An aggressive top game based on passing and submissions is a nightmare for many opponents.
In Justin Rader’s “Passing Formula”, you will learn a series of passing sequences that flow directly into powerful control and effective, high-percentage top submissions.
Let’s break down four sequences you can use in either gi or nogi Jiu Jitsu that all flow off of the Bullfighter or ‘torreando’ pass. Depending on your opponent’s reaction, you will likely have one of the four options available to continue your attack sequence to the submission.
Let’s dive in!
Bullfight Pass to D’arce Choke
The Bullfight pass to D’arce choke becomes available when your opponent responds to the Bullfight pass by turning over back into you such as during an attempt to wrestling for a single leg.
To perform the Bullfight pass to D’arce choke:
Begin in a standing passing position with your opponent on their back playing open guard.
Cup your opponent’s shins just below the knee with your same-side hands.
Push your opponent’s knees towards their chest to trigger their counter reaction of pushing back at you.
As your opponent pushes back, re-direct their legs and throw them to your right side.
Step out to the side with your left leg.
In this instance, your opponent reacts by turning back into you possible attempting to come up on a single leg takedown.
Sprawl back to prevent your opponent from wrestling up to you.
Drop your right arm in front of your opponent’s hip to prevent them scrambling into you.
Frame your left arm on your opponent’s face, keeping pressure to prevent a scramble.
Shoot your right arm beneath your opponent’s left arm to begin setting up the D’arce.
Reach over your opponent’s head with your left arm and grab your left bicep with your right hand.
Begin compressing your D’arce to get the submission, drop more weight towards your opponent’s head to increase the choking pressure.
Bullfight to Short Arm D’arce
Sometimes, you cannot get the full depth D’arce. In this case, the short arm D’ace is a viable option.
To perform a short-arm D’arce choke:
Perform the same Bullfight pass with the hands-on-shins and pushing your opponent’s knees to their chest.
As your opponent turns into you, drop your right hand to block the hip and left arm to your opponent’s head.
In this case, your opponent senses the D’arce coming and you are unable to shoot your arm as deep – you are only able to shoot your D’arce wrist deep.
Instead of grabbing your left bicep with the right hand, use your left triceps to push on the back of your opponent’s head and grab your forearm with your fingers.
Compress by bringing your elbows towards your chest to finish the choke. It may take longer than the standard D’arce to get the tap.
Bullfight to Back Take and Rear Naked Choke
If your opponent turns away instead of attempting to wrestle up, they expose themselves to the back take.
To perform the Bullfight to back take to RNC:
Perform the Bullfight pass using hands-on-shins.
As you re-direct your opponent’s reaction, your opponent turns away and attempts to scramble out without turning back in – in this instance, there is more space after your throw their legs to the side.
Chase your opponent and follow until you can establish the seatbelt control.
Use the gap under your opponent’s hip to stick your bottom hook in. Place your top foot on your opponent’s top thigh.
With your top hand, grab your opponent’s same side forearm to start fighting for hand control.
With your bottom hand, begin shooting your forearm under your opponent’s chin to set up the rear naked choke.
At this point, place your top hook in your opponent’s hip to get your second hook. Your opponent now must address the choke and the hook.
If your opponent focuses on defending the hook entry, then attack the choke.
If your opponent focuses on defending the choke, get your top hook in to secure the full back take.
Depending on the hand fighting dynamic, you may be able to trap your opponent’s top hand with your top leg.
Slide one hand over the other as you lock up the rear naked choke. Avoid straightening out your top arm to prevent your opponent from gripping that arm to defend the choke.
Bullfight to Stack Pass to Rear Naked Choke
When your opponent Granby rolls back into you to recover guard, your best bet is to fall into a double-under pass and progress from there.
To perform a Bullfight to stack pass to rear naked choke:
Perform the Bullfight pass with double shin cups.
To defend, your opponent raises their hips and goes up on their shoulder to roll back towards you.
Follow your opponent’s hips to catch a double-underhook stack on your opponent’s hips as they whip their leg back around to recover after your initial Bullfight pass attempt.
Secure a double underhook position by dropping your chest below their hip.
Clasp your hands together and drive your opponent all the way over until you flip them to their knees.
Immediately shoot your right knee into their right hip pocket to begin the back take.
Unlock your hands and re-grip with a crotch lift grip.
Place your left foot between your opponent’s legs behind their hips and torque their right leg outward to break down their base.
Pull your opponent back with your crotch lift grip.
As you roll back keep your opponent’s hips on your torso.
Stick your right leg all the way through your opponent’s legs and figure-4 your right ankle with your left leg.
Extend your figure-4 to expose your opponent’s back.
Get a two-on-one grip on your opponent’s left arm.
Stomp your feet together and extend your opponent’s leg again.
Using your two-on-one control, trap your opponent’s left arm with your left leg as you complete the back take.
Slide your bottom arm under your opponent’s chin to complete the choke.
Guard Passing to Submissions is The Ultimate Goal
Regardless of your preference for playing guard or passing, a strong top game is key for success in grappling exchanges.
An opponent who fears your passing and top submissions will be at an automatic disadvantage.
Jordan is a 10th Planet Purple Belt, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and personal trainer. When not on the mats or at the gym, he writes about all things BJJ and fitness and aggressively stretches and foam rolls on the living room floor.