We had some more awesome training last night. You know that when everyone stands in a circle at the end of class clapping, it was good training. That’s what we did and that’s what seems to happen more often than not. I’ll admit that I’m sore from it all, but it’s a good sore.
During the basics class, we went over a pretty nice knee punch through pass from combat base. The knee punch through pass is one of my favorites and adding a few twists was definitely worth the time taken to go over things. Here’s what the pass looked like:
Combat Base : Same Side Guard Pass – BJJ Tutorial
Even though I’ve been doing a similar pass for years, I’ve always known I had one weakness. I never liked to broadcast it, but since I’ve learned how to clean things up a bit, I don’t mind now.
If I’m in combat base and I punch my knee though, up and over my opponent’s leg, I would generally lean forward to apply pressure and go for the cross face. My weakness was in my windshield wiper leg switch that I’d pull off at the very end. Now, if my partner was new to my punch through, they’d get passed and I would cheer and ask someone to take a picture of my success, but if they’ve been around the block a few times, right at the very moment I’d go for the windshield wiped leg switch, I’d get swept. It’s at that moment my base is the weakest, even though I’ve already got the cross face. And I’ll tell you that it’s hard on the ego to get swept while almost finished with such a sweet pressure pass.
My failure was in the fact that I kept my opposing arm in stasis as I engaged in this pass. While I was using one arm to try for a cross face and both legs to pass my opponent’s, the arm left over wasn’t used to keep my opponent’s hips either planted on the ground or even twisted away from my. With Kevin’s help last night, my issue became something of the past.
Now, as I pass my opponent with the knee punch through, I either grip the material inside my opponent’s knee or scoop under his leg. I can push the leg up and over, away from me or keep the leg stationary as I finish things up. Also, instead of using the windshield wiper motion (which I still really like because it’s very slick), I can alternate to a leg back step, like shown in the video above. I’m finding a lot of uses for the back step and it’s something that’s becoming more and more popular in the Jiu-Jitsu world. Actually, the first time I saw it was just last year in one of the classes Brad Wolfson taught up at Jeff’s school.
The proper pass is going to take some getting used to because, as Kevin pointed out, I have a tendency to break guard in one direction, twist and reset into another direction, only to begin there from combat base. If I could teach my body to break guard in the correct direction in the first place, I wouldn’t have to reset, opening a hole in my game. It’s just that I’m half lefty and half righty, so it’ll take some time to get used to. At the very least, I’m now aware of what I’m doing.
During the advanced class, we did an exercise where three players waited out on the mat. Three more players had to go out and begin the match in any position the original player wanted to start from. The idea was genius in that it gave us all a chance to work the twists and techniques we’ve been talking about for weeks. If you’re a regular on this blog, you know that I usually go to class with a plan. Sometimes I get a chance to work on what I had intended to work on, but sometimes I don’t. Last night’s exercise gave me a chance to cover all the ground I’ve missed when I don’t get the chance to do what I want.
One of the areas I really focused on last night was my butterfly guard and sweep. As I’ve mentioned before, both the guard and sweep are quite elegant and don’t take much effort or skill to pull off. And last night I proved that by achieving the scenario on almost everyone I tried it against. Only one person knew the proper defense and unfortunately, I got stuffed every time I tried it on them. Amazing what technique can do for a game.
Since I’m fairly good at the sweep, but not all that up to speed on the defense, I thought I’d post one of the defenses here.
BARRA BJJ – Whats the Best Way to Pass the Butterfly Guard?
While the butterfly guard defense shown in the video is really good, I can say that Kevin’s version last night was just as good, or even better. And I can say this because I was on the receiving end of it. I was struggling with my attempted butterfly sweep and had little luck against his defense. I’m going to suggest we go over both the guard/sweep and defense in a future class.
After class, Kevin suggested that I look into Rafael Lovato Jr.. Apparently, he’s my build and focuses a lot on a good pressure game. Things I enjoy as well. I’m going to begin studying what Rafael is about, but in the meantime, I’ll post a video below of him teaching some of his favorite guard passing. Enjoy.
Rafael Lovato Jr. Teaches Guard Passing | Oklahoma BJJ