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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

22 January 2016

22/01/2016 - Teaching | Closed Guard | Standing & Leg Pin Pass

Teaching #454
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 22/01/2016

For the standing guard break, start by shoving their sleeve/wrist into their belt knot/belly button. With your other hand, push into their sternum (as always, be aware this is just one option, there are many other ways of standing in the closed guard). Either way, be careful you aren't tempted to lean forward, or they can grab you and break your posture, preventing your stand. Keep your posture upright and head up.

Swing to your non-sleeve grabbing side, then raise your knee on the sleeve grabbing side, stepping forward with that foot. Once it is up, turn your leg into them, pressing into their hip. That should hopefully provide you with some base, meaning that as you step up the other leg, you can keep it further back, so you have a staggered stance. Standing up with your feet in line makes you very vulnerable to sweeps. You also want a slight bend in your leg, in what Jason Scully calls an 'athletic stance'. That helps your base and also aids mobility.

As you stand, pull up on their sleeve/wrist (if you've lost it, grab their collar, if they are wearing a gi). Make sure you keep your elbow inside their knee: that both makes it harder for them to pull their arm back, as well as protecting you from omoplata attacks and the like. You then want to push their knee off your hip on the other side, stepping back with your leg on the non-sleeve/wrist gripping side to help.

If you're having trouble getting that knee off, try bouncing your hips to open their ankles, like you were struggling to take off a tight pair of jeans. At the same time, splay your hand by the knee you want to shove (Roger Gracie calls this 'making his hand big') in order to help push down. Immediately as their leg hits the mat, you can move into the leg pin pass by trapping 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 stepping leg, settling into side control.

Teaching Notes: Small turnout today, which isn't all that unusual for Friday. Given it's a Friday, turnout varies probably the most. It was packed last week, for example. Hence why I tend to try and save the more complex stuff for Fridays, but that doesn't always work out when I've got a lot to fit in. Next time, I'll try to make sure that I'm showing standing passes on a Monday or Wednesday, to make sure as many people as possible are there. I don't stand all that often myself, because I'm lazy, but it's an important one to know. I've added it to the core drills, along with side control escapes and breaking posture in guard.

Speaking of drills, I've been considering taking out the 'run round the room' stuff. It has the advantage of being immediately understandable to newbies, but I'd rather fill that with more specific jiu jitsu drills, like the rest of the warm up. I think the current side control and guard drills need to be there, possibly something from mount and the back too. Perhaps the technical mount to back control would be good, as that combines them. Could even throw in a back escape, but that would probably be overcomplicating things for a warm-up drill.

In terms of technique tonight, the people there were all experienced, so this wasn't too problematic. Emphasising that you need to step the leg back is important, keeping your elbow inside their knee when you pull up on the sleeve, etc. I'm still not sure about the importance of the leg pin, as ever. The solution would be to do it loads in sparring and see how it works. I've kept it this long because it's one of the first passes I was taught, but if nobody ever uses it, I should probably switch it for something higher percentage. Choice, choices. :)

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