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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

15 January 2015

15/01/2015 - Teaching | Open Guard | Bullfighter Pass (Drive Forward Variation)

Teaching #262
Artemis BJJ (PHNX Fitness), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 15/01/2015

Tonight, the focus was driving forwards into them with the bullfighter pass, 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 & Sparring Notes: As it was a small class, we played with various other bits of technique from open guard, such as the tripod and sickle sweep combination. On the sickle sweep, it was more painful than usual, because my drilling partner pressed their whole forearm into my foot as they did a technical stand-up. However, that's not exactly wrong, it just hurts more. Either way, interesting, as I've not seen someone do it that way before. ;)

I still can't spar properly due to that groin injury, which was frustrating, but at least I'm able to spar to a limited extent. I went with the stiff arm from open guard again. Their response was to try and step inside my legs: that helped them close the distance, but if I was less reticent about driving forward for some kind of takedown, it could be risky. That's especially true if they step inside my leg, as then I can hook behind and move into a trip.

At one point he moved around to the back and got a nice choke, finishing off by pushing with the leg. Also, I can definitely feel grip strain in my hand afterwards, so I'm holding on too hard still, exacerbated by the whole week featuring a lot of heavy gripping. In free sparring, I returned to the "hold a kimura no matter what" approach once more. I was tempted to let go after he effectively got my back and I thought he might be able to sneak an arm round for the choke, but forced myself to hold on to it (on reflection, I guess it wouldn't have been that easy for him to finish the choke with one arm, though still possible). I eventually wriggled out and managed to get the submission from underneath side control.

I was holding the kimura with a thumb grip: that started to hurt as the kimura got twisted into all sorts of positions, so there's a clear example of advantages to a thumbless grip. Insisting on that grip meant some strain through the bicep a few times too, though not as much as the general grip fatigue from passing and stiff arming. I need to figure out some less grip intensive options to try when I want to give my fingers a rest. Butterfly is the obvious option if they're low enough in open guard, but I don't have much outside of heavy gripping styles for longer range open guard and passing.

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