Mastering J-Point Camping To Improve Your Guard Passes

There are different ways and styles to pass the opponent’s guard in BJJ. While it takes time to get used to, creating a series of attacks (or better yet, creating a passing system) will drastically increase your chance of passing the guard. It answers every possibility the opponent reacts as you force and set them up in different positions. In this article, we will talk about mastering and getting to the J-point camping position to improve your guard passing exponentially.


The Passing Trilemma – Toreando, High Step, and J-Point

A term popularized by Gordon Ryan, the J-Point (short for Jeopardy point) is where your opponent is in jeopardy of having their guard passed. This comes when you step past the opponent’s hip line (assuming they are playing guard from the supinated position). Getting past the opponent’s hip line opens up many passing opportunities, forcing a big reaction to recover their guard. Getting to the J-Point and camping is a great way to exhaust your opponents while holding on to it as you take time setting up the pass. Getting to the J-Point is challenging, especially when dealing with advanced guard players who are good with leg locks. Usually, to get to this position, Gordon Ryan suggested a combination of the torreando and high-step passing.

The torreando pass is the initial step towards reaching the J-Point camping position. To execute this, the guard passer must first attempt to pass the guard and move to the side. This allows the guard passer to transition to the J-Point camping position by posting their far hand and elbow on the opponent’s far hip, and their near hand on the opponent’s near knee. The head should be posted near the opponent’s far shoulder while standing on your toes. A common mistake is placing the head near the opponent’s far hip, which allows the opponent to pummel their far leg and go for a lasso hook. Camping at the J-Point forces the opponent to carry your weight for extended periods while you conserve your energy. The opponent’s only option from this position is to play hand fighting to stop your near hand from pushing their knee (bottom knee) away. The opponent’s body will be at full crunch the whole time, and if their far knee isn’t being pulled to their chest at any point, they will have their guard passed.

Even if the opponent has removed your near hand from posting on their knee, you can still hold the position for an extended time while posting your head on their far shoulder and your far hand on their hip. The challenge is getting to the camping position, as dealing with a good opponent can be difficult. When you can’t get past the side using the torreando because the opponent would extend their legs and make it hard with wide knees, you can stuff their bottom leg by pushing it down while grabbing by their ankle.

Next is to step your near foot beside their hip and your other leg beside their hamstring to trap the opponent’s bottom leg, making you perpendicular to them. Remember that if the opponent’s knees can reach their chest, it is difficult to expose their hip, making it hard to step beside their near hip as they hand fight. Combining the two passes, if the opponent’s knees are near to their chest, preventing you from stepping beside their near hip, you can again attack with the torreando.

If the opponent extends their bottom leg to post on your near hip, it’s difficult to pass with the torreando, but it’s easier to step beside their near hip because their knee is coming away from their chest. Trapping the opponent’s bottom leg allows you to apply a temporary closed wedge. From here, you can use your far hand to apply a V-grip on the opponent’s far ankle and post on their far shoulder with their near hand. While this position looks unstable, if the opponent moves around from here, they will only have a few seconds to think of an escape, and you can high step back with your far leg while keeping your near leg beside their hip.

Now, you are in a position past the J-Point and can go to passing, or when the opponent goes to recover and bring their knees back inside, you can go back to the J-Point camping position when you post with your far hand on the opponent’s far hip, your head planted near their far shoulder/chest, and your near hand posted on their bottom knee. Using the high-step passing combined with the torreando, you will create a dilemma to get past the opponent’s initial line of defense – getting past through their legs to get to the J-Point, which means getting past their hip line and camp from there.

In a worst-case scenario, given that you are at the J-Point camping position and the opponent desperately uses their bottom leg to entrap your far leg by hooking it and forcing a half guard, you can go directly on top to close the distance. Do so by moving your near knee right beside the opponent’s near hip as you drop your weight on their upper body chest-to-chest while getting the far side underhook to trap their head and arm, thus forcing the half-guard passing scenario – right in the position where you wanted the opponent to be the whole time. Gordon Ryan creates this trilemma of the torreando pass, high-stepping, and J-Point camping, where you pass or force the half-guard and start passing from there.

All of this can be made easy by a series of feints to make the opponent believe you are passing in one direction while applying tension to their legs. The tension running through the opponent’s legs makes it easier to manipulate the opponent’s legs and predict where their body will be. The feints create tension through their legs, like by grabbing both their ankles and feinting to throw them to one side, forcing their body to follow, making the opponent react and create tension by flexing. Feinting allows you to create an angle to get past their hip line and enter the J-Point.



Understanding how you approach every aspect of your game by creating a system is essential in taking your game to the next level. Mastering the J-Point camping position opens you up to different possibilities that allow you to connect many passing options. Drill it many times and see how it fits in your passing arsenal.


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