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What Guard Should I Use For Knee Passers?

What Guard Should I Use For Knee Passers?


With all the talk about guard passing getting tossed around let’s focus on a tried and true passing style that is making a comeback. People who pass off of their knees get close to the action and can start to apply pressure forward while maintaining a low base. It has always been used but we are starting to see it a little more often with the constant threat of leg locks nowadays.

This is great for butterfly guard players. A common strategy to avoid the butterfly guard is to pass primarily off of the feet and rely on a mobility/pressure mixture which can make playing butterfly guard quite tricky. However passing from the knees can play right into the hands of a tactful butterfly guard player like say, Adam Wardzinski.


Here is a great breakdown of Adam’s “plan B” strategy. BJJSCOUT does us the honors of providing the insight into the strategy Wardzinski uses against knee passers. While there are plenty of nuances to address throughout the footage Adam ultimately has two primary goals. First he wants to get under your base, and given the reaction needed he will slip out to the back.

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If you pass off of your knees you understand some of the advantages it affords. You can be very defensive from this position think ,VERY BRIEFLY, of  Brendan Schaub Vs Cyborg. Sorry about that. That said you can also apply plenty of pressure and transition into your passes from there. Often times today it can be used to try and slow down leg entries. Spoilers. It doesn’t always work.

Now that we understand what some of the passers goals are let’s flip back to how butterfly guard can be used to thwart this. Wardzinski makes excellent use of a belt grip. This can start to disrupt the passer’s base and allows Adam  to get underneath their base. When he can’t get under their base it opens another opportunity to attack.

By kicking out the partner’s base, as seen at the 53 second mark, Adam can start to slip out to take the back. This is a nice additional tactic to compliment the traditional butterfly guard sweep. Adam likes to play with a cross grip on the arm to allow better access to the back. Taking the back with the opponent’s arm on Adam shoulder would simply require shrugging out from under the opponent’s base after the sweep attempt.

Utilize these tactics and dive even deeper with BUTTERFLY RE-DISCOVERED. Adam Wardzinski covers all aspects he has used to reach the top of the BJJ game, and breaks it down FOR YOU!