Butterfly Pass

ButterlyHeading to NYC again in a couple days and of course I’m going to make it a point to stop in and see my man-crush, Marcelo Garcia (you can read about my prior experiences here and here), to get some training in.

I remembered getting the floor wiped with me by people using a lot of open guard and butterfly guard.  I decided to review some passes of the butterfly guard (with the help of Gracie Humaita Cleveland) so that hopefully I won’t get my ass kicked as badly this time.

1. Start with the opponent sitting up with his feet between my knees
2. Since the key to a strong butterfly guard is control of the center (a term I came across while reading The Art of Learning), my first job is to prevent him from maintaining the seated position.
3. So I first use my hands to push his chest and shoulders back repeatedly, the instructor made a point to reference Ehonda’s ehonda“thousand hand slap” from Street Fighter II, so of course I had to look it up.
4. At the same I place my forehead against his chest (I can’t use the vertex of my head because that would put me at risk for a guillotine)
5. Once I push him down with the thousand hand slap and my forehead, I need to scoot my knees forward to pin his heels to his butt, while keeping my elbows in and pressing his knees to my thighs, and palms on the side of his belly (to make it easier to keep my elbows flush with his sides).
6. I then move my head to the side opposite of the side I want to pass to, keeping my head tight on his torso
7. Donkey kick my right leg back to release it from his left hook, and then bring it back to trap his right ankle against his butt.
8. Once I have his right ankle secured, I open my left knee out to force his right knee to the ground.
9. Then I step over his right knee with my left foot, so that my knee clears his right knee, then after the foot hits the ground, I can immediately bring the left knee to the ground right next to his right hip.
10. Donkey kick my right leg back and bring it next to my left knee against his right hip.
11. If he pushes against my hips with his left hand, I can use my right knee to come around the top of his shoulder and clear and pin his right arm as I open my hips up towards his feet.

A problem that I’ve frequently run into with this pass is when I try the initial donkey kick (step 7) to free my first leg, my partner will follow me with his hook for this same leg.

The counter is:

1. Bring my knee back (assuming it’s my right knee) towards his right butt cheek and at the same time shoot my left knee back to allow some space.
2. Then once I pin his left heel to his right butt cheek with my right knee I shoot my left knee back and switch it’s position with my right knee, so that now my left knee is pinning his left heel to his right butt cheek.
3. This now puts me back on track with step 8 above, except that it’s on my opposite side.

Another variation is if the opponent is able to prevent my face from being tight on his torso (step 6) with a frame and is starting to sit up, the counter is:

1. Give up whatever I’m doing and then use my left hand to grab his right collar and use my right hand to grab his left knee pants
2. Use my left hand to pull his collar toward me while using my right hand to push his knee towards his body (away from me)
3. As he starts to sit up, before he crosses the 90 degree line (where he will have most power), I spin him on his butt, but rotating him counter clock wise with my hands, using both hands on him like a steering wheel.
4. This will end with me in side control.

The last variation is if he manages to sit all the way back up, or if my “thousand hand slap” failed, and he establishes both underhooks and starts to extend his legs:

1. I need to immediately sit my butt back and then plant my hands in front of his legs, with my antecubital fossae against his knee.
2. This will kill the power of his hooks and neutralize butterfly sweeps.
3. Then I use my hands to grab his pants around his ankles, making sure to avoid his knees by first bringing my hands towards y belly.
4. I use my hands to pin his ankles to the floor controlling is legs.
5. Step through with my right knee, so that my knee is on the ground and my toes are flexed and on the ground (will help me pivot later on)
6. Step my left foot over his right knee and at the same time reach my left hand over his right shoulder so that it’s flat against is thoracic spine and my head his against his chest facing his left arm
7. Then drive my left knee into his right hip, and at the same time pivot my right knee away from him, while pushing his torso to the ground, so that now my hips are open towards him and my right foot is on the ground acting as a kick stand while my left knee is against his right hip.

I’ll definitely be drilling these a lot more… which will hopefully help me do better in NYC!

7 Responses to Butterfly Pass

  1. mike says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8o-A_wkL_k I LOVE this pass…

    Better video of it: http://www.lockflow.com/forum/topic/escaping-butterfly-guard-robson-moura

    I’m partial to Master Robson and all but his stuff is innovative and effective.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      Whoa… that looks super efficient.

      • mike says:

        If they are out to one side and not on their backs just get their leg and walk in a half circle towards the hook they have in, it will roll them right up onto their backs.

        I have 2 more that I don’t have on video he showed me, they are just as sick….

        I’m hoping they’ll be on JJ tracker soon….

  2. Mike says:

    This is the tool, it’s not ready for release yet but will be here pretty quickly.


    It’s a way to log your training hours and what you’re doing. I can see my students notes and ratings. It helps me see if someone is really struggling w/ an area I can then work w/ him/her on it.

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