If you find yourself stuck in the top Half Guard position way too often, and if you’re a fan of the pressure-passing BJJ game, then you are going to love this Knee Cut Pass – it will solve the majority of your top Half Guard problems!
It is demonstrated by a BJJ black belt Ffion Davies; a 2018 IBJJF No-Gi World Champion, 2019 IBJFF Pan-American and IBJJF European Champion, as well as a Polaris Lightweight and ADCC European Trials Champion.
STEP OUT AND SPRAWL OUT
Starting on top of her training partner’s Half Guard and by flattening him out with an established Crossface, Ffion points out that her training partner wants to keep her hips centered, doing so by pinching her leg with his knees. This leads to Ffion getting off-balanced if she decides to go for a Knee Cut from there – ending up in a futile attempt.
So, what she needs to do, Ffion explains, is that she first needs to pick a side to which she’s going to Knee Cut. Then, she goes on to step out with her free leg – just as you would do in a Knee On Belly position – and sprawls out with the hip of her trapped leg.
The reason behind doing this, she elaborates, is that she wants to shift her body weight onto her training partner’s bottom leg (his knee, more specifically), connecting it to the mat and pinning it there. This way, she forces her partner’s hips onto one side instead of leaving them centered, where she was unable to do much. Therefore, she makes it much easier for herself to progress towards the Knee Cut.
USE THAT CROSSFACE
In this, newly acquired position, Ffion highlights that her training partner’s goal now is to crouch, connecting his elbow to his knee, and therefore gain a stronger position which would make it difficult for Ffion to place her free leg’s foot inside his Half Guard. Therefore, her goal now is to get her training partner’s head further away from his legs, pulling it away from his knees.
She does this – you guessed it right – by utilizing her Crossface grip setup, driving his head away and forcing him to look into the other direction, thus lengthening his spine.
GET THE KNEE CUT PASS
From there, Ffion shows that she can now base her free leg’s knee to the mat, bringing its foot inside her training partner’s Half Guard, to the backside of his knee. She does this by bringing in her toes and then using them to peel her partner’s leg down, opening his Half Guard even more. By doing this, she makes enough space to elevate her hips and then do a Knee Cut, driving her leg free.
If you can’t place your toes inside your training partner’s or opponent’s knee, don’t fret. Ffion demonstrates that you can, alternatively, also bring the sole of your foot against your training partner’s thigh, pressing it from there in order to clear space.
Keep in mind that, as she follows through the steps mentioned above, Ffion makes sure to keep a large chunk of her body weight distributed on top of her training partner, as well as to continue applying that Crossface pressure. Also, make sure that your upper body stays square – in other words, that you don’t move it around but that it stays in one position; with your hips doing all the necessary work.
Watch the video below to see Ffion Davies demonstrate this technique in great detail!
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