Notes on training with the famous Leo Kirby
Here are my notes on what Leo Kirby, a purple belt at ATT Hollywood, showed me when we met up this weekend to train. This was some awesome material, especially his guard passes and how they tie together.
Leaping pass over butterfly guard
- Pummel for underhooks and drive head into their chest to flatten them out.
- Lock down their hips and squash their hooks, bring elbows to knees, face in belly.
- You elbows and hands go on the mat. You don't have to grab their feet.
- Head goes to the mat on the left side of their body.
- Jump up with just your left leg first. This gives you the height of the leap. If you jump up with the both or just the right first, they can shove your back and block the pass before you're high enough to clear the hooks.
- With your left leg in the air, follow through by jumping up with the right leg, aiming to land on the right side.
- You'll probably land on their near knee-shin (as they try to return to guard), so be ready to shove it out with right hand.
- Land in side control.
Reverse scarf passing of half guard
- In butterfly guard.
- Bring your right knee between their hooks, so their right hook is between both your knees.
- Underhook their right leg like a stacking pass. Stay tight to their hips.
- Left hand holds their knee so they can return to closed guard.
- Right foot circles up and to your left, bringing your shin down on their right shin.
- Left hand pushes their knee out as your hips drop and you drive though. This clears their leg and puts you in side control
If while you're turned and trying to push their arms up, you feel that they kept their elbows in and are pushing on your back, you can try to get a quick pass by switching your hips back and sliding your knee out in one motion, like a cross knee pass.
- They have half guard on your right leg.
- Triangle your legs tightly lock their hips and kill their butterfly hook.
- Stay low to their hips, arms in tight, head down.
- When they try to underhook your right arm, swim under with your left. Stretch your left arm high to force their arm up. As you put your left arm in place, you turn to face their legs like reverse scarf hold. Keep your head low to avoid crossfacing.
- Once their far arm is shoved high enough, scoot your hips up to force their near arm up.
- Both of their arms will be pushed up by their head when this is done right.
- Left hand comes to their ribs to monitor them but your left elbow stays high under their armpit.
- Walk your foot up to their butt so your shin is vertical.
- Keep scooting up and trying to pull your leg out.
- Bring your left knee up and wedge it on their hips if you can get they high.
- If they are unsure what to do they may open up enough for you to pull your leg out.
- If they hold on for dear life, you can grab your own gi pants and jerk your leg out.
- If they bridge really hard and try to roll you, they also let you free your leg, so you need to quickly plant it behind yourself for base, then throw it back and hook at their far knee, using it to pull yourself into mount (opposed to planting it on the mat).
Getting a feel for this position will take some time as you learn to defend being bridged over and feeling when you can pull your leg free.
For lack of a better name: One-legged x-guard
Entering x-guard from half guard
- You're on your back with some sort of open guard.
- They are staying away to keep you from underhooking their leg and getting to x-guard.
- Overhook their right leg with your right arm. This can be loosely, or tightly with their foot in your armpit.
- Kick your left leg between their legs...
- ...then bring it all the way around and step on their hip. Toes out.
- Your right foot comes to the hip too, or hooks under the thigh of the trapped leg.
- Squeeze your knees really tight.
- Put your right hand on their free knee to keep them away since they'll be trying to come to you to defend the preceived ankle lock threat.
- Straighten your body and push on their hip with your hook to make them fall back.
- You can also grab their free ankle so they can't step back.
Near Hand X-guard Sweep
- You have half guard on their right leg.
- Underhook their left leg with your right arm. You'll probably only get your hand under their knee, but ideally (and never in practice) you'll go for getting their leg immediately on your shoulder.
- Your left hand is by your head to defend the crossface.
- When they go to crossface, duck your head and swim under, shoving their armpit to keep some space.
- Hip into them hard, like you want to come between their legs, as you traffic cop their chest away and come deeper under their underhooked leg.
- Wrap your right leg all the way around their left leg so you're stepping on their near hip, as in one-legged x-guard.
- Push them away as you bring your left foot up to their hip too. Squeeze your knees tightly and hold their leg tightly to keep them from pulling out.
- They'll likely stand and try to turn into you. Your left hand goes to their knee to keep them away.
- You right leg can come off their hip and hook under their far leg for the start of x-guard. Keep a tight grip on their leg and keep stepping on their hip as you make this transition.
- Now bring your left foot off their hip and hook under their knee.
- You're now in x-guard.
- In x-guard.
- Stretching them out but without grip on ankle.
- They fall forward and post on the mat, too far away for you to reach their furthest hand.
- Grab their near forearm and shove it towards their chest.
- Stretch your legs straight.
- Follow them up as they roll forward.
- Spin into their guard, or land in the funky kneebar.
- In mount.
- Swim arm in.
- Drive knee up.
- Get to one foot and pin trapped arm to hip.
- Push on chest.
- Throw leg over face.
- Sit out to "armbar".
- Manually pull knee to squeeze it in place.