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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

21 June 2016

21/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Passing NoGi (David Morcegao)

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BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), David 'Morcegao' George, Leuven, Belgium, 21/06/2016

I very rarely train nogi, as I don’t like the absence of gi grips. I also find it becomes a lot more based on physical attributes when you take away the gi, exactly the opposite of what I want from my jiu jitsu game. However, I was intrigued by the prospect of learning from David George. I first encountered him on the sadly defunct European Fight Network forum that my old instructor Jude Samuel used to run. When I started BJJ, the EFN was the place the UK BJJ community congregated. That’s where you would hear about competitions, gossip and of course trolling. The notorious david5 was a master of the latter.

Since then, he’s become better known as the UK’s only (I think?) black belt earned directly under the legendary Ricardo de la Riva, as well as the organiser of Roll Models. That was the first competition Artemis BJJ went to as a club and it was a great experience. Well organised, very affordable and supportive of female competitors (they initially could enter for free, then later editions had heavily discounted prices for women). He has also started his own school, Morcegao Jiu Jitsu, as that is now his moniker (including a memorable custom design by Seymour).

A video posted by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on

David focused on passing, with a strong wrestling slant. To begin, you need to get your distancing right. You can’t be too far away, but you also don’t want to be too close, or they may be able to grab your legs and go for a sweep. Crouch low, a little like you’re going to shoot for a takedown. Pick your moment, then grab their feet and drive forward. You want to get their feet right over their head. To do that, you’ll also want to switch your grip, so that you are driving the web of your hand (between your thumb and finger) into their ankles (or sometimes the back of their knees). As their legs go over their head, follow in, driving your hips into the bottom of their back, right below (from your perspective) their bum. Stay upright, stopping them from bringing their legs back down or scooting away from you.

If they are being squirmy, you may want to lock your hands around their hips. If you mess up the motion and can’t get their legs over their head, you can try to pass by swiping one leg in front and towards their hip, sliding to the side. That squashes their legs down, enabling you to slip through into side control. To secure that side control. David’s catchphrase was ‘punch them in the head!’ In other words, whack into the side of their head, relatively high, with your bicep. That makes it very tough for them to turn back towards you.

When you have them in that compromised position, tight to their back with their legs in the air, you can of course pass. David suggested sliding your arm across their neck/jaw to turn their head (depending on how much of a neck they have). Turn, so that you still have one knee up to jam against their back and keep them stacked, sliding the rest of your body around behind your neck/jaw pushing arm. You might be able to choke by leaning into their neck, or complete the pass by crushing through, like you would on a single or double underhook pass.

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