When the Odds are Stacked Against You: Preventing Under the Leg Passing

When the Odds are Stacked Against You: Preventing Under the Leg Passing

It's all in the hips with this powerful pass

Recalling my first experiences with the stack pass, I seem to remember a lot of reckless shoving of the legs to the side to complete the technique. You might get away with this kind of passing for a little while, on some of your greener peers, but once someone learns to move their hips efficiently, this sort mindless bullying of the legs will no longer sever you. The word “stack” in stack pass may go in one ear and out the other the first few times you hear it, but soon it will be apparent how important it really is.

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When we’re performing a stack pass, we’ll need to stack our partners hips directly above their shoulders, and keep them there to be successful. The application of heavy forward pressure, and in many cases, the use of either of our hands to anchor ourselves to our opponents far shoulder will force the completion of the pass. When done correctly the stack pass can be very difficult to counter. Knowing the details that make the stack pass work are critical, and will give us greater insight in to defending it.

In this video Lachlan Giles gives us a look at countering the stack pass. Give it a look!

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The first variation is my favorite. As our opponent gets us into prime position to finish the pass we bail out with a well-timed shoulder roll. As Giles explains, we must be careful not to stop in the turtle. After he completes the shoulder roll he throws up a strong under hook to prevent the back take and continues on back to the guard. Great stuff!

The second scenario is different in that our partner hasn’t stacked our hips over our shoulders yet, but if we don’t have good answer here they’ll certainly be on their way. Giles communicates the importance of clearing the knee line in this situation, similar to one of the main ingredients in many leg lock defenses. Once our knees are cleared from our opponent’s control, we can then hip escape in whatever manner necessary to retain our guard. Clear the knee knees!

The video goes some-what backwards in the order that you may experience each different setting, but the third and final technique may be the most important. At the inception of every stack pass there will be a moment where your opponent reaches under one of your legs to begin to elevate your hips. Giles answers this by making his body very rigid. This makes it very difficult to get the stack started, and it allows him to escape his hips and once again and create distance to retain his guard.

These defenses are high percentage. Put them to use, and combat that dreaded under leg smash! Get to work!

For more from Lachlan Giles, check out High Percentage No Gi Chokes from BJJ Fanatics!  You can get it here!

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