Getting Technical with the Rugby Pass by Lachlan Giles
Guard passing has become such a broad subject over the course of BJJ history. Gone are the days where our training partners are only trying to push our knee down to pass or double under hook your legs for a stack. These traditional passes still have their place of course and they are still incredibly effective, but passing has evolved so drastically that we never know what might be coming our way. If a cartwheel has entered the fold as a passing option, who knows what may be next. This isn’t a dig at any form of passing of course. The world is your oyster. Do your thing and implement what works for you!
I have a training partner that has a great wrestling background. From day one he has been able to bundle my legs like a pile of old sticks and climb my body with what always seems like relative ease. I watch him do it to everyone constantly, and even those on and above his level don’t always seem to have an answer. I’ve heard this pass referred to as the leg bundle pass, or the rugby pass as well. It may seem like a technique that doesn’t require much skill, but there is actually is a science to doing it properly and performing it on a proficient player.
In this video Lachlan Giles breaks down this steamroll of a pass that makes us feel like we have no legs. Giles demonstrates the progression of the technique and shows us how to do it properly. He discusses it in two parts. Take a look at this.
Giles begins with some words on positioning. He likes to have his partner positioned to one side on their hip, not seated upright. This takes the mystery out of which side his partner will try to recover to. If Giles has his partner on his right hip, he can easily determine what kind of defense will be used to begin trying to stop the pass.
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With a tight grip locked around his partner’s lower legs, Giles’s partner begins to push his head away (a common reaction to this pass). During this time, Giles lifts the legs, places his bottom knee under them, and then hooks his partners foot with the back of his lower shin and curls backward. A triangle style lock is possible here but not necessary to continuing the pass. He then unlocks his grip, cupping the hip, and cupping under the knee area while allowing his forearm to span both legs.
With the legs badly entangled, Giles begins to advance once again, bringing his left leg forward making a barrier once again, blocking both legs. Using his head as a lever, Giles now lifts his upper body and begins to position toward the backside of his partner. As he gets closer, and his partner begins to off balance and tilt, Giles captures the backside arm where his partner’s weight is still resting and pulls it in to complete the passing sequence and achieving the mount.
Giles ends this video with a great length of the mat drill that can help us to understand the movements of this particular passing sequence. Add this to your study of the position and see if it helps!
In this second part, Giles addresses another issue pertaining to the same pass and gives us some details on using the body lock. Check this out!
As his partner over commits to the head push, He creates a scenario where Giles can now lock the body. Here, he cinches up and S-grip and still continues to block his partner bottom leg with his forearm to once again stop the hip escape. Here, Giles begins to circle toward the backside. His partner continues to push his head the entire time, but as Giles approaches the back side, he’s able to use his shoulder to remove the hand from his head and continue to progress. Once Giles circles far enough, he looks for a grip on his partner’s trap and then also at the hip. Here the back take is almost imminent. Giles simply shucks the hand from his head and then begins to hunt for a seatbelt grip.
Further trouble shooting the technique, Giles now explains what to do if the bottom player pushes the head all the way to the other side. As Giles feels his head beginning to travel tot eh opposite side of his partner body, he makes a switch, cutting his knees across and landing in the same passing position on the other side where he can continue to implement the pass.
Giles continues, answering some more questions on different variables pertaining to the pass, but the meat and potatoes of this technique have been laid out for us.
As you can see, this is an incredibly technical way to being this pass to life. Giles climbs the body inch by inch, addressing all of the what ifs along the way. The pass is incredibly systemized and looks to be an incredibly effective option.
I was able to pick up some ideas on how to defend here as well. I feel that maybe in the past I’ve been to focused on only trying to put the passers head out of position, instead of also moving my hips in a direction that would serve me better in combination with pushing the head. Its interesting how much we can absorb from this kind of instruction. I often go in to an instructional video hoping to get details on something specific and then getting much more than I bargained for. I hope this shed some light on this particular pass for you. If you’ve never seen of heard of it, maybe its right up your alley. I know I’ll be trying to work with it a bit more! Good Luck!
Lachlan Giles is one of the BEST teachers around. His YouTube channel has helped grapplers across the globe. The Guard Passing Anthology: Half Guard By Lachlan Giles is easily one of the best resources available ANYWHERE. Giles has world class technique matched with UNPARALLELED teaching ability!
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