One of the most common questions I get is how to transition from gi to no-gi. For most gi players, the transition from gi to no gi can be perplexing. You feel naked... what do I grab? How can I control my opponent with no lapel? How do I sweep without reverse de la worm guard??? Well, maybe not the last one. But you get the point. Going from gi grips to no-gi grips is confusing. I'm here to help you modify all of your gi specific-moves and help you develop your game in no-gi.
We'll start with one of the most common problems when passing guard in no gi. Beating the knee shield. In the gi, passing is a whole different game. Smashing and removing space tends to be a little easier. We have lapels, pants grips, sleeve grips, etc. But how do we beat the knee shield without creating too much space in no gi?
In comes the headquarters position. This is a great beginner-friendly staple in no gi passing. You can enter this passing position by controlling the shins and stuffing one leg underneath you in open guard, or by breaking the closed guard and immediately stuffing one leg and settling. In the following video, I give you a few easy passes from the HQ position. Keep in mind, these are designed to be flowed between. Don't try to force any of these passes if you're getting the wrong reaction. Each of these passes can be utilized dependent on if your opponent: keeps the knee shield and frames, elevates you, or pushes into you. Watch the video below and see if you can implement this during your next rolling session. Remember that in no-gi, timing and proper reactions are arguably even more important because the lack of control can lead to scrambles even faster than in the gi!
Next post, I'll be showing you an intro to passing open-guard from the standing position