.

Here’s a video that inspired this post that I saw yesterday from Ken Primola:

I often run into this issue sometimes that my opponent insists on that inside hook, and I often keep fighting to get my right leg between his legs (from where I can do the passes I like), when instead the pass the video shows seems to be right there. Just try going to the other side!

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