Artemis BJJ (Easton Road), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK -25/07/2022
If you are passing nogi, you don’t have the joy of gi grips to help you secure position. Instead, put your hands on the middle of their shins, driving them into their body. If they aren’t blocking against their knees and framing with their arms, you want to drive their knees right into them, your bodyweight positioned over the top to pin them. Be careful of your posture: you need to get enough weight through your arms to pin their legs, but not be too far forward (they might be able to flip you) or too far back (your weight will shift off them).
Move off at an angle, then step your leg in deep, shin against the back of their knee, trying to push their leg towards the floor with your hand (off that same grip you had originally). Turn your inside knee inwards. You’ve got your body over the top of their other leg, attempting to put your weight into the side of that leg.
By driving their leg across towards their other leg, they will tend to push back: it’s common for people to give you the opposite reaction to whatever you’re doing (i.e., you pull, they push). If they push back, use that momentum to move into a knee slide. You follow where they are pushing, bringing your shin over their thigh, your knee on the ground. Your other leg steps out for base.
It is important to try and avoid their knee coming in, as you don’t want to deal with the knee shield if you don’t have to. In order to prevent it, circle your hand that is gripping to instead go to the hip, making sure your arm maintains a block on their leg attempting to sneak inside. You can then go to the underhook. Your knee that is on the ground pushes straight back, hip to the mat, then turn to side control.
If they don’t push back, you can collapse your weight over the top of both of their legs, walking your way up into mount. A more complex option is the leg weave pass. Having moved their legs across, so the top leg is squished on top of their other leg, keep your weight on there, posting your outside leg for base. The knee of your other leg drives between their top and bottom leg, so that your knee is on the ground and pinning their bottom thigh with your shin.
You have various options to complete the pass. My preference would be to hook their top leg with my outside leg, getting my shin behind it and doing a big step (handy tip from Kenny Polmans in relation to a different pass, but it applies in lots of situations). Replace the pressure of your body with your hand on their top leg, then move around behind.
Teaching Notes: Do I need both versions? Just the squash is probably enough, especially as it is way simpler than the leg weave. Though yeah, the leg weave gives better precision and control, so still worth teaching. But maybe in a separate class, perhaps as part of some other sequence? With grip breaks, something like that?
I also forgot to film myself freeing the leg, when they grab an ankle. NEXT TIME DO A VID! It is way easier if you are pressing down on the legs, as then you lift their butt off the ground, meaning you can simply kick across to free your leg from the grip.