The High Percentage Guard Pass In Jiu Jitsu

The High Percentage Guard Pass In Jiu Jitsu

In this article, we’re going to look at one area, and it’s one of the hardest areas in Jiu Jitsu; Guard Passing.

Go to Video 1: Enter The Knee Slide
Go to Video 2: Passing The Pesky Knee Shield
Go to Video 3: Don’t Fight, Take A Leg Weave!
Go to Video 4: Adding The Leg Drag

Passing the guard is hard! Really hard.

As Jiu Jitsu practitioners, we’re taught early on that your guard is the best place to be on the bottom (which it is). As a result, we spend a huge amount of time perfecting attacks from guard and learning to retain it. This has to lead many BJJ players to specialise in playing guard and trying to attain the mythical impassable guard.

Guard Passing is Hard!

Source: Jiu Jitsu Style

Consequently, passing the guard has become incredibly difficult, to the point where you’re more likely to get swept than pass.

As guard passing is such a challenge, you want to look for any advantage you can get over your butt scooting buddies. That’s where examining what works at the highest level of Jiu Jitsu can be incredibly useful.

Thankfully, BJJ Heroes have made the job a little easier. Every year, BJJ Hero’s does a fantastic statistical breakdown of the World Championships. (I know, statistics are so much fun!) This is a fantastic resource to see exactly which techniques work and see where you can improve your game. (Here’s the link to 2017’s breakdown)

What do the stats tell us about Guard Passing?

In 2017, there were 50 guard passes in the Black Belt division (a pass has to score 3 points or held for 3 seconds to be counted). Of those 50 passes, 16 came from the knee slide! That’s 32%!

Guard Passing Stats

Source: https://www.bjjheroes.com

I know 32% is not an earth-shattering percentage, but it gets better.

You see 3 (or 6%) came from the Leg Weave and 3 (or 6%) came from the Leg Drag. Both of which perfectly combine with the Knee Slide.

As a result, if you combine the knee slide, leg weave, and leg drag, you’ll have a passing game that works 44% of the time.

But it all starts with the knee slide. And that’s what we’re going to focus on for the rest of this article.

Part 1: Enter the Knee Slide.


Most people, know the basic Knee Slide Pass. It’s one of the first passing techniques you’ll learn in Jiu Jitsu.

The beautiful thing about it is that it’s easy to set up and control, and you can use it against almost any guard.

Check out the video below to learn this powerful pass.

Part 2: Passing The Pesky Knee Sheild.


More than likely, your opponent will try to defend the Knee Slide. If they don’t, you need better training partners.

When they defend your knee slide, they’re probably going to do it on one of two ways.

The first way (and probably most common) is to use the Knee Shield. The knee shield creates a barrier you can’t pass through and makes it difficult for you to put your weight on your opponent.

The best way to deal with the knee shield is to take away its power by using the Crazy Dog Pass.

(I have no idea why it’s called the Crazy dog pass. I’ve asked many Brazilians and never got a clear answer)

The Crazy dog pass pins their hips in place and allows you to control both their legs with just one arm. From there, it’s just a matter of moving around the knee shield.

The video below covers this highly effective pass.

Part 3: Don’t fight, take a leg weave!


One of the key elements of using the Knee Slide is being able to pin your opponent’s leg to the ground.

If you can’t do this, it makes it difficult to free up your leg and pass.

So the second most common defence to the knee slide, is your opponent preventing you getting their thigh to the ground. They can do this by using the Reverse De La Riva Hook or framing their knee.

In this situation, the easiest way to counter their defence is to redirect the pass using the leg leave. In the Leg Weave, you’re using their resistance against them to switch sides and smash the hips.

Check it out below.

Bonus: Adding The Leg Drag


The final situation you may encounter when using the knee slide is the when your opponent steps on you to control the distance.

When this happens, you’re basically in the Reverse De La Riva, and while you can repummel your arm to attack the knee slide, you also have the opportunity to leg drag your opponent. After all, they’ve done some of the work for you.

The video below (which is taken from the Simple Passing System) shows you how to apply the Leg Drag from the Knee Slide or Reverse De La Riva.

Making It Work For You

Hopefully, after reading this article, you’re starting to see how effective the knee slide can be, particularly when combined with the other passes.

But reading this post and watching the videos will only get you so far. You need to train the knowledge you’ve just gained.

To help you get started here’s a short 5-day 10-15 min training plan you can use before or after class to add the knee slide to your Jiu Jitsu.

Day One:
Technical Drill #1 – Knee Slide (3 min each)
Specific Training #1- From Knee Slide opponent just tries to knock you off balance (1 min ea)
Specific Training #2- From Knee Slide. Reset if you pass, or opponent regains guard or sweeps you (3 min ea)

Day Two:
Technical Drill #1 – Knee Slide (2 min each)
Technical Drill #2 – Crazy Dog (3 min each)
Specific Training #1- From Knee Slide. Reset if you pass, or opponent regains guard or sweeps you (3 min ea)

Day Three:
Technical Drill #1 – Knee Slide (2 min each)
Technical Drill #2 – Leg Weave (3 min each)
Specific Training #1- From Knee Slide. Reset if you pass, or opponent regains guard or sweeps you (3 min ea)

Day Four:
Technical Drill #1 – Knee Slide (2 min each)
Technical Drill #2 – Leg Drag (3 min each)
Specific Training #1- From Knee Slide. Reset if you pass, or opponent regains guard or sweeps you (3 min ea)

Day Five:
Reaction Drill #1 – Enter Knee Slide partner feeds Knee Shield, Leg Weave, Leg Drag, or does nothing. (3 min each)
Specific Training #1- From Knee Slide. Reset if you pass, or opponent regains guard or sweeps you (3 min ea)

You can repeat the cycle as many times as you like until you feel comfortable passing with the knee slide.

No extra training time? No worries. Every time you roll, try to pass using the knee slide and look to combine it with the other passes.

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Comments

  1. says

    Tom you’re knowledge and experience is invaluable and I genuinely believe that your blog is one of the hidden gems in the Jiu-Jitsu world. Thanks for providing such fantastic content on a regular basis.

  2. Joe hepburn says

    Absolute gold
    Thanks for sharing this is gonna help my passing game.
    Your blogs and vids are some of thee best on the Internet

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