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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

14 August 2014

14/08/2014 - Teaching | Open Guard | Bullfighter Pass (Variation)

Teaching #184
Artemis BJJ (Impact Gym), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 14/08/2014

I went with what I think is the most simple version of the bullfighter on Monday, but there are lots of variations. Monday's version was about moving backwards and pinning their legs to the mat. Tonight, the focus was driving forwards into them, after you've established your grips inside their knees. That should generate a reaction, as they will kick back. Direct that kick to your side as you step around. Saulo likes to open out their far leg while pulling their near leg across his body. That motion should swivel them in place for an easy pass. Even simpler, as you drive in and they react, fire their legs out to the side as you step around.

Alternatively, if they don't react, you can still pass after having driven their knees towards their chest. Thrust one leg forward, then step back, pulling the other leg with you. Drive that leg into the mat with a straight arm and your body weight, then pass around on that side.

To finish the pass there are two main options. Either you can drop your shoulder into their hip, falling forward like in Monday's version. If the position you're in doesn't lend itself to that, then simply moving into knee on belly may make more sense. Experiment with both: it will depend on the configuration of your body once you pass their legs.


Teaching: This time I didn't add in that low stack pass version of the bullfighter pass from Passing the Guard, as I didn't notice people going really low and getting into the relevant position. In fact, it was generally the opposite, with a number of people getting a bit too high in their posture, ending up bent over and off balance. So, I'll emphasise the crouch Dónal is always at pains to point out (it's also covered well by his 'duck walk' drill, which I think I'll start including in my warm-up selection).

Something else interesting that popped up was in how people completed the pass. Generally you either drop your shoulder as you reach the level of their knees (my preference) or go to knee on belly. One person was going to reverse knee on belly, I think because they were finding it difficult to step all the way through. I don't use it much myself, but it's a great place from which to do a backstep (as per Roy Dean's Black Belt Requirements) and spin all the way through into mount. I showed them the backstep and was pleasantly surprised by how well it seemed to work for them. Cool! :)

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