The Miragaia, also known as the over/under stack pass or Barra pass is a grappling position developed in the early 1990s by a former Gracie Barra Academy competitor named Renato Miragaia. Highly used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since then, the Miragaia allows the fighter on top to limit the mobility of the guard player by isolating one of the bottom fighter’s legs in between his own, this combined with a strong grip over the thigh of the guardeiro’s top leg and a constant forward motion (pressure) places the bottom fighter in a precarious position (locked hips) that present a variety of set-ups for the guard passer, who can use the position to pass the guard, force his adversary to give up the back position, tire his opponent or even run the clock down.
The History of the Miragaia Control
The origin of the Miragaia is unknown as it already existed as a natural consequence of grappling, and was often applied by Rolls Gracie, though before Renato Miragaia, the position was more an arbitrary outcome of pressuring a guard player from a top position rather then a deliberately sought out position.
Renato started developing the position around 1993 as a blue belt, together with his instructor Roberto ‘Gordo’ Correa (creator of the half guard). Miragaia was a strong individual with long arms and legs, who enjoyed playing butterfly guard, In fact, many of Gracie Barra’s finest competitors at the time were big fans of the butterfly hooks. Renato’s favorite sweep, known as Joga fora no Lixo (throw it in the trash), often had him landing in the (Miragaia) position. He soon caught on to the potential of this control and started developing several passes from there and even used it as a tactical option to ‘grind’ on his opponents, forcing them to make mistakes due to fatigue, this way imposing his game. The position took a few years to perfect, and by 1997 Renato started reaping the the benefits of his clever thinking when the position helped him conquer a world title at purple belt (and later another one at brown belt).
The success of young Renato soon caught the eye of the more experienced black belts who started adopting the position into their arsenal of techniques. It didn’t take long for the position to become a trend, a trend that persisted through the years, still being one of the most utilized options by grapplers of the highest calibre. One of the keys of the Miragaia control is it’s versatility which allows almost every grappler to adapt it to their favourite grips, passes, or back takes.
Banner photo by Grapple TV
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