The other day, a student asked me about a problem he’s been having often during rolls.
Over and over again, he gets to one of the very best positions for finishing the knee cut pass (deep underhook and head tight against the ear on the other side), but yet (get this) he goes noooowhere. His opponents lock up his leg like a death vise.
And it’s been bothering him…. ALOT.
Frankly, it’s a common problem. And it stems from focusing too much on using the knee to cut through the guard. The name of the pass definitely doesn’t help in that regard either.
Where they go wrong is that they don’t realize how hip dominant the pass truly is.
There must be a connection between your hip and your opponent’s body, and THAT is what gives you the most leverage for making the pass finish as smooth as silk.
It’s one of the biggest misconceptions about the knee cut.
The other day, I was about the grip I prefer for setting up the armbar in no-gi, so I after an open mat, I jumped on the good ol’ book of faces and went live.
This grip was only showed to me once.
That was enough though.
I had to see once to know that my armbar setups would never be the same. It was a game changer, and it blew my mind in an instant. Fundamentally though, it’s built on solid principles.
In any situation where you can put someone close to a submission, you limit the force they can create and the movement that they’re capable. And right here, you’re creating instant pressure on the shoulder that is similar to the shoulder lock.
It’s not quite enough to finish, but it’s enough to control.
And once you feel the control you have with that grip, it changes a lot.
In the gi though, I still prefer to play with the lapel.
It’s because it opens up my attack options far beyond just the armbar, and the deets on the best system I use can be found here:
Over the last few months, a change has been happening in my game.
Out of nowhere, the loop choke just started clicking for me, and I’ve been terrorizing the mat with it left and right. Hell, it’s gotten so bad that I’ve hit the same setup on three different people in one night even after teaching the technique earlier in the day.
They knew it was coming.
It didn’t matter though.
And it’s not because of some black belch magic either.
The culprit was principles and nothing less.
In fact, I operate by three rules of thumb that have served me well.
First, the index finger of my collar grip must touch my opponent’s collarbone…. Second, when I initiate the attack my head must be higher than theirs…. And third, I must direct their head towards the armpit of my choking hand and cinch it in tight against the side of my hip. In some ways, it’s similar to the guillotine but not quite.
And I’ll tell you a sekret.
If you would like to see these principles in action and two setups for choking fools out, it’s easier than you might think. Just a bit ago, I loaded up a lesson on the Tube all about it.