I'm sharing this because I hate when people try to shove a knee up my ass since they can't do this pass right. I used to never do knee-through passes since I didn't like to drive my knee into anyone's tailbone. I had been injured by someone doing this to me, so I didn't want to do the same to anyone else.
But that was before I had actually learned how to do it technically from my instructor, Eduardo de Lima. When he taught it, I saw how I'd been thinking about so much of it wrong. The pass is not about causing pain or just jamming your knee up their ass until they open their legs. It's about creating space and using your knee and SHIN to split their legs apart so you can drive through. Once I understood this, it's became one of my favorite passes, and I'm actually more comfortable with it than most traditional standing passes.
Let's say you've got your hands in their armpits and head on their stomach, and you're still down on your knees. You can be holding his lapels in his armpits to keep him down. Your arms should be a little less than straight, with your arms along his sides. You've got to get a feel for your arms, since you'll have trouble if they are too stiff and you'll get choked if they are too relaxed.
"Walk" back on your knees while holding his armpits down (and thus his shoulders), stretching him out. He'll either open his legs or climb his guard (or get his legs stretched out if his legs are too long and he's not willing to climb). Let's say he climbs his guard. When he does this, he creates space between his hips and your body. This is important for later.
Now start walking your butt up into the air, one foot in front of the other, posting with your head on his stomach and holding his armpits down. Once you've got your butt tripoded up, spread your legs and stand with a good base (but with your head posted on him still).
Pick a knee and bring it behind his butt. You should find the space between his hips and your chest that you created when you made him climb his guard, and put your knee in there. Now fold your other legs behind yourself and SIT BACK on to your heel. Do NOT drive your knee forward. Sitting back on your heel brings your knee up through the space between his legs, and puts your SHIN against his tailbone. Your kneecap should slide up through his legs relatively easily.
When you are bringing your knee through, your shin should be straight up and down so they can slide down it (or slightly forward to aid in making him slide down). You're not going to try to drive your knee forward until it's already through their legs, otherwise you're blocking them from sliding down your shin.
From here, make posture and "grow" inside his guard to slide his legs down. Your shin is what seperates his hips from you and protects you from submissions. Once you've got some room and his legs are low around you, start driving your knee over his thigh to the mat on the opposite side. Keep his armpits down as you slide through to prevent him from sitting up or trying to take your back. Come through to side control.
Notice how this is different than how many people seem to try to do this, where they wedge their kneecap in the tailbone and keep driving it forward to try to open the guard. They'll stand with someone perched on their knee and just keep rocking him on it. Sure, it works, but I never like doing it and I know everyone hates getting their tailbone bruised. I'll just do it the easier way instead.
Two Questions, Each More Devastating Than The Last!
1) This Being My Favorite Pass, I've Become Accustomed To Doing It With The Gi, Grabbing The Belt And Pushing It Up Towards Their Chest. Other Than That, We Do It The Same Way. Why Don't You Grab The Belt?
2) When You're Driving Your Knee Across To Finish The Pass, Where Are Your Hands? I've Been Putting One Hand Deep In The Passing-side Lapel, And Grabbing Their Sleeve And Yanking Up While I Slide My Knee Through.
1) How are you grabbing the belt and pushing up while keeping your head on their torso?
2) With the gi, I start the pass gripping their lapels and punching them down into their armpits. When I get to driving my knee across, I just keep holding them down by this so they don't try to sit up or take my back. No-gi, I'll get head and arm. And honestly, I usually open their guard with this, then switch to the double under pass (to reverse omoplata, of course).
1) I don't see how I couldn't. The difference between grabbing the belt and pushing on their tummy and blocking their armpits and pushing on their tummy is pretty much negligible, in my eyes anyway. Which is what my original question was: do you see a difference or advantage to blocking the armpits with your hands instead of with the belt? I've found that having the belt wrapped tight over their chest helps prevent them from sitting up. Then again, I've almost never used this pass without a gi.
2) Of course.
I'll have to try your way, but my concern is that without their armpits or biceps pinned (and thereby shoulders and arms), they can reach for chokes. Gripping at the armpits also keeps them from sitting up, so it's not different in that aspect. It also seems that the belt grip won't transfer to no-gi, like you said. But this is just conjecture until I try it out.
Last edited by Aesopian; 12/20/2005 4:54pm at .
I feel that I really cannot do this pass because I have long legs and I am fighting small Japanese people.
Do you have any tips for me?
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Best. Pass. Ever. I pass black belt guards with this pass.
It does require you to flatten your opponent and be able to get the knee-up position which can be difficult against someone with a superior guard. They will recognize this pass coming and switch to de la riva or something and try to put you on defense taking you out of offense mode.
I have long legs also. It doesn't matter.
What matter is you get underarm control as you pass. If you can plant your head on the side you are passing it allows you more base and drives your shoulder into their chest which keeps them flat.
Your only problems will me if they manage to catch your second leg in half guard. Proper half guard passing will eliminate this obstacle though. You have the option to go either side with your knee. But crossing over works best for me. It stops the half guard sticking point. Another key is applying weight to that shin across the inside of their thigh. I am not a believer in pressure points. But this is a ...sensitive...area. Applying pressure can distract them just a moment as you complete the pass. Oh...and I have run over peoples nuts with this pass. Wear a cup.
I almost always drive my knee across to the opposite side so they can't get a real half guard. They will try to trap your other foot in a retardo half guard, but you can just get head and arm to crossface them as you pull your foot out.
Can anyone get pictures of this pass? I'm having trouble visualizing it.
Coincidentally, one of our purple belts (almost brown) who now trains at Carlson's came down to visit and taught this guard break. One of the main points he emphasised that I had missed was when you bring your knee up (before you sit down), you should try to touch it to the middle of your chest. If you leave it angled out (which is the natural tendancy), you'll have trouble getting it up through their legs. Trying to put it right up into the middle of your chest makes it go right through and leaves you with a stronger base when you come down.
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