Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 21/08/2015
If you find that you keep getting stuck in the lockdown, don't worry: there is a simple method for working back to a standard half guard. First off, you can avoid the situation by making sure your lower leg is curled back. That will put it out of reach for the purposes of a lockdown. You can also just bring your foot close to their bum. If it is too late for that, grab their hips and shift downwards. Keep shifting backwards until you can circle your leg out of their lockdown, then move back up. Again, make sure your leg is curled out of reach, or they'll be able to put you right back in the lockdown. You can potentially pass after scooting down too, underhooking their leg and kicking free, but be careful, there is a triangle risk if you're not paying attention.
Alternatively, Ed Beneville includes this lockdown pass in Passing the Guard. Move down and put your head on their hip, trapped leg side. Move you free leg back, driving your hips down. Reach under their upper legs, then lock your arms together. When you've taken out all the slack in their lockdown, put your head on the other side. Shift your chest down, then kick back with your trapped leg (or simply straighten it, depending on how much purchase they still have on your leg). Pass from there by moving around, making sure to keep their hips locked to the mat, driving your shoulder into them.
Then there is Christian Graugart's option. When he's caught in the lockdown, he lifts his leg in the air, then puts the heel of his other leg against their bottom heel. That enables him to remove his trapped leg, quickly curling it back to avoid getting stuck in the lockdown again. Kurt Osiander and Xande Ribeiro both use a comparable tactic, lifting their heel towards their bum, then uncurling the leg.
Finally, here is yet another option, from Rener Gracie. That's the one I went with tonight. When you're caught in the lockdown, sprawl to take out the slack in their grip, then swing your trapped leg towards your other leg. Hook behind their nearest knee with the instep of your free foot. Press their knee to the mat. This should give you the room to bring your trapped leg towards the other side, then simply drive the trapped knee through, moving directly into a knee cut pass.
Teaching & Sparring Notes: There are many different ways to deal with the lockdown, so I had to think which one to show. My usual approach is to scoot down to their hips, hook inside their leg, then use the leverage of that hook combined with pressing my leg back to pop the lockdown open (I'm pretty sure I first saw that in a Stephan Kesting video, but I couldn't seem to find it when I looked). However, I decided that I'd go with Rener's technique, as that can be done while you still have a cross-face and underhook, so feels more secure.
Most people got it ok, although a few were confused by the lockdown itself, along with the mechanics of this pass. The John Will method helped, along with giving specific tips during drilling. By the end of class and the second John Will review, everybody had it down. Not that this necessarily translated to sparring. I made a point of asking Rafal, as he uses the lockdown a lot, but he didn't find a lot of people passing with it. Then again, he's also more experienced than most of the people in class, which would have an impact too. Admittedly, when I sparred Rafal I didn't use it either, I reverted back to my usual underhook the leg method. ;)
I was pleased to get the papercutter choke from side control in free sparring later, though I'm not sure how tight my grips were. Quite often people will let me get to north south, where that choke comes into play nicely. I want to keep on trying it, making sure I also shift into the follow-ups (near side armbar, north-south kimura and far side armbar). I also kept attempting the Jeff Rockwell collar tie guard recovery off a guard pass, something else I'm really keen to add into my game. I need to drill his north south escape too. After that, the big thing I still want to improve is back escapes.