Gui Mendes breaks down a grip that makes a knee slice, long step, leg drag possible

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Guilherme Mendes getting to leg drag position during his second match at the 2013 World Championship. Photo: Kristen Mendes

The Mendes brothers are known for their guards but also their passing which shows their ability to connect moves as well. After seeing a match online with a pass that seems to use three techniques in one then analyzing a certain grip that seems to help a passer prevent someone from recovering guard, we decided to ask Guilherme Mendes about this outside grip on the pants. Normally with knee slice positions we see a grip made on an opponent’s side and then the other hand grips the opponent’s arm or leg. But this grip is different.

Check out Guilherme’s second match from the 2013 Worlds and the grip he uses to make this knee slice, long step, leg drag pass possible and then read our interview him below for explanation:

GRACIEMAG: When you first get to that knee slice position what grips are you looking for?

I’m always trying to get a good control, my first try is always the under hook but when you fight against top level guys it is hard to get and we need to combine attacks until we achieve the position that we want.
We always tell the students that passing the guard is about combination, if you connect the techniques very well and explode you have great changes to pass the guard.

Why do you choose to grab the pants instead of gripping the person’s side/grabbing their gi there?

I always feel my opponents and I try to figure out what guard and grips they are looking for, when I fight against someone who likes the leg lasso or spider guard I use this grip on the pants because I control my opponent’s leg and it’s hard for them to step on my biceps or step on my hips.

Besides that long step pass when you switch your hips, what other passes can you get from that position/grip?

I tell the students that we need to have many attacks from the same grip, because once you get the grips during the fight you can keep attacking the opponent without changing any grip and it will make your pass very powerful. I use that grip for knee slide pass, long step, leg weave and shin slide pass.

Are you always looking to get into the leg drag position or does it depend on how the opponent reacts?

I’m always trying to stabilize in the leg drag position to have a better control. Also the leg drag position gives you the option to choose between back and side control.

Can you breakdown the purpose of the grip and what it does exactly?

It’s all about connecting techniques. I control the pants to prevent the spider guard or leg lasso and I grab the collar to prevent the deep half guard. Once I get my grips I start the knee slide pass, my opponent will push me away to defend and I connect to long step, he starts turning into a double leg to defend the pass and I keep the same grips and jump over his legs getting the leg drag position.

I would like to say thank you so much for all the fans for the amazing messages that we have been receiving on our social media, God is amazing to us and we are very blessed to live our dream. I would like to invite everyone to stop by Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy one day and train with us, our Academy has open doors to everyone! Also, if you wanna watch our classes online visit, we upload every class that we teach and it has been helping a lot of people to learn our moves and concepts! Thank you everyone OSSS

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