Counter to Sperry Pass?

I remember seeing this posted a long time ago, but what is the counter to the Sperry arm-trap pass? It seems like it was something simple, but I can't remember what it was.

Any help would be much appreciated!


Describe the pass and maybe someone can help you.

I think I know what your talking about.

This is the one where you trap the opponent's arm (say his right with your left), pop up and feed it to your other hand (right) behind his back. Sperry then reaches over with the left and switches grips & switches his legs. From there, he starts working around the opponent's legs and comes to side control. Passing on the trapped arm side.

If this isn't clear, let me know and I'll try to give a better explanation.

the arm trap/arm behind the back pass only works if the opponent keeps the closed guard and allows his hip to come off of the ground when you raise your hips up. this is how you get the clearance to feed his arm behind his back and pass it to the other hand.

the defense to this is to open your guard and keep your butt, hips and back on the mat. put your feet in his hips, grab his cross collar with your free hand and escape your hips to the left if he is trapping your right arm. this will set up drags, sweeps and maybe even a triangle if he keeps his head down. if he won't let go of your right wrist, bring your right shin into the bend of his elbow and push with your shin while pulling your wrist free. then try switching to an omoplata on his other arm because he probably forgot all about it.

just my opinion, though.


^ nice post, sounds like you've done that one or twice before. ;)

shouln't you use your left shin if your right arm's trapped?

^^^ Saiyajin - no. not unless your left shin is on the right side of your body. ;)

picture it: the person in your guard is grabbing your right wrist with his left hand, and pressing it down to the mat near your hips. there is a gap between his body and his arm. open your guard and put your right shin in the bend of HIS left arm and push while you pull your right arm free.

JRockwell: i've done the pass once or twice. for about a year, sperry's master series was my only form of entertainment!


"picture it: the person in your guard is grabbing your right wrist with his left hand"

If the arm is trapped behind your back, isn't he grabbing your right wrist with his right hand?

^^twinkletoes: you point out a flaw in my wording. i didn't make myself clear. i assume that Saiyajin is confused by the same lack of clarity on my part. i'll try to make things more clear.

if the opponent has passed your arm (right arm in this case) behind your back and secured it with his right hand... you're late - waaaaay late. the defense to this pass needs to happen before things get this far.

my description on how to break the grip on your wrist is after you have nullified his pass attempt by opening your guard and keeping your butt on the mat. sometimes, the opponent will still hold on to your wrist in an attempt to try the pass again as soon as the opportunity presents itself. people would do this to me so i started breaking their grip with my right shin. then switching to the choke. the grip break with the shin is a minor detail, but if you don't break the grip they may keep trying the pass.

usually when the person tries this pass, their head is low - on your belly/lower chest. when their head drops your left hand should get a good cross collar grip and pull down to keep their head down. when they lift their hips up, open your guard and keep your butt on the mat so they can't pass your arm under your back. (minor detail: also, escape your hips away from the arm they are trying to trap.) if need be, put your feet on their hips to push them away some. usually at this point they give up on the pass but are still holding on to your wrist with their left hand and your guard is open. escape your hips a little to your left if needed, and break his grip on your right wrist with your right shin. as soon as your hand is free, grab the gi material on top of his right shoulder near his collar with your right hand, escape your hips a little more to the left, and finish with the choke. either keep your feet in his hips or close the guard back up.

i hope this clears up my previous explanation. i should just film this shit to keep from having this confusion. maybe i'll do that tomorrow or this weekend.