Gracie Jiu Jitsu is a complete fighting art that encompasses myriad techniques, from standing and striking to clinching and throwing to groundwork and submission. Any motivated student is always looking to add effective moves to their arsenal, and after more than a dozen years of training, after endless hours in the gym learning and refining moves, I’ve settled on the single technique that is absolutely imperative to excelling in this art.
In Portuguese, this technique is called passar pela porta, and every top-level player with whom I’ve ever trained, every instructor, every renowned fighter, has it down cold. They do it so often that it makes them all but unstoppable. Master it, and you are certain to reach the pinnacle of your jiu jitsu capability.
Make no mistake, it is definitely the most challenging move there is. The problem with this move is that it can’t be taught. It’s something you have to generate from within. It can’t be forced on you, and there are no shortcuts. At its most effective, passar pela porta is something you have to hit at least twice a week, but dedicated practitioners will often train it two and even three times every day. Of course, they are sure to hit the move at precisely the same times, whether they are fully motivated to train or not. That’s a big catch to making it work. You have to hit it at the same time, every time, regardless of whether or not you’re completely up for it. But even if your heart is not in it 100 percent every time, you always feel better after you’ve hit it. I’ve never heard anyone at any level express regret for having hit passar pela porta.
Another thing about passar pela porta: force yourself to practice it consistently for about three to four months, it soon becomes automatic, implemented with a level of unconscious proficiency that is the hallmark of anyone’s favorite techniques. Within a year or two, you realize you’re hitting it without even thinking about it. In fact, you’re actually engineering your days, weeks, ultimately your entire life, around it.
Passar pela porta is one of those moves that makes every other aspect of your jiu jitsu better. Your guard is more dynamic, sweeps are stronger, position retention more intuitive, and transitions crisp and effortless. It also works for Muay Thai, wrestling, judo, boxing — even kettlebell, functional fitness and CrossFit enthusiasts will attest to its advantages.
Whether you’re new to Gracie Jiu Jitsu, or you’ve been training for decades, dedicate yourself to mastering passar pela porta. It will open the door to true jiu jitsu success.