Passing to reverse scarf

There are 2 guard passes that have been working quite well for me lately against guys whos guards I've found hard to pass. Since I haven't really seen them taught in any instructionals I own, I'd like it if someone gave me comments on if they thought the moves are good.

Move 1: I get one leg on my shoulder and push the other knee down and out with my other arm. It begins like the standard "leg on shoulder" guard pass, but since I've had problems reaching his neck or shoulder, I've begun to modify the move by simply doing a sort of "back step" right into reverse scarf hold. F.ex. if I have his right leg on my shoulder, I'll step with my right leg. I end up in a variation of the reverse scarf hold in which I don't overhook his arm, just hold his far hip with my forearm/elbow. Then I work on getting a more secure pin by either overhooking his arm or grabbing his head.

Move 2: I overhook one of his thighs and grab the foot of the other leg and pull. I then move one of my knees past the knee of his grabbed leg, so that his knee is in my stomach and I'm almost passed. The last step is to go to the same reverse scarf hold variation as above.

Notice that both of these moves are about going to reverse scarf hold in which I'm really still only controlling my opponent's hips and not his chest.

What do you think about these moves (for no-gi)?




i always go to the reverse scarf hold from a guard pass before I ever get into the side mount.

Except, I always overhook his shoulder and get a high reverse scarf.



JP, both of those passes sound great. Especially for no-gi, the only thing I might be concerned about is how much space I am leaving him to use his arms to shove me away and move his hips if I am not locking down his upper body.

The other night I rolled with a blue belt from another gym who was an ex-armwrestling competitor, and his upper body strength was amazing. Every time I would pass his guard and go to reverse scarf, I could control his hips, but not his uppper body. He would simply shove me away and regain half guard. Very frustrating.

Eventually, I passed to reverse scarf hold like you are doing, then put my feet on the ground and my hips very high in the air, and walked around to North-South. From here I was finally able to kill his arms and stop him from just throwing me off of him.

Against most people, I think reverse scarf hold without the gi is fine. If you run into a freak like I did, you may have to adjust your strategy a little.


I do what jrockwell does in that situation. If you can't keep it close, go with the flow to north south or even all the around them to side mount on the other side if necessary(or knee on stomach). Since I started my jiu-jitsu training in no-gi only for the first couple of years, I never learned to grab the head with this pass. I don't think it's very practical in no-gi at all either or really necessary if you can just push their leg up against their chest(or at least try to get the right reaction out of them).

One thing I do differently though is I always get my shin on top of their other leg before I go for that first one. I do all of my close guard passing from 3 passes that get setup from that type of situation. I use the knee across the thigh as my primary pass, but I also use that first pass you described and also a backstep pass. If I pin say their right thigh down with my left shin, then I can get their left leg on my shouler and do the first pass you described with a lot less worry about getting triangled if my hand slips(if I were holding their thigh down with my hand). I also have the option from the same leg on shoulder grip with my shin pinning the other leg, to back step my right leg right over and toward the side where my shin is pinning their leg right into the reverse scarf hold or sidemount. This gives you two options from the same grip, so as with everything in jiu-jitsu you force them to defend two directions at once making it very hard for them to stop you.

From that same situation, you can also simply push the unpinned leg down and go shin across their opposite side to pass. That gives you your 3 passes off one setup. You can of course spin through the middle for a kneebar as well or sit back for an ankle lock on the unpinned leg if you want to go that route. I use some other passes occasionally, but those are my primaries.