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How to Counter the Knee Slice Pass

How to Counter the Knee Slice Pass


One of the most commonly used guard passes in all of Jiu Jitsu is the knee slice pass, sometimes also referred to as the inside knee slide pass as well. This great pass works so well that it used by grapplers at every level and you will often see it in high level matches between the best black belts in the sport.

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Although this pass has many great attributes that make it so powerful, I think the main one is that it combines elements of both pressure passing and fast, loose passing. Other than the fact that it combines those two elements, the pass can favor either style. Some people have a very pressure heavy knee slice while others, including myself, prefer to do it quickly and surprisingly.

This pass is even better when the guard passer can acquire an under hook on the defender’s far side. This is useful because it helps pin the defender down and keep them flat on their back. More so, if the guard passer can get a collar tie or tricep grip on the close side, it becomes even better.

As you can expect, defending the knee slice pass is very difficult, especially if the guard player can get all the grips and applies a lot of pressure. Defending a fast knee slice is a little bit easier since the guard player is looser; this will often turn to a scramble, which is what I personally look for so I can hunt down guillotines.

When you recognize that the top player is going for a knee slice pass, the first thing you need to prevent is them getting an under hook. If they can get a deep under hook, they will usually finish the pass unless they don’t know what they are doing.

In the following video, Japanese black belt Masahiro Iwasaki illustrates an excellent technique for stopping and countering the knee slice pass. See below:

If you notice what Masahiro does in this video, he stays on his side the whole time while keeping his elbow tight to his body. This is vital to prevent the under hook but to also remain mobile while you are moving your body around to get out of the bad position you are trapped in.

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