Breaking the Same-side Sleeve Grip from Top of Close Guard

This grip break comes to us courtesy of Derek Kaivani of Buckhead BJJ.  Interestingly it was presented as an end note to a collar and sleeve guard pass that he was teaching in the kids class – why do us grown-ups not get to know this?!

Initial position: Starting from inside of your opponents close guard, they have a same-side grip on one or both of your sleeves.  This can be part of collar & sleeve guard, lasso guard, or spider guards.

What to do: Rotate your hand around their wrist in a “wax-on” meets belly-dance motion.  There is only one direction that will work (for the right hand CCW, for the left CW, in both cases from inside to out), going the other way will feel awkward or impossible.  Place the webbing between your thumb and index finger against the side of your opponent’s wrist.  Push their hand to their chest/stomach.  This push is what strips the grip, so do it purposefully and quickly.

Why this move matters: While it is not impossible to break your opponents grip eventually, it is important to be able to quickly get rid of it from inside the close guard.  Essentially you are working on borrowed time once they are able to get the grips they want.

Next steps: The most important thing about passing the guard is posture.  Regaining control of your sleeve will better enable you to make that posture – but only if you try for it!  Much of the time your opponent will have a collar grip as well, so be aware of the possibility of a choke (if their hand is deep enough).


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