After winning many titles with her unpredictable guard, the black-belt Bia Mesquita has more recently begun using her top game a lot more, becoming a true passer. To better understand this shift, Graciemag talked to her and learned some tips.
Bia will be fighting Thamara Ferreira at BJJ Stars 4 on November 14. The pay-per-view is available on www.bjjstars.tv. Find the interview and translated transcript below.
“I think the secret to the guard pass is not just technique, but also explosiveness.
“After I became a ‘passer’ — which is something pretty incredible, but which is really happening — I noticed, both when I’m on top and when I’m on the bottom… When I’m on the bottom, I feel that when the person cranks up the speed to pass my guard, it becomes harder for me to defend, because I have to switch grips, hip-escape, put the hip back… You are very much in the rhythm of just reacting to the person. So the more the person speeds up, the less reaction time you have to adjust yourself.
“And the same thing when I’m on top: I see that when I come up already exploding to pass the guard, I don’t give the person the time to adjust themselves, to make the grips or anything. So this makes it much easier for me to conclude the pass. I start bombarding them from one side to the other: I stack, I jump… Anyway, I do multiple things in a sequence, with the goal of not giving the person time to make a good grip, adjust their guard — and then the pass gets way harder, and it turns into that little chess game there: who makes the fewest mistakes.
“So I think that when you go exploding right away to pass, the probability of the pass being sucessful, of you being able to stabilize it, is much greater.”
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