GB Technique:  Troubleshooting The Knee Slice Pass

The Knee Slice or Knee Cut guard pass is one of the most popular and effective guard passes in both gi and No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu. Yet, there are some details that if you miss, your pass will go nowhere or worse…your back will get taken.
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Let’s take a look at the details by GB2 course instructor Prof Rodrigo Fajardo of GB Curitiba
Knee cut pass with Rodrigo Fajardo
Prevent the Knee Shield / Z Guard
It’s really really common to see competitors in a tournament match locked in a Knee Slice / Z Guard stalemate. The best solution is to avoid the Z Guard in the first place!
Pay attention to early in setting up the pass, Prof Rodrigo has the opponent flat on their back and uses his left hand to clear the opponent’s right knee. Prof. Rodrigo then secures a lapel grip with his left hand and blocks the guard player from bringing their knee across to block with the knee shield.
This single subtle tip alone will make your Knee Slice much more difficult to counter.
Control the opponent’s sleeve
Note that before Prof Rodrigo commits to slicing his knee through the guard that he secures a strong grip on the opponent’s sleeve and pulls up strongly to keep his opponent’s elbow off the floor.
What does the sleeve grip do?
It prevents your opponent from turning to face you and possibly going to turtle to avoid surrendering the pass. Secondly, controlling the opponent’s arm prevents them from using their arm to create a frame and prevents you from securing side control.
Grip to win the underhook
Pay special attention to Prof Rodrigo’s left arm. He controls the opponent’s lapel, keeping his arm tight to his side. This is to ensure that he can win the battle for the underhook while slicing the knee through.
Without the underhook, an experienced opponent sees a clear path to your back and your pass turns into an opportunity for your opponent to get a dominant position in the fight.
Troubleshoot your own Knee Slice guard pass to see if you are forgetting any of these details.
See also on GB Technique:
GB Technique:  Passing Different Guard Styles
Writer: Mark Mullen, Gracie Barra Black Belt