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The Tozi or Sao Paulo Guard Pass

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Gordon Ryan Guard Passing Instructional

The Tozi Guard Pass, often referred as the Sao Paulo Guard Pass, or in Portuguese: Passagem Paulista; is a grappling technique created by former Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Pan American champion Roberto Tozi in the mid 2000s. Although often labelled as a strong man’s position, associated with a stronger and slower/heavy ‘base’ style of fighting, this became a highly effective and safe way to pass the closed guard or to transition to a half guard control with shoulder pressure, used by many high level competitors of the sport.

A Brief History of the Tozi Guard Pass in Jiu Jitsu

The Tozi Guard Pass is commonly called Sao Paulo pass because the creator of the position competed for the state of Sao Paulo (Brazil), being also part of a strong Sao Paulo academy (Godoi Jiu Jitsu).

The position was created by Roberto Tozi as a consequence of the 2003 world championship super-heavyweight final, where Tozi lost to Erik Wanderley by a referee decision. At the time, Roberto spent most of the fight trapped inside Wanderley’s closed guard, being overhooked on his right arm by the Gracie Barra competitor, finding it impossible to posture or advance from that situation.

Tozi was incredibly frustrated by the situation, particularly because it cost him a world title. When he got back to the gym he started working intensively from that same specific situation, trying his hardest to figure out a way to overcome the closed guard. With a tremendous amount of mat time he finally found a solution that matched his style, and the Tozi Pass was created.

He tested it in competition several times successfully and it became a trademark of his game, later being adopted by others, who have since adapted it to pass other guards such Roger Gracie who often utilized the same form to fend off guards such as the Butterfly Guard and the Z-guard.

Notable Tozi Guard Pass Competitors

The Tozi Pass/Sao Paulo Guard Pass on Video

Alexander Trans vs Rodrigo Cavaca

Leonardo Nogueira vs Lucio ‘Lagarto’

Bernardo Faria BJJ Foundations

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