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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

06 March 2013

06/03/2013 - Private: From Knee Cut to Leg Squash Pass

Class #491 - Private #005
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 06/03/2013

Back to the knee cut, starting off with a review of what we learned last time as usual. Due to the switch to a v-grip on the ankle, I kept forgetting to drive into the leg and grab the collar, as I was thinking too much about the ankle positioning. Remember that if you do go for pushing the ankle, Dónal advised that you don't want to push it too far across, as then it becomes geared towards one pass rather than leaving your options open. He therefore suggesting pushing it under the middle of the thigh.

The main point of today's lesson was to add in another pass I can switch to if the knee cut is blocked. I'm sure it has a name, but I'm going to call it the leg squash pass, for reasons which will become clear. You've gone for the knee cut and started to slide over their leg, but they've prevented you moving forwards, perhaps by framing with their arms.

Grab the knee of the leg you're trying to slide across (Dónal prefers to cup under the knee, but you can also grab the trouser material: the problem is that may move and give them room to adjust enough to establish spider guard or something like that). Lift and move it across to the opposite side. To do that effectively, you'll need to turn your non-knee sliding foot so that the toes are pointing in the direction you want to move. Bend the knee and shift in that direction.

As you slide across, you're going to break what is normally a cardinal rule of BJJ: putting your hands on the mat. This is for base, with one by their same side armpit, while your remaining hand posts on the other side. The intention is to end up sprawled on top of their legs. More specifically, your groin is by the back of their knees, ideally with the point of your hip pressing into the middle of their thigh. Although it feels counter-intuitive, don't go up on your toes. Sink your weight through your hips into their legs, with your own legs draped on either side.

Almost certainly they are going to move, especially if you're being mean and digging the point of your hip into the 'dead leg' point of their thigh. Once they do, backstep and pass around the other side. This feeds smoothly into mount, pulling their knees towards you and wrapping your leg behind their knees. If you like, you can also lock your legs as you wrap them, making the transition to mount particularly secure.

If they don't move, then you could bring your lower leg back to hold their legs in place as you backstep. That has the disadvantage of slightly easing off the pressure, so Dónal suggests simply swinging that backstepping leg up, which keeps the weight through the point of your hip.

You don't have to do that off a knee cut, of course, you can start with the leg squash. With the same grips as the knee cut, Dónal had a little detail in regards to the elbow of the arm you're using to grab their collar and pull their shoulders off the mat. Bring that elbow over their knee, so you're on the outside. This help you control it, meaning that you can slide across straight from there into the leg squash. As you're not going for the knee cut, you're doing this instead of lifting their knee up off the floor and pulling it across.

From there, I headed straight to Geeza's class.

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