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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

15 July 2015

15/07/2015 - Teaching | Open Guard | Bullfighter (Push/Pull Variation)

Teaching #356
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 15/07/2015

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 the 'pin the legs' 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.

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Teaching & Sparring Notes: Very cool to see a whole bunch of new people, though as they didn't have a gi yet, this pass a little harder for them. So, with them in mind, I went through pin the legs variation in the warm up, then in drilling showed the shove legs in and step to side option. People were getting confused by Saulo's approach that I normally teach, where you push out the far leg and pull their near leg across your body. I might just show the push in, then push legs to then side when they push back option next time, if lots of beginners? Nice and easy to add to the warm up as well.


In sparring, I was going for koala guard rather than shin on shin. It's a bit easier to get to. If they're backing off, ankle pick is a great combo. But a few times, they drove in so I had to adjust: I need to transition more smoothly between sitting, koala guard and butterfly. Used butterfly with Ross, looking for arm crush and shoulder clamp again, but not enough angle. It's harder to get that angle when your feet are underneath them, so you can't swivel like in closed. I'll have to think about butterfly more. I did get the standard butterfly sweep, but had to keep hopping: sweep to underhook side.

I got a single leg from koala guard with Rafal, making sure I was protecting my head better this time by jamming it close to the leg: he's been going for guillotines, so that blocked it. With Chris in free sparring, I let him control the distance too much, he had good base. Legs too far back for me to wrap, his arms were controlling me well too. Chris suggested I could have stayed further back, as I was having success with that: until he mentioned it, I had forgotten I landed the ankle pick earlier.

My main concern though I that I use a lot more energy sparring with Chris, need to watch that. He's stronger and fitter, but still, I shouldn't use that much energy when sparring. Ross is fit and strong too, though then again he doesn't have the experience (yet!) to put me under as much pressure as Chris. Good spar. :)

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