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Bullfight Pass Defense from Mikey Musumeci
Having a guard that is impassable is one of the most coveted possessions in all of jiu jitsu. By being able to stop everyone at the gates is one of the most important skills you can have. Very few BJJ athletes are as successful with their guard retention skills than two time American black belt champion Mikey Musumeci.
In the video below, excerpted from his best-selling instructional from BJJ Fanatics called Power Switch Guard Retention and Genius Back Takes, Musumeci addresses the troublesome Torreando Pass. During this pass, the opponent and guard passer will attempt to control the legs of the person playing guard and simply attempt to shuck them to one side and step around. In this particular variation, Musumeci is addressing someone who takes a strong grip on the inside of the knees. Check it out below!
Let's look at a few key points from this guard retention tutorial from Mikey Musumeci. The two primary keys are focused on nullifying the control that the inside grips have on the knees and managing the distance between yourself and the opponent trying to pass.
Nullify the Bullfight Grips
The opponent is going to look to establish control of the legs with the goal of being able to shift them to one side to be able to move around the guard to the other side, like a bullfighter shifting and stepping past the horns of a bull. For Musumeci, the feet and legs are the first line of defense in dealing with these grips. In this case, he brings the feet over the arms and places the feet on the shoulders. This gives him maximal control of the distance from the opponent. If he would allow his feet to take a position such as a lasso guard style placement, this would allow the opponent to nullify that leg and begin to pass to that side. There simply wouldn't be the proper level of control.
Managing the Distance Against the Bullfight Pass
Once he has established solid foot placement on the shoulders, Musumeci will also use his hands to control a sleeve and collar. This affords him additional control on the opponent's upper body forcing a few different reactions by the opponent. On one hand the opponent may find themselves leaning towards the guard player. If the upper torso is brought forward, it can create opportunities for upper body submissions like omoplatas and triangles.
If the guard passer wants to bring their legs closer to prevent the lean of the torso and the upper body attacks, Musumeci will then engage and control them with guard options like De La Riva. Regardless of whether the guard passer wants to maintain a distance or be in close, Musumeci will have an option.
For more Power Switch Guard Retention and Genius Back Takes, check out 2 time black belt world champion Mikey Musumeci's best-selling instructional at BJJ Fanatics!