Good morning, Southern Soul Family! This week, we are working on open guard passing, so this post will dive into passing of X-Guard. If you’ve ever found yourself entangled in this position, you know it can be a challenge. But with the right mindset, technique, and a bit of practice, you can navigate through the X-Guard like a pro.

Understanding the X-Guard

Before we delve into passing strategies, let’s ensure we’re on the same page about what the X-Guard entails. Your opponent has one of your legs trapped between their legs while controlling your opposite leg and possibly a grip on your sleeve or collar. Essentially, they’re creating an ‘X’ shape with their legs, hence the name.

Mind Over Matter: Stay Calm and Focused

The first step in passing the X-Guard is maintaining composure. It’s easy to panic when you find yourself ensnared in your opponent’s web, but remember, panic leads to mistakes. Take a deep breath, assess the situation, and remind yourself that you’re in control. With a clear mind, you’ll be better equipped to execute your passing techniques effectively.

Break the Grip and Control the Hips

One of the key principles in passing any guard is breaking your opponent’s grips and controlling their hips. The same holds true for the X-Guard. Focus on breaking any grips your opponent has on your sleeves, collars, or legs. Once you’ve disrupted their grips, redirect your attention to controlling their hips. By controlling the hips, you limit your opponent’s mobility and create openings for your passing attempts.

Pressure, Pressure, Pressure

Passing the X-Guard requires relentless pressure. As you work to break grips and control the hips, apply steady pressure on your opponent. Use your body weight to drive forward, making it difficult for them to maintain their guard. Remember, the goal is to make your opponent uncomfortable and create opportunities to advance your position.

Use Leg Drives and Levers

Now, let’s talk technique. When passing the X-Guard, utilize leg drives and levers to free your trapped leg and maneuver past your opponent’s guard. Techniques such as the knee cut pass, leg weave pass, and torreando pass can be effective against the X-Guard. Experiment with different passes and find what works best for your style.

Stay One Step Ahead: Anticipate and React

BJJ is often likened to a game of human chess, and passing the X-Guard is no different. Anticipate your opponent’s movements and be prepared to react accordingly. Stay one step ahead by predicting their sweeps and submissions, and counter with calculated precision. By staying proactive and adaptable, you’ll maintain the upper hand throughout the match.

Practice Makes Perfect

As with any aspect of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, mastering the X-Guard takes time and dedication. Incorporate specific X-Guard passing drills into your training regimen and spar with partners who specialize in playing the X-Guard. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll become navigating through this challenging position.

Conclusion: Embrace the Challenge

Passing the X-Guard is no easy feat, but with perseverance and the right approach, you can overcome any obstacle that comes your way. Embrace the challenge, learn from each experience, and continue to refine your skills on the mats. Remember, it’s not just about winning or losing—it’s about the journey of growth and self-improvement that BJJ offers.

So go forth with confidence, and may your journey through the X-Guard be filled with success, learning, and a whole lot of fun on the mats!