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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

09 August 2014

09/08/2014 - Open Mat | Butterfly Guard | Butterfly Pass

Class #586
Artemis BJJ (Impact Gym), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 09/08/2014

I will be focusing on passing butterfly at Bristol Sports Centre next week (I'm repeating the bullfighter pass classes at Impact, but as I taught those quite recently I didn't feel a pressing need to drill that again), so that was going to be my main goal for open mat today. I had to wait a little while until a drilling partner was free, but that's to be expected when it's right after nogi class, as people like to spar some more.

Once I got drilling, it proved very useful. I started off with the butterfly pass I'm most familiar with: I'm not sure of the name, but in the interests of being descriptive, I'll refer to it as the shin trap pass. I first learned this from Kev, a good few years ago now. Start by flattening them out: I'm sure there is a more refined way, but I just pummel for an underhook then drive my head into their chest. You aren't out of danger, as they can use their butterfly hooks to move you back and sit up again, but it gives you some time to work.

After you've driven them flat, wrap around the outside of their leg with your arm, so that their shin is in the crook of your elbow (I think the lower on their shin the better, in my experience). Secure that by gripping the top of their thigh, or their belt/gi if you can reach it. This should prevent them being able to lift your leg with their hook and it also means they can't try and re-hook under your leg as you move around for the pass.

On the side you've just blocked, kick your leg back to remove their hook. Re-insert the knee by their other foot, meaning that you have both of your legs on their other shin. From here, there are quite a few different options: the two most basic I'm aware of are either sprawling back then walking around on your toes, or using your free hand to shove their knee down as you move to side control.

Fortunately for me, there was another purple belt at open mat today, who was very handy to drill with. He does the pass differently, preferring to trap the leg on the side he's passing. I find that makes it trickier to stop them hooking as you kick back to free the hook, but it has the advantage that you totally block the other side. He also likes to use a backstep motion to complete the pass, showing their knee out of the way with his hip. This is also a good option if they've managed to elevate you at all, enabling you to slip over the top.

Another pass he does which I haven't used myself is posting his head on one side, then flinging his legs all the way over the top, with a head stand type action. I'm not sure if that could potentially cause problem for someone with neck or back issues, but I found it easy enough to do. I'll add that in as a drill on Monday.

Finally, I wanted to drill the 'knee forward pass', as Saulo refers to it. I haven't had a lot of success with this personally, as I find that I get stuck on their hooks when I do this. Still, I'd like to teach it, because it gives you a pass when you haven't managed to flatten them out yet. I've learned it from Dónal before, so will check my notes.

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