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An “Insider’s” Guide To Initiating The Guard Pass With Lachlan Giles

An “Insider’s” Guide To Initiating The Guard Pass With Lachlan Giles



We hear the term” inside positioning” with incredible frequency in BJJ. The concept of inside positioning is vast and it transcends all positions in the sport of grappling. Whether you’re a leg locker, a wrestler, a guard passer, or a guard player (you get the picture) this theme, in most cases, must be adhered to in order to be successful during a match.

Let’s think about this in terms of the bottom guard first. At a very basic level, one of our main goals is to find this inside track between the passer’s arms and control it. The domination of this inside space in this particular position allows us to control posture, create angles, and begin to transition and attack. It also helps us to keep ourselves safe in a self defense scenario, providing us the ability to close the gap between ourselves and an attacker. 

Where leg locks are concerned, whether we are attacking or defending, control of the inside space is a very critical principle. It can make all the difference. If I have two feet on the inside of my partners legs, not only can I attack, but my feet are also safe from any attempt at offense from the other end. 

You get the picture, right? There are a million examples of this inside space theory in BJJ. If you control the inside space, you’re probably controlling the flow of the match. Of course, there are exceptions to everything, but as a general rule, controlling the inside space will in most cases be favorable. 

This theme is ever present in guard passing as well and Lachlan Giles has some ideas on how to initiate your guard passes with the inside space rule in mind. Here, hell give us some ideas to consider as we approach the guard pass from an open guard setting. The details here are incredible, as we would expect from Giles and you may be treated to some light bulb “why don’t I do that?” moments as well. Have a look at this!


From a disconnected position Giles begins his approach. With his right hand controlling his partner’s shin, he pommels his left hand to the inside of his partners left leg. He couples this with a step in and finds connection with his shin to his partner’s calf. This allows Giles to remove his hand and then cup the thigh for an added layer of control. 

Want more from Lachlan Giles? Click Learn More!



Keeping all of these connection points in place, Giles begins to move laterally to the left, opening up his partners legs. He then drops his knee on his partners leg, pinning it to the mat, while keeping his instep under the lower part of the leg. This creates a very strong pin and controlling effect on his partners bottom leg, almost stapling it in place, which will also help to prevent the hip escape. Giles repeats this movement side to side as a drill to help solidify the details.

Be careful here not to travel too far forward. If you’re belly button crosses the kind of the guard passers, you may be putting your balance at risk and as Giles explains, you may also be getting in your own way a bit as you look to complete a pass. 

Leading with his head, Giles gives us some ideas on how to deal with a seated guard player. Giles doesn’t prefer to commit his hands first, as extending them may give away initial grips to the bottom player. As he leads with his head, Giles compromises the guard players balance and begins to guide him to his side. The moment the foot begins to lift from the floor, Giles begins to implement the previous instruction and settles in. Be sure to keep your body in the way of that far leg. As Giles instructs, if we permit a foot or even a knee shield to enter ion to the fold, we may find ourselves in a great deal of trouble here. This could easily put a halt to our passing efforts. 

Demonstrating a few contingencies at the close of the video, Giles shows us how me might deal with the entrance of the shield in to the mix. He answers a couple of different ways. One being a smashing style pass, leg drag, and he even employs a long step to get the job done. Of course, we know that an ounce of prevention always beast a pound of  cure and if we can keep that far leg from entering our path, this will be the best-case scenario. But we also know that we will fail, repeatedly, and its good to know we have some secondary plans when we do! 

Mastering this concept will set you up for success when you’re attempting to pass. Even without instruction on what passes to finish with, this simple approach will serve us in many ways if we can add it to our toolbox. Once again, the theme of inside positioning is ever-present and more important than ever. Give this a try and see if you can create more opportunity for yourself when attempting to pass! 

Leg Lock Anthology: 50/50 by Lachlan Giles
Lachlan Giles is FRESH off of a heroic ADCC 2019 performance where he defeated three +99KG superstars back-to-back-to-BACK with heel hooks. Leg Lock Anthology 50/50 by Lachlan Giles covers the TECHNIQUES that lead Lachlan to defeat 3 of Jiu-Jitsu’s BEST athletes in a row. Learn the nuances that make Lachlan’s leg lock approach unique and effective!



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