How to Do the "Tripod" Guard Pass for Half Guard in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Updated on April 2, 2020
revolutionbjj profile image

Andrew Smith is a 3rd-degree BJJ black belt based out of Richmond, VA (Revolution BJJ). He runs BJJ Path, a video tutorial website.

Passing the half guard.
Passing the half guard.

History of the Tripod Pass in BJJ

I remember using the tripod pass in 2004 when competing as a purple belt at the Pan Ams. Half guard still wasn't very well understood, and this pass, which relies on very simple fundamental concepts, served me incredibly well for a number of years. It's one of the cornerstone methods of passing, and it's great to understand how to mitigate the most common risks associated with the pass. There are also some fairly modern tweaks we can make to the pass to help you stay on top.

Tripod to Mount: The Classic

The epitome of the classic way to do this pass is straight to the mount. Start by dominating half guard by getting the outside underhook, by establishing a strong crossface, and utilizing both technical positions in order to keep your partner completely flat on their back. This takes most of their ability to establish an offensive half guard out of the way (although watch out for butterfly half and the related messes that can arise).

Once here, the next step is essentially to posture up in the air with your hips, while making sure your partner's face turns away from you (hello, shoulder pressure!). Keeping their face turned away, you can begin to shake your knee free if needed and slide right into mount (some of the time; when this doesn't work, we'll have additional techniques to use).

Knee-Cut Option

This was my personal favorite half guard pass for years. Start with the same tall tripod, trying to move to the mount position, exactly as before. Unfortunately, this time, your partner keeps your foot trapped in between their legs, keeping you from achieving the mount. Next up, lift your hips again (or keep them up; you can "change gears" while you are still in the air if it makes more sense to use the knee cut option). Finally, slide your knee across, shooting for a classic knee cut guard pass finish. As always, from the knee cut, you also have the backstep passing options if they get the underhook during the transition.

"Yogafoot" and Shoulder Pressure

For a slightly meaner (and, ultimately, more stable) approach, try focusing on the initial shoulder pressure even more, making your partner look the exact wrong way. Next, while posturing only slightly up with your hips, swivel your free foot inside of your partner's knee, right where your leg is trapped. This "yogafoot" motion (swiveling the foot, but not moving the knee) is tremendously useful in BJJ. You can bring your knee in flush with your partner's hip here, so that you'll know when to shoot the foot in there. Now bring your hips up with impunity, and then switch things up for a knee cut pass.

Half Guard Pass: Mount or Side?

See results


This guard-passing sequence, while a classic, has undergone some significant modifications over the years. When I initially learned it, the classic method was to drive your shoulder under your partner's chin, almost as though you were trying to pop the bottlecap off of a soda or beer bottle. Nowadays it's more common to see the face turned away from the pass, and I think that's a good thing. The pass is still a very, very strong pressure pass, but it's also extremely technical and careful. As always, let me know how these techniques are working for you!

© 2018 Andrew Smith


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)