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Bloody Elbow Review: Rafael Lovato Jr - Pressure Passing 2.0

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Rafael Lovato Jr has put out a follow up to his Pressure Passing DVDs, updated to account for the explosion of inverted guard games and adjustments he has made in his personal game.

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Rafael Lovato Jr recently released a new instructional in his Pressure Passing series. Lovato, the best American competitor in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, is one of the most technical passers in all of grappling. I currently train at an academy with a black belt who is a big fan of Lovato's instructional materials and when he started raving about the Pressure Pass 2.0, I contacted the makers about a review as I reviewed the Guard Mastery DVDs a year ago.

So let me start off by saying, I'm a big fan of all of Lovato's material. I have pretty much all of his videos at this point and am a member of his Science of the Game website, which features all sorts of bonus videos and I'm on there all the time going over the technique I want to hit in class that night. They have recently redone the whole site to make it much easier to navigate, and you once you are a member of the site, you get DRM-free downloads of the videos so you can put them on mobile devices to take to the gym. I play a very similar game to Lovato, so it is all fantastic for me.

Currently you can buy Pressure Passing 2.0 DVDs on their own, you can buy a digital download of the entire Pressure Passing series, or buy the entire series on DVD.

What will I learn?

This set of videos is pretty focused as an update to the original Pressure Passing DVD. The guard game in Jiu Jitsu has changed quite a bit since the original DVD set game came out in 2012. There is an increased use of the inverted guards, the reverse de la riva, and specific counters developed to stop the passing system that Lovato's and Xande Ribiero's use. He goes over some basic grip changes he made to specifically counter grapplers looking to play an inverted game. He then goes back through some of the foundational passes of the system with the different grips and a few new details for each. He goes over a new pass he is uses dubbed "the shotgun," which I've started working and is a variation of the long step or butt-flop pass, and a few specific passes for inverted guard players.

To me what get's the Pressure Pass DVDs to pass the YouTube test is a point that hit me talking to a few training partners of mine in the gym the other day while working some of the passes. We really like the way it is presented because everything comes from getting to the position Xande and Lovato call "the headquarters". All the passes come from specific situations once you will see on your way to the headquarters or once you are in the position. The passes are reactions to the opponent, so you really are learning a systematic way to approach passing rather than just learning several individual passes that don't quite fit together.

Who is this instructional best for?

The Pressure Passing 2.0 is a decent stand alone but it is best used as an addendum to the original Pressure Passing set. It is an excellent resource for any belt level; it provides a good introduction to more modern, standing passing for white belts and new blue belts. For colored belts, there are plenty of details for dealing with higher level guards to make them happy. And my own black belt instructor will use it to set his Advanced Class drilling for a month or two, as he goes through Lovato's approach to passing.

Final Thoughts

So you can go here to see a video from the instructional and you can see the price. Currently the DVD of Pressure Passing 2.0 is around $60. You can get the entire Pressure Passing Series, the first Pressure Passing, the No Gi Pressure Passing, and the Pressure Passing 2.0, for digital down load for $99; or the entire series on DVD for $199.

For my money, the digital download of the full series is hands down the best deal there, I currently have all three and they get a lot of use. I, personally, am just a much bigger fan of digital versions of instructional because I can take them on the mats with me easier and re-watch while I drilling it to see specifically what I'm doing wrong.

If you are a BJJ junkie and always looking for that next edge, Pressure Passing 2.0 is well worth your time. It is short, focused, and both reviews solid technique while giving you enough to chew on that your game will grow. I've been having a lot of success with it and already.

For more MMA and Grappling analysis, technique, and  MMA Prospect talk be sure to follow T.P. Grant on Twitter or Facebook.