Guard passing strategy

What is your favorite guard passing strategy for no gi grappling and/or vale tudo? How is your strategy different without the gi and why?

If the guy has a good closed guard I try to get posture and stand up.  I then put my elbow on his thigh and try to shake his guard open.  Once he opens I go back to my knees and try to shoot both arms under his legs.  I then try to raise his hips and pass.  If he counters with the heavy leg I will usually push one leg down then trap it with my shin and pass.  My passes don’t really change that much from go to no gi.  Then only major difference is with a gi I will grab the pants at the knees.  No-gi I try to control the ankle or shins. 

double underhooks under the legs works best for me, if your doing vale tudo , a key point is always keep your head looking away from the strikes!!!! lol, no but really, that is a good pass either way. eric

I guess I pass like this (and I'm working on getting way better at passing than I am):

  1. I'm very often threatening with a knee slide through pass. I try to get my knee over a leg and put the weight of my knee and my body on the mat. Then I try to get chest to chest contact to really smother him and twist my hips from side to side to get rid of his pushing arm.

  2. If that fails, I look to get a leg on my shoulder. So far, I don't like to put both legs on my shoulders that much. If I can get a leg on my shoulder I try to grab his neck or shoulder and pass to either side of his leg. One of these ways involves sliding my shin over his thigh.

  3. If he pushes my shoulder away with the back of his knee, so I can't grab his neck or shoulder, I go right in the reverse scarf hold variation in which I don't control his arms and then I'll work my way higher, towards his head for a more secure pin.

  4. If he doesn't allow me to put his leg on my shoulder I try to get my knee past his knee, so that his knee is touching my stomach and his foot is pointing inwards (seen from him). Often, to do this, I grab his foot with my far hand, going around his other leg. Once I'm half way past his leg like that, I do my "back step" into the reverse scarf hold position, just like in number 3.

  5. If he tries to scissor sweep me, I overhook his top leg and grab his other thigh with the same arm, sprawl, crush his legs and try to grab his head, pulling in.

Any comments would be nice. This has been my general strategy to pass the guard so far. I'm leaving out how I pass more complex guards, as that would take so much time for me to write.

My primary strategy is hip isolation. Either I crowd the hips and pin them to the mat and try to isolate one side of the body, or I back out and grab the legs at the knees. If I control his legs correctly, his hip movement is limited, allowing me to get an angle and attack (usually leading with my shoulder.) The passes I use vary, but nothing works if the guy can move his hips, so everything starts there. Hope this helps.

-Dan