The other side of guard passing: The single biggest aspect of the Jiu jitsu game is the struggle of the top player to get past his opponents guard (legs) vs the bottom players struggle to get to guard and retain it. It’s probably fair to say that that is three quarters of the positional game in Jiu jitsu. When it comes to guard passing, we get taught initially to think mostly in terms of passing guard into side pins. This is good thinking since it accounts for the vast majority of passing outcomes at beginner level. However, as you get higher in the sport and the level of guard play and of your opponents rises, in MANY situations (perhaps even most) you won’t be passing to side pins so much as getting defensive reactions from opponents performed expressly to PREVENT you getting to a side pin that expose their BACK to you. The won’t come from passing to side, but rather scrambling to your opponents back and taking rear mount. In a match the bottom athlete will never willingly concede a side pin and the three points – he will instead turn to his knees – this will always create momentary back exposure. If your is only thinking in terms of side pins, you won’t react to the new opportunity. WHEN ENGAGED IN A HEATED PASSING BATTLE AGAINST A TOUGH AND SKILLED OPPONENT YOU MUST BE THINKING ABOUT TAKING THE BACK AS MUCH AS THE SIDE. That way when that half second of back exposure occurs you will pounce on the opportunity without hesitation and score. Here Oliver Taza does a good job exposing Gordon Ryan’s back during guard drills – the won’t be there long against an opponent of this caliber – having your set in that direction from the beginning lessens the time needed to an opportunity and pull the trigger!