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Body Lock Pass

    In the vast world of Jiu-Jitsu, there exist myriad techniques designed to navigate the complexities of ground combat. Among these, the body lock pass stands out as a fundamental yet highly effective method for controlling and advancing position. Whether in the gi or no-gi, mastering this technique can significantly enhance your arsenal and elevate your game. In this guide, we delve into the general principles of the body lock pass, exploring a few applications, important concepts, and some variations. Having been heavily used ADCC and IBJJF events, this is a pass you want to understand.

    Understanding the Body Lock Pass:

    At its core, the body lock pass involves securing control over your opponent’s torso, thereby immobilizing their movement and facilitating the transition to a dominant position. This technique capitalizes on leverage and pressure to overcome resistance (isn’t that BJJ?), making it a staple in both gi and no-gi grappling scenarios.

    The No-Gi Body Lock Pass:

    In no-gi grappling, where grips are limited, practitioners (even black belts) must rely on different strategies to execute the body lock pass effectively. Without the aid of lapels or sleeves, controlling the opponent’s upper body becomes more challenging. However, by utilizing underhooks, head control, and body positioning, practitioners can still secure a tight body lock to initiate the pass.

    To begin the no-gi body lock pass, focus on establishing underhooks or head control to disrupt your opponent’s posture and create openings for the pass. Once you’ve secured a solid connection to their upper body, transition smoothly into the body lock position, wrapping your arms around their torso and cinching tight. From there, utilize hip movement and forward pressure to drive through their guard and establish a dominant position.

    No-Gi Body Lock Video Instructional:

    Gordon Ryan demonstrates the body lock pass on Bernardo Faria
    Lachlan Giles shows the perfect body lock pass

    The Gi Body Lock Pass:

    In gi Jiu-Jitsu, the presence of the kimono introduces unique grips and grips that every bjj student can utilize to execute the body lock pass with precision. Gripping the lapels or sleeves, the practitioner maneuvers into position, securing a tight body lock to neutralize their opponent’s defenses. With strategic footwork and hip movement, they then initiate the pass, driving forward to establish control and secure the desired position, such as side control or mount.

    To execute the GI body lock pass effectively, it’s crucial to establish a strong grip on the lapels or sleeves. This grip not only provides control over your opponent’s upper body but also prevents them from framing or creating distance. As you secure the body lock, focus on maintaining good posture and distributing your weight evenly to generate maximum pressure. This guard pass can be used from open and half guard.

    Key Principles and Variations:

    Regardless of the grappling environment, several key principles underpin the success of the body lock pass. Maintaining proper posture, timing, and pressure are essential elements that dictate the efficacy of the technique. Additionally, understanding variations and counters is crucial for adapting to different situations and opponents. Variations such as the knee cut pass or the leg weave pass offer alternative pathways to bypassing the guard and advancing position.


    In conclusion, the body lock pass represents a foundational yet versatile technique in the arsenal of any Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Whether clad in the traditional gi or embracing the dynamic nature of no-gi grappling, mastering this technique can unlock new avenues for success on the mats. By studying its principles, practicing its execution, and exploring its variations, you can elevate your game and navigate the complexities of ground combat with confidence and proficiency.

    Recommended study:
    The Body Lock Pass By Lachlan Giles
    Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro

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