The butterfly guard is a very dangerous position. It offers your opponent the ability to come after you with powerful sweeps, guillotine chokes, triangle chokes, leglocks, and many other attacks.
If you’re doing jiu-jitsu then you absolutely need to know how to shut down the butterfly guard and make your opponent regret even thinking about using it on you!
The way to do that is with pressure guard passing, which is the fine art of smashing your opponent and making him bear your weight as you pass his guard with slow, methodical movements.
In this video multiple-time BJJ world champion (and coach to over 50 other world champions) Fabio Gurgel shows you how to use knee cut to slice through your opponent’s butterfly guard and end up in a very dominant position.
Check out that video here…
Knee Cut Pass vs the Butterfly Guard, Step by Step Breakdown
Your opponent (in blue) has secured a very advantageous position: the butterfly guard with an underhook with his left arm. That underhook allows him to sweep very powerfully towards his right side with the fundamental butterfly sweep, so you need to respond immediately!
Immediately sag your weight towards his underhook side, locking his sweeping leg in place and preventing him from tossing you to his right.
Plant your right hand on the floor for base and also move your other (left) hand onto his knee.
This angle shows the left hand pushing down on the knee or lower thigh more clearly. Put your weight on your hands and right knee and start stepping up with your left leg…
Plant that left leg between his legs and close to his hips. This nullifies a lot of the power of the butterfly guard and puts you on the offensive.
Shoot your left hand (the hand that was on his knee) deep under his armpit.
Clamp down on his back to secure your own underhook. Now you have an underhook with your left arm and he has an underhook with his left arm. Nominally it’s a mirrored position but that’s about to change radically!
Bring your weight forward and to the right. Simultaneously cut your left knee across his body, past the ribs on the left side of his body and down to the mat.
Your right foot and left knee are now planted on the mat. You’ve got your head on the mat on the same side of his body as your legs. Your left arm is underhooking his right arm, and your right hand is pulling up on his left elbow. Now he’s in a terrible position and you’re set to finish the guard pass.
Slide your left leg sideways along the ground while pulling up on his left elbow to make space.
Turn 90 degrees towards your opponent and stabilise side control. You’ve smashed his guard and have ended up in a very strong control position.
More Guard Passing from Fabio Gurgel
The Pressure Passing System
Passing the guard is one of the hardest things to do in jiu-jitsu.
There are so many young, tricky, and super-flexible guard players out there who can wrap you up with the latest guards and sweep you all over the place. Unless you’re super talented yourself, if you try and match them speed for speed, athleticism for athleticism, you’re going to lose.
The answer is to go old school and smash them with pressure-based passing.
And there’s nobody better to teach you how to do this than Fabio Gurgel.
Fabio Gurgel has coached more than 50 World Champions and is a 4 time world champion himself. And even though he’s almost 50 years old his intense pressure passing and top game still make him a terror on the mats, hanging with much younger players and tapping them out.
Click here to find out more about Fabio Gurgel’s Pressure Passing System.
Podcast: Guard Passing Strategies and Tactics with Fabio Gurgel
Episode 195 of The Strenuous Life Podcast is PURE GOLD for BJJ practitioners and No Gi grapplers.
Fabio Gurgel – 4 time BJJ Black Belt World Champion (and trainer of more than 50 other world champions) – talks about his approach to passing the guard, including
- How to connect your moves,
- The evolution of guard passing,
- Advice for older grapplers,
- When you should stop halfway through a guard pass to tire the other guy out,
- Alternatives to the modern styles of guard passing that rely on mobility, athleticism and floating from side to side above your opponent,
- And more.
Click here to listen to this episode on guard passing!
How to Crush the Younger Grappler
Fighting young guys is like fighting the Energizer bunny – they keep going and going and going…
To beat them you first need to wear them down and then break their will to fight.
Here’s Fabio Gurgel’s advice wearing down and crushing the life out of younger grapplers!