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Toreando or Toreada Guard Pass
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Toreando or Toreada Guard Pass

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The toureando/toreada guard pass is the name given to a position utilized in Brazilian jiu jitsu and other grappling martial arts/combat sports, from which the top player can establish side control (or sometimes take the back), this way escaping the guard. The grips of the toreada pass are usually done by grabbing with both hands the pants of the opponent – on the inside of the knee area (left hand on right knee and right hand on left knee), these grips are used to put pressure on the legs preventing them from controlling the passer’s movement. The pass can also be performed with one hand on the hip and the other on the knee. With these grips the top grappler will usually pass the legs to one side, while moving to the other, much like a bullfighter movement that is at the source of this position’s name.

The name: Toureando, Toreada and Bullfighter
Toureando (or toreando) is the word for the act of bullfighting in Portuguese in the past perfect tense, more precisely the “jink” motion a bullfighter does to avoid the bull as he rushes in. Toreada, the more common name for the pass is the name for the same motion in the present tense. Bullfighter has been a more recent translation of the Portuguese name as Brazilian jiu jitsu was brought to the USA.

The history of the Toreada Guard Pass

The toreada has been part of jiu jitsu and grappling since it’s early beginnings. There is in fact old footage of Tsunetane Oda, one of the great developers of “newaza” in judo, performing this same guard pass in the early 20th century.

With Brazilian jiu jitsu’s “obsession” with the ground game, and particularly the open guard, the toreada quickly established itself as one of its the preferred guard passes, particularly among the lighter weights.

Jiu jitsu has evolved a great deal as a sport in recent decades, especially after the changes made to the rules during the 1990’s with the creation of the CBJJ – Confederação Brasileira de Jiu Jitsu (covered in the guard article).The 1990s era pushed the heavier competitors to start passing more often from a standing position, using movements such as the toreada to counter the ever evolving open guard game. A perfect example of this was the Roberto “Roleta” Magalhaes match against Fabio Gurgel at the 1996 Brasileiro de Equipes (Brazilian Team Nationals). Roleta was the creator of the “esquijitsu”, a word used to describe Roberto’s flexible and highly unpredictable open guard game meaning “weird jiu jitsu”. In this famous match Gurgel was able to nullify Magalhaes’ novel game and pass one of the toughest guards in the history of the sport, with simple a toreada, a true sign of the symbiosis between the evolutions of guard passing and guard playing in BJJ.

The continuous use of the toreando guard passing set the pace of the future generations, leading to today’s fast paced guard passing style, often called “blitz” (a reference to the Blitzkrieg). This “blitz” is used mixing guard passing attacks from side to side, and it is often associated with the toreando, X guard pass.

Best Toreando Guard Pass Instructionals
Notable Toreando Guard Passers in Jiu Jitsu

Andre Galvao
Guilherme Mendes
Fernando Terere
Leonardo Vieira
Leandro Lo
Rodolfo Vieira

Toreando Guard Passing Videos

Leandro Lo toreada guard pass study by BJJ Scout

Andre Galvao showing the toreada pass

Leandro Lo showing his way of doing the toreada pass

Rodolfo Vieira vs Gilmar Oliveira

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