“To be the best,” the saying goes, “you’ve got to beat the best.” As a precursor, we recommend that you train with the best. That’s why BDMMA owner and head coach Dan Faggella – a national champion, himself – also brings in the highest level grapplers around. In the video above, world champion Jimmy Quinlan teaches a couple of half guard passes to the students at Black Diamond. In this post, we’ll look at the first of the two; we’ll take a closer look at the second in a subsequent update.
We’ll assume you’re oriented the way Jimmy is: on top, with your left leg wrapped up in your opponent’s half guard. So, here are the pointers on Jimmy Quinlan’s half guard pass:
- Apply pressure to your opponent’s chin with your right shoulder. You want to turn his head so that he’s looking to your left (his right).
- Drop your right (free) knee to a lower point on your opponent’s body, and turn towards him. By lowering your hips and changing your angle relative to your opponent, this move allows you to put even more pressure on your opponent’s chin, and it further inhibits his movement.
- Unclasp your hands behind your opponent’s head, being careful not to let him get his head free as you adjust. Then, grab your opponent’s lat muscle with your right hand. This allows you to maintain the same kind of pressure on his chin while freeing your left hand completely.
- Readjust your orientation, trying to keep yourself nearly perpendicular to your opponent.
- Use your now-free left hand to scoop under your opponent’s right leg and start prying his legs apart. Keep control of that leg with your hand until your knee is in position.
- Once his legs are apart, you’ll scoot your left knee over your opponent’s right hip. As Jimmy says, this may seem counter-intuitive, if your first impulse is to pull your leg out the other way (don’t worry; we’ll cover that approach next time).
- Drop that left knee of yours to the mat, and work your foot out.
There are a couple of major benefits to using this pass. One is that, if you pull it off, you end up in mount, rather than in side control. Another is that your opponent may simply expect you to only try to pass to the other side. That’s also why this pass works so well in tandem with the second half guard pass that Jimmy discusses.