Stuck in guard because you can’t open the knee shield?
Tired of always being within an eyebrow’s width of passing guard, only to have your opponent block you at the last nanosecond with their knee?
More importantly, are you sick of not knowing what to do about it?
Get ready, because things are about to change.
Gianni Grippo is here to teach you 3 killer tips that’ll help you swing that rusty gate wide open so you can guarantee yourself a clear path for passing guard, whenever you want it!
Below you’ll find a comprehensive and detailed step-by-step breakdown of Gianni’s exact knee shield opening method.
This breakdown features images and mini videos highlighting the crucial aspects you need to remember.
And as a bonus, we’ve even included the full video for this technique – from Gianni’s course PinPoint Passing – at the end of the article.
Opening the Knee Shield in 3 Simple Steps
Step #1 - The Towel Whip
Gianni’s first tip for opening the knee shield involves gaining inside position. That is, getting your outside elbow in between your body and your opponent’s top leg.
While this can often seem easier said than done, it’s the little details in how you do it that’ll make it easier done than said.
First, take a grip on your opponent’s lapel with your outside arm and a grip on the outside of their bottom leg at the knee.
From here, your goal is to lift their bottom knee up and towards your chest.
Doing so will shift the direction of your opponent’s hips upward.
This movement is a crucial detail for gaining inside position when opening the knee shield as it makes it incredibly easy to drop your elbow in between your body and your opponent’s knee, without forcing you into an awkward position to do it.
Step #2 - Burning Bridges
Once you’ve won the battle for inside position, the dumbest thing you could ever do is to let your opponent get it back.
And in this tip, you’re going to learn how to burn those bridges, so that once your opponent crosses them, there’s no turning back.
To restrict your opponent’s ability to pummel their knee back into position, you’ll want to flare your elbow and block their thigh to restrict the movements of their leg.
Here’s one of Gianni’s important tips – to block your opponent’s leg effectively, you’ll need to anchor your arm in place by taking a grip on your opponent’s body.
However, don’t be tempted to make that grip on your opponent’s lapel. Doing this will actually make it easier for the person on bottom to snag the lasso.
Instead, you’ll want to cup your opponent’s body low, right around the hip.
No need to grip any material here, as it is more important that you use the skeletal structure of your whole arm to block reentry of the knee, rather than focus your efforts on the grip.
This will put your arm in a position so tight to their inner thigh that any attempt to lasso will be fruitless.
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Step #3 - Kill the Leg and the Guard Will Die
Gianni’s final tip for opening the knee shield guard involves killing the bottom leg.
It may seem like you’re home free after opening the gate in our previous steps, however, allowing your opponent to maintain the reverse de la riva hook with their bottom leg gives them the opportunity to:
- Throw you off balance by elevating you
- Throw a huge spanner in the works for your knee cut (if that be your weapon of choice)
The good news is if you follow Gianni’s advice, and the killer details in this final tip, that guard pass is as good as done.
First, you’ll want to take a cupping grip on your opponent’s shin (just below their knee) so that the palm of your hand provides a downward pushing motion in the next step.
Next, raise your hips slightly and push your opponent’s leg to the mat.
Standing up before you push will straighten your leg just enough to ensure that when you push your opponent’s shin, you’re not pushing it into the back of your calf.
As soon as you push their leg to the mat, pin it now with your knee.
The important detail here is that as soon as you pin their thigh to the mat with your knee, you need to maintain tight contact between your calf and your hamstring.
This will ensure there is no space and no possibility of your opponent reentering with their reverse de la riva hook.
Here’s another of Gianni’s important tips – once in this position, to further reduce your opponent’s ability to reengage their hook, slightly rotate your shin so that your foot creates a wedge behind your opponent’s leg.
This significantly restricts their ability to move their leg back towards you.
CHECK OUT THE FULL TECHNIQUE FROM PINPOINT PASSING BELOW
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