Passing butterfly guard: Hook removal - Best way I've found to deal with butterfly or open guard hooks when attempting to pass

Passing guard in BJJ / Grappling is a difficult art to master. In a previous post, I talked about some of the wonderful sweeps and attacks you can get off the butterfly guard and to support it, I also put together a nice little 3 minute YouTube video which I called the best butterfly guard starting platform. There are a lot of fantastic videos out there on techniques from the butterfly guard by BJJ champions and other people who are far more qualified than me to teach them. There is, however, very little in the way of how to prepare and set up these attacks from the butterfly (also known as the hooks guard). The video I made is a simple drill that allows you to read the opponent’s energy and weight distribution so you can launch any one of the above mentioned attacks / sweep.

To my happy surprise, my 3 minute video has been quite a success with thousands of hits on YouTube! Very pleased with that indeed. If you haven’t seen it click here.

But how do you kill and pass the butterfly guard? All this energy around the butterfly guard attacks made me think about this particular technique I use to clear the hooks when attempting to pass. As I mention in the video, it’s a small adjustment but it makes quite a difference (for me, at least) as it allows me to pass a dynamic and agile opponent’s guard without needing much agility myself. Haha I’m so lazy!

I hope that helps get rid of one hook and isolate one leg. As for the techniques themselves that you can use to pass the butterfly guard there are, once again, many good videos out there but your first port of call should be your own instructor. Chances are, you already know a couple of good methods and all I did here was probably add a small piece to your jigsaw puzzle of “passing the guard” grappling game plan*.

If you are stuck for ideas, check out this awesome selection of butterfly guard passes by Gordo Jiu Jitsu black belt, and resident instructor at Connection Rio, Mr Dennis Asche, assisted by Sam Cannons. In fact, if you look at how Dennis isolates Sam’s right leg (while simultaneously removing his left hook) at 3:10 and think to yourself: “How the hell did he do that?” I want you to relax and simply try my lazy-person-method. When you’re all big and grown up the Dennis method will be a piece of cake**.

*if you like this and want more tips of grips and approach to passing the guard, check out this post.
**Dennis uses a cross grip in the first pass. Easily visible at 2:18. I sure will be working on that one too!


Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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Ruben said...

How susceptible are you to omoplatas?

Liam H Wandi said...

1st rule: never say never. Having said that, I don't feel threatened because there are certain elements that need to be there for the omoplata to happen and I don't feel that, at any one particular point, ALL the elements are present:

1. they have control of your wrist
2. their leg is past the inside of your elbow (against your upper arm)
3. their foot is free to move along your back towards your same side ear as the arm they're attacking
4. their hips are free to move and bring their head next to your feet instead of being right in front of you.

Look at this video from MGinaction and notice how Marcelo has all these elements in place. MGinaction