Best Guard Passers: Guilherme Mendes

March 6, 2013
4 minutes read

For a smaller competitor, Guilherme Mendes is a beast with his guard passes

Over the past few years, the Mendes brothers, Rafael and Guilherme Mendes, have earned a lot of recognition in the BJJ world for their skills on the mat.

Most people know them for their berimbolos, sweeps, and their guards in general. However, people sometimes forget how good both of these brothers are at passing the guard. Particularly Guilherme.

In the lighter weight classes, we tend to see more sweeps and less consolidated positions such as side control, north south, and mount. In the case of Guilherme Mendes, he definitely fits into this category, but also has a very solid guard passing game as well, which is hard to find in the light feather and featherweight divisions.

For example, let’s take a look at this match between Guilherme Mendes and Barret Yoshida.

Guilherme really shows off his guard passing skills in this match, and also shows us that he can get to heavy consolidated positions such as north south. Check out the match:

This is a great match for many reasons.

For one, we don’t often get to see a smaller competitor hit such controlling pressure passes like Guilherme does in this match.

Secondly, he ends up passing the guard multiple times with strong pressure passes, which is  very impressive to say the least.

I personally enjoy this match because it’s not your typical featherweight match, and Guilherme shows outstanding control the entire time. Bravo Guilherme!


Another match that we can look at is Guilherme’s match against Henrique Rezende from the 2012 IBJJF Pan Ams. This match is a very dominant one for Guilherme, as he quickly passes the guard right into an armbar within the first minute of the match.

Here it is:

Guilherme starts of with a nice knee cut pass to the right side.

As he pulls his knee through the guard of Rezende, he takes his right leg and swings it over Rezende’s head, rotates his body, and passes the guard right into an armbar. The best passes are ones that lead right into submissions, and Guilherme shows us that in this match.

Rezende is able to recover guard, transitioning to a one legged X guard. Even though Guilherme has just ended up back in the guard, he hits a beautiful backstep pass and then spins to the back of Rezende. This is by far one of the slickest guard passes and transitions throughout the whole match.

Rezende continues to defend the backmount as much as he can and pulls Guilherme into a modified half guard position, but Guilherme keeps the pressure on him and attempts a knee cut pass to the left side.

When this doesn’t work for him, he switches his weight to the other side and transitions to an awesome leg drag pass that leaves Rezende is a very uncomfortable side control.

Eventually, Guilherme wins by a collar choke from the back mount (which you will see when you watch the entire match).


Overall, Guilherme Mendes’ guard passing game is extremely strong for a guy of his size. Out of many of the smaller grapplers competing these days, he is definitely one of the best guard passers. Period.

Hope you enjoyed!

Daniel Faggella
Daniel Faggella

Coach Daniel is the founder and head publisher at Science of Skill, LLC. A martial arts black belt and self defense instructor, Dan has spent years training with and interviewing some of the world's best self protection experts. His passion lies in encouraging others to train smart and to improve the skills that make them safer and stronger.

417 posts

Leave a Reply

WordPress Lightbox