Countering cross collar knee slice by Masahiro Iwasaki
Let’s talk about getting your guard passed. No matter how you get there your guard is like your home. It’s your safe place where you can regroup and reengage with your opponent. It’s the position you know best and start from often. It’s your comfort zone, your security, it is, as I said, your home base so to speak and when someone tries to violate that by passing your guard it’s down right offensive. How dare they, or better question, how dare you let them.
There are not many things worse in my opinion than fighting and fighting to keep your guard and then someone just blowing right through it. You work so hard to maintain your guard and then poof, just like that it is like it never existed in the first place. This can be such a frustrating position to be in especially if you don’t know how to stop it from happening.
In Jiu Jitsu it seems at first, we start out thinking that it is possible to know all of the moves and all of the counters and eventually reach a state where you are unstoppable. The reality however is that Jiu Jitsu is constantly changing and evolving, and we must grow with it or we will be left in the dark. That being said, it’s at this point we also come to understand that there is a counter for every counter and the more you know the more prepared you are, as well as the more able to adapt you are if someone throws something at you that you were not expecting.
Let’s take a look at Countering cross collar knee slice by Masahiro Iwasaki and see what we can do to stop our opponents in their tracks when they try to knee slice through our guard.
The first thing we need to look at is the grip we are using and how we are framing against the opponent as they are trying to knee slice. For the purposes of this breakdown let’s assume that we are starting already in the knee slice position like what is shown in the image below. If the opponent is gripping on the top lapel we want to go under their wrist and grip the same side lapel, just as a side note. But, since this is about the cross collar knee slice, let’s focus on that for now.
When the opponent has the cross collar grip as shown in the picture above we want to reach our left arm under the opponent’s arm from the outside and reach across to the opponent’s far collar and grip it with a thumb in grip as high as we are able to (close to the neck).
Next we want to curl under the opponent and pull them to the mat with the collar grip we just achieved. As we pull the opponent to the mat, we want to quickly shoot our hips down towards the mat and back up to turtle position and then to our knees ending behind the opponent who is now on all fours turtled up on the mat.
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From this position you can decide if you want to take the back or if you prefer to push the opponent over and work from a side control position. The fact remains, regardless of what you decide to do, you did not get your guard passed and more importantly you went from playing bottom game to playing top game which is typically considered a more desirable place to be. As you can see, this is not a complicated technique, it’s rather simple and when done correctly it works very well.
Stop allowing opponent’s to slip past your guard and knee slice their way to side control putting you in danger and taking away the security of your guard. Do not allow anyone to do this without a fight, it’s your house after all, you better fight to keep your advantage. You have the right to keep your guard until you are ready to get rid of it, and you should do just that.
There are a lot of details that are covered in this short video clip. As you can imagine with Masarhiro’s this is his teaching style. If you are a fan and find these details to fit well into your game then you must check out his deeper dive into half guard in his video instructional titled “Far East Half Guard”. Masarhiro is one of Japan’s most elite Jiu Jitsu black belts who is full of unique sweeps and positions that he has been using to frustrate and down right terrorize his opponent’s for years. Learning half guard is arguably one of the most important and most popular positions you can learn in Jiu Jitsu, so make sure you are learning it from someone with a proven, battle tested track record of success.
Instructionals are an incredible way to take your training to the next level, if you use them and truly study the material provided. Far East Half Guard by Masahiro Iwasaki takes a look at a unique system developed by Iwasaki. Take your Half Guard to the NEXT LEVEL!