Over the leg pass defense

When your opponent goes for an over the leg pass after uncrossing your ankles, what is the best defense? Spider? Butterfly? Bearing in mind that his base is solid, and usually I am outweighed by 20 lbs. My inner thigh and calf are demanding that I get a better defense for this pass.

Before doing this pass, your opponent almost always has to put a knee between your buttocks, then break your legs open somehow and then slide his knee over your leg. So, whenever you feel a big pointy thing (no, it's his knee) poking where the sun don't shine, move your hips to the center of his stomach so that his knee is now to the outside of your hip again.

Let's assume that you fail in doing this and his shin starts sliding over your thigh. It's partially over your thigh by now. There's a nice principle you should try to follow with the open guard and it goes as follows: Never let your opponent control more than one of your legs and if he gets control of one of them, use the other one to push on him SOMEHOW to get the space to free your trapped leg (usually with some kind of circular motion, but you can't do that here). So we're assuming that he doesn't get your other leg on his shoulder but just "shins" your one leg.

Following the above principle, since he's too close for you to push on his upper body with your free foot, you use your non-trapped knee to push. Slide it across his body and push on his stomach. Also, use your far forearm or hand to push on the side of his head or his shoulder. This should enable you to pull your trapped leg away from under him and go to the open guard again. It doesn't matter really if it's his same side leg or his other leg that slides over your leg - you can use this same defence.

Hope this helps.

I also like to take an over and under grip on his arm with both hands and go to omoplata.

Thanks guys.

estanmilko - how do I get position for omoplata if you get one of my legs nearly pinned down to pass?

jonpall - by saying push with your far forearm against head/shoulders, do you mean opposite arm from trapped leg?

Doggboy, grab the arm that is pinning your leg BEFORE the leg comes over and TUG on it to turn your body that way to omoplata that arm.

thanks estanmilko, makes a lot more sense that way

Doggboy: Yeah.

I find the omoplata hard from there because his arms will usually be so far in that I can't underhook them. But it sounds great if you do it early on.

Helps if you have long arms and legs too I guess. I'm 6'2".


I think as well Jonpall, that mentioning that I underhook with the arm nearest to the pinned leg and overhook with my other arm then clasp my hands together. This might make it easier to visualise.

Yeah, that's a great way to pull on his arm and break his posture!

Top for later.

Also note that you should be especially aware of his knee sliding over your thigh when he postures up, because if he's low on you, the angle is kind of awkward for him to slide a knee over. As soon as his weight goes back you should be very wary of this kind of pass and always know where his knees are. So your awarness bell should go off when he sits back in posture. By all means practise moving your hips to his center, away from his poking knee, like I mentioned earlier.


i think going for an omaplata on someone trying that pass who knows what hes doing is pretty ambitious.

backward roll


"Before doing this pass, your opponent almost always has to put a knee between your buttocks"

uhhhhh, wanna bet?

you can do it a number of ways, including from half guard

Hmmm... I didn't have the time to read this thread all over again, so I'll add this: Obviously, the best way to defend against any kind of passes and really the best way to get a good guard, is to get good at side mount escapes. As soon as your opponent is about to pass, get your arms in posture, turn onto your side and then escape. Then you can experiment, experiment, experiment with all kinds of guard techniques.

Being good at general open guard control, pummeling, underhooks, wrist control, head control and playing with your opponent's balance helps as well.