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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

22 February 2016

22/02/2016 - Teaching | Half Guard | Knee Shield Staple Pass

Teaching #466
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 22/02/2016

A photo posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on


First off, if their knee shield is high on your chest, it will be more difficult to push down. You can try shoving it down with your hands, but that not only exposes you to potential attack, it gives them a chance to move away and you might lose your passing opportunity. Try to use your bodyweight if possible. You then need to make sure they can't move their hips: in today's pass, I wanted to show how you can accomplish that by pinning either their lower or upper leg. You also want to block their upper body, in order to pin them in place. Finally, you need to get used to sliding over and past their upper leg while still maintaining maximum downwards pressure.

My preference is what Jason Scully calls the staple pass. To control their upper body, Scully puts his head down onto the mat by their armpit. His far arm has the elbow close to the mat, which is similar to Saulo's version that I've taught before, although Scully notes you can reach for an underhook. Also like Saulo, he takes hold of the lower knee with his hand to stop them moving: this accomplishes a similar result to what Dónal does, driving his knee across into their hip.

The 'staple' part is a little different. Similar to how you can circle back with your leg to add a brace for the half guard pressure pass, to beat the knee shield you can rotate your lower leg back to brace against the lower part of their bottom leg, in order to hold it in place. Cut your other knee across, basing the bracing leg out and stepping it forward. From here, it is possible to continue through and pass like Saulo.

However, Scully's version involves a change of direction. Shift your grip to their top knee, clamping that to the mat. Use that, your other arm and your head for base, then hop your legs over to the other side, establishing side control. It is much the same motion as in Kev's xmas guard passing drills a few years ago.
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Teaching Notes: People were often forgetting to staple with their leg (as I've also forgotten in the past) as well as not holding the knee all the way through. That meant when they tried to pass, they were put right back in guard. I'll keep on emphasising stapling the leg and keeping hold of the knee, as well as really squashing your weight down.

The mini-knee cut Scully does feels like it may not always be necessary, but I'll keep playing with that. Another thing I need to remember to show is that if they try to switch back to standard half guard, you want to be ready with the knee cut.

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