Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre/MyGym), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 17/12/2014
There are three main ways of opening the guard. The most reliable is standing up, bringing gravity to bear on them, though this has the disadvantage of leaving you more vulnerable to sweeps. The most risky is baiting a submission to get them to open, as that obviously puts you in danger of getting caught if you're not careful. Finally, you can open the guard from the knees, which has the advantage of using less energy and leaving you with good base, but it does keep you in the 'submission zone'.
That last one is what I wanted to cover today. The basic method of opening from the knees starts by setting up your grips, grabbing both collars with one hand, by their chest, your other hand by their hip. Dónal has a handy tip about twisting up those two collars, rolling them over each other so that there is no slack when you grip, though that may sometimes be tough to secure.
Also try to jam your palm or fist into their sternum to lock it in place. Regarding your hand on the hip, measure your gripping position by bringing your elbow back to their knee. Once your elbow gets to their knee, grab whatever trouser material is then under your hand, pressing your weight through that hand into the mat to try and pin their hips.
From there, get your knee underneath their butt cheek, meaning they are slightly raised up onto your leg. Your other knee slides out to the side, so you're now making a right angle with your two knees. Still keeping your back curved, slowly wriggle backwards, shifting your sideways knee back and continuing to wriggle until you can pop open their ankles. As soon as you do, immediately shove their leg to the mat with your elbow and/or hand, then begin your pass.
Saulo's version, as per that earlier picture, has the knee off to the side with the leg stretched out, using a sort of dip rather than relying on scooting back. As ever in jiu jitsu, there are numerous variations: you can reach your destination following a multitude of paths.
Once you've popped their legs open, shove their leg to the floor. Immediately as their leg hits the mat, trap their lower leg with your same side shin by sliding it over, driving your knee into their same side hip. Hook your instep around their leg near the crook of their knee. Also shift the foot of your non-sliding leg closer to your bum, so they can't hook it.
The hand which was pushing on the knee now goes to wrap under their head, looking to get your shoulder next to their jaw. I'd suggest switching the other hand (which was gripping on their sleeve/collar/wrist) to behind their leg to stop them bridging and rolling you during the pass attempt. You could also try blocking their near hip with that hand, though that isn't an option I normally use. This also puts you in a powerful guard position, should you need to switch mid-pass if they resist your initial passing attempt.
To finish, swing your non-sliding leg all the way over, so your back is pointing at their head, in a sort of reverse scarf hold: you're sat next to them, facing their legs, sole of your non-sliding leg foot on the floor. You should still have their leg trapped at this point with your hooking foot. Finally, switch your hips, sliding that hooking leg under the back step leg, settling into side control.
Teaching Notes: Last time I taught this in conjunction with the single underhook pass, using the leg pin pass in combination with a standing break. I'm still not certain what the best combination is, though I think the leg pin works well with both. I'll do the standing break on Monday, perhaps combining it with either the knee cut or the bullfighter. Although the bullfighter is more of an open guard pass. I could try the single underhook pass with a standing break? Something to play with.
Depends who shows up: if a lot of people from tonight are there on Monday, then they could practice the leg pin some more, or I could just show the single underhook from a scenario where the guard has just been popped. Choices choices. Lots of xmas fun coming up, as there are still another two SPECIAL XMAS CLASSES! Hooray! Then lots of open mats between now and 2015. Hopefully see you there! ;)