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The Power of Jimmy Pedro's Split Leg Pass

The Power of Jimmy Pedro's Split Leg Pass


Jimmy Pedro is one of the most decorated judo competitors and coaches in American history.  He has coached American Judo luminaries like Kayla Harrison, two time Olympic gold medalist, Travis Stevens, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist and also UFC veteran Ronda Rousey.   He is also well-known as a newaza, or ground game specialist.

A great way to learn more about Jimmy Pedro, check out this BJJ Fanatics profile here.

In the video below, Jimmy Pedro and world champion Bernardo Faria show the Over/Under Pass or as Jimmy refers to it, the "split the legs pass."  The over/under pass is one of the first guard passes that one learns when facing a recently opened guard.  It is a powerful pass that should be be as crucial to your game plan as it is to Jimmy Pedro's.

Split the Legs 

Always start outside of one leg. It is crucial in Judo to not get trapped in closed guard due to the limited amount in which you can work to escape. This is a great way to make sure we don't waste time in BJJ fighting out of someone's closed guard.  Think of the countless minutes and wasted energy you've spent in someone's closed guard.

Control the leg and hip

Once you are outside the leg, it is important to control the leg by grabbing the skirt of the kimono top and keeping that leg off of your shoulder, driving your weight into the opponent.  Using the gi skit can be an extremely powerful upgrade to the classic over under hand positioning that one gets taught.

Step around trap above the knee

 From there it is important to step over and control the far leg by pinching your legs above their knee.  Once you are above the knee, you can move the outside arm from the hip and reach towards the head.  Maintaining control with that gi skirt and locking down the knee makes it virtually impossible for the opponent to shift their hips let alone move.

Come to the head

Once you've progressed to controlling the head, the pass is all but secure.  Establishing a strong head control after locking down the knee is integral to the success of this pass.

Shin to Shin and Hip out

 You are controlling the head and now can mount their shin and hip out to complete the pass.  Before this you must sprawl out flattening the hips and maximizing your pressure on the opponent.  Then you can place your shin on their shin and hip out.

In viewing this video, one can clearly see the crisp execution of each step.  By diligently applying each of the steps outlined in the video by Jimmy Pedro, you can improve your execution of the classic over/under pass.


A great way to improve your guard passing for BJJ is to think outside the box and see how a Judo Olympian and legend Jimmy Pedro attacks his opponent's guards.  You can learn more by checking out his DVD, "The Power of Judo Passing" here.




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