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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

26 August 2019

26/08/2019 - Teaching | Open Guard | Backstep pass from shin on thigh

Teaching #898
Artemis BJJ (Easton Road), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 26/08/2019

My standard option for engaging with open guard is to drop into a low squat, keeping your feet at the opposite corners of an imaginary square, shuffling forwards towards them (I've been referring to this as 'crouch stalking'). Your head should never go in front of your knees, keeping your head up the whole time. As soon as you look down, that breaks your posture: use your peripheral vision and touch to establish passing grips instead.

If you continue to drive your leg into the back of their knee, you might get lucky and be able to push that leg all the way down to the mat. Make sure your other shoulder is behind their other knee: you're now in a fantastic position to pass, with a whole bunch of options from there. It's unlikely it will be that easy to get here, but for the purposes of showing this pass, that's a simple entry to keep in mind.

Make sure you've trapped 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: I can't think of anything much to add here, so I'll just copy the notes from last time I taught this to make sure I have something to think about. ;)

In terms of the pass, I liked that this gave me another option from the leg pin backstep variation. The key thing people were doing wrong is a general point on combining it with a closed guard opening rather than specific to this pass when it is used in open guard, which is leaving space when shoving that leg down. It should be acting as a ramp.

Also, pinning the leg with your shin in the middle of their upper thigh, again to take away any space: a few people were too far forward with their knee, or too far to one side. Similarly, people shouldn't be trying to get their other leg straight through as then they have no base. Instead, it needs to be out to the side for support.

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