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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

02 June 2017

02/06/2017 - Teaching | Open Guard | Bullfighter Pass (Pin the Legs)

Teaching #669
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 02/06/2017

To pass the open guard, it is advisable to grip on the inside of both their knees for control (though not everyone would agree on that: others suggest gripping lower on the trousers by their shin, knuckles facing forward, or even at the bottom of the trousers). The main danger is that they will try to loop their leg over your arm, which you can mitigate by gripping a little lower than the knee. If their legs are raised, twist your elbows in, so that your forearms are parallel to their lower legs. Be sure to keep your elbows inside their knees: if they do manage to loop an arm, you may need to release and then re-grip back inside their knee.

That means you can then start to move their legs in several directions. There are many variations of the bullfighter pass (also called the toreador, toreana, toreada, toreando and matador, among other names. Google tells me the Portuguese for bullfighter is in fact 'toureiro'), but I think the simplest is to step back when you have that grip, so that the soles of their feet press into the floor. Straighten your arms and lean through them, so that all your weight is punching downwards towards the mat.

The aim is to prevent them being able to move their legs, so that you can now walk around before they are able to recover. Keep your base wide, plenty of space between your feet. As soon as you get past their knees, turn slightly and drop your leading shoulder into their hip. Stay on your toes all the way through: if you go to your knees, that immediately reduces the pressure on your opponent.

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After you make contact with your shoulder, maintain at least one grip on their leg, as otherwise they may be able to start to recover by getting a leg in the way. Bring the knee nearest to their legs into their hip, then release one grip in order to bring an elbow around their far hip. It's important that you restrict their ability to move their hips, as otherwise they will start trying to shrimp away from you. From there, you can establish side control, or potentially move through into mount.

Teaching Notes: This is a very basic pass, so I could add in some extras. That might be variations, but the main thing to talk about next time would be moving side to side, faking them out. There's various other stuff like blocking their knee with yours, pinning both of their knees to the ground, and so on. I added in a drill for dropping the shoulder again, which I think helps, just moving around your hands, before then trying it on a person too. I should emphasise bringing the knee in too, along with broadening your base. A few people were dropping a bit far forward and forgetting about the leg position.

So, before I teach this next time, think about some of the different options you've taught before. The way I teach this pass makes it into a slower movement, which fits with my comfort zone of slow, steady pressure passing. However, it fits into the mobile style of passing a lot better, so that's what I should be thinking about next time. The side to side thing would help with that, maybe more of an x pass type thing?

The other problem is grips, as this can bash up your fingers. Hopefully my fingers will be in better shape by the time I come to teach this one again.

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