“It’s easier to sit back than stick out your neck.
It’s easier to break things than build it correct.” -Beastie Boys
Recently when The Professor was talking to me about my guard passing, this is what I basically heard (and I’m totally paraphrasing) “Your mission, should you chose to accept it (and you’ll never be promoted again if you don’t), is to think of nothing other than passing guard, until your technique is a thing of beauty…or at the very least until you completely stop leaning over, and have a couple of solid passes in your arsenal (and they must be from standing).” The specific passes that we selected for me to work on are the folding smash pass and the knee slide, because they work well together, and I’ve had success with both of them.
For those same basic reasons, I also consider the toreando pass to be another go-to option for me, so when Jerad taught the advanced class on Monday night, and he told us we would be working on a pass that went well with the toreando, I was super excited. Then when he demonstrated the “x pass”, I remembered practicing it before (but subsequently forgetting about it), and as soon as I saw it again I immediately knew I was now going to try to make it a part of my passing game. I thought “This is the perfect pass for me, at the perfect time in my training!”, and I believe I reaffirmed that later during class on Monday, when I successfully used it to pass a blue belt’s guard when we were rolling, even though he was probably expecting it!
It was about a year ago when I first learned the x pass, but I guess it just clicked for me this time around, because I have a better understanding of how the pieces fit together. There were also a couple of times on Monday when I tried to go for an x pass and a smash pass but was blocked, so I just transitioned to knee slides and was able to pass. It’s as though your BJJ knowledge doesn’t so much grow as it builds, and fundamentals are the foundation (because if they’re not solid, your Jiu-Jitsu will crumble when a big bad wolf tries to blow your house down!) but as you gain enough experience to be able to do certain things instinctively, then you no longer have to think about them, which frees up space to focus on new things!