Knee Cut Pass To Blast past Open Guards by Jon Thomas

At the beginning of your Jiu Jitsu Journey, it can be pretty overwhelming to start passing against someone just sitting in front of you without grips. Where to start? Where do you grip first and not end in a strong guard where you might get swept or submitted? A knee cut pass is a solid option, but I’ve it can be improved upon.

Jon Thomas is a Black Belt under Master Romero Cavalcanti (Jacaré) and Lucas Lepri who won IBJJF Pan Ams Gold and World´s Gold at brown belt level. In this video, he demonstrates the Blast version of the knee cut pass that is nothing short of demoralizing for the bottom person.

Upgrading The BJJ Knee Cut Pass

Knee cut pass, knee slice pass, knee smash pass… no matter the name, you’ve heard of it, done it, or had it done to you. if you’ve shown up in a BJJ gym more than three times, the above sentence is most likely true. The knee cut pass is a part of almost everyone’s game for two main reasons – it works at all levels, and becomes readily available even when you’re not trying.

The mechanics of the knee cut are easy, although figuring out the base and balance can be tricky. Basically, for the knee cut, you want to have the thigh of an opponent pinned with your shin, while having the other leg outstretched to help with balance. If you think of the position as a knee on belly variation, you’ll understand why it is so effective in holding someone mid-pass.

The knee cut pass is a staple because grapplers of all belts, sizes, sexes, and ages can do it effectively against different types of opponents. However, being used so frequently, it also means that there are counters and defenses available against it.

In order for the pass to remain effective it had to evolve, and there are different variations of it available today. Jon Thomas’ Blast knee cut is one of the more efficient and unstoppable ones.

The Blast Knee Cut Pass

The most common situation the move works is when the partner sits up and both of you are grip fighting for superior grips. First of all, you need to keep the distance so you can make sure you are the one who is engaging when you start to pass. Aim for the gap between his elbow and knee of the sitting partner.

A way to make the gap bigger is grabbing the hand the side you want to pass to and lift a little bit, then you blast your knee through this gap to the ground – pretty easy isn´t it? At the same time, you catch the underhook on the opposite side.

For the blast to work, though, you want to already have a solid understanding of the knee cup pass position, given that that Blast works off of the basic version. In fact, doing the best will get people to become wary of it, and start to extend a leg to try and close the gap. This will give you a chance to go for a regular type of knee cut.

Blast Knee Cut Pass by Jon Thomas

The pass works against both seated and supine opponents. You can choose to blast on both sides and combine the blast not just with a regular knee cut pass, but also with other similar passes, like the X-pass and backstep pass.

At the end of the video, there are some troubleshooting and ideas, how you can make the pass work for you. For example, stepping on the foot of the partner or pushing the guy flat to the floor.