Over the past two weeks, Ed Perdomo passed Johnny Rodriguez’s guard on the high side and moved to a Spinning Armbar. This week, Ed will take “Technique of the Week” in the opposite direction by breaking Johnny’s guard and passing over the opposite leg in a Low Side Guard Pass into side control. This is the more controlled of the two passes and offers less opportunity for a scramble, but it also offers the greater risk of counter or reversal if done incorrectly.
Ed has already broken Johnny’s guard and begun to pass on the high side. With Johnny looking to scramble out of the pass, Ed counters the planned escape by going low. He leaves his forearm braced against the inside of Johnny’s high knee then slides his inside shin over Johnny’s thigh, bringing his knee to the mat by Johnny’s hip (LEFT). This puts Ed’s weight across Johnny’s leg, preventing him from closing his legs.
It is important to note the position of Ed’s foot during this pass. Throughout the entire pass, Ed will keep his inside foot hooked against the inside of Johnny’s knee (RIGHT). This stops Johnny from closing his half-guard on Ed’s other leg and also prevents him from being able to post on the low foot in an attempt to sweep or simply disrupt the guard pass.
Next Ed moves to escape Johnny’s guard. He begins by planting his free elbow on the mat against the opposite side of Johnny’s head, reaching across Johnny’s body (LEFT). This will block any attempt Johnny makes to spin back into guard as Ed passes. Also note that Ed’s other arm remains pressed against the inside of Johnny’s high side thigh, preventing him from securing any kind of hook or post with that leg.
Ed then passes Johnny’s guard by rolling over Johnny’s low leg to his hip and swinging his leg over Johnny’s and out behind him. Ed then inserts the hand that was blocking Johnny’s high side leg between his knee and Johnny’s hip (RIGHT). Notice how Ed maintains his hook on Johnny’s knee and has his weight on the hip closest to Johnny, these positions both help to prevent Johnny from scrambling during this brief transition.
To finish the pass, Ed pushes against Johnny’s hip, posts on his rear leg, raises his hips, and pulls his bottom leg under himself into proper side control with his knees tight to Johnny’s hip and shoulder blade and his hips back (LEFT). With Johnny now firmly trapped in side control, Ed is free to work for submissions or ground-and-pound.
- Slide your low side leg over your opponent’s, placing your knee to the mat by their hip to trap their thigh to the ground. Make certain to set a hook with that foot against the inside of your opponent’s knee and to continue blocking your opponent’s high leg.
- Plant your free arm on the mat against the far side of your opponent’s head.
- Roll to your low side hip, swinging your high side leg over your hips and behind you. Make sure to keep your weight on the hip nearest your opponent.
- Feed your free hand between your thigh and your opponent’s hip.
- Post on your high foot and your opponent’s hip to raise your hips just enough to pull your low side leg through the space under your hips, into side control.
Though slightly more complicated than the high side pass, the low side guard pass offers more control over your opponent and lands you in a tight, serviceable side control almost every time if executed properly. Next week, Ed will expand on this position by moving into a simple straight Armbar to finish his opponent and this arc of “Technique of the Week”.
*Ed Perdomo is a 4th degree black belt in the Korean grappling art of Hapkido and is head instructor of the Hapkido Institute in Morris, Illinois.