Daniel Bertina: Pressure Half Guard Pass

The initial position is a half guard with knee shield. Say the right leg is trapped.

Regular Smash Pass

Weave the right hand over the knee shield and on the leg below and pin the knees using my own body weight. The left arm grabs the collar on the open side and goes into a T-Rex arm for protection, although I have to be aware of wrist locks. The head goes on the closed side shoulder or under the arm pit and starts pushing, ideally to flatten the opponent out.

A knee on belly from half guard

Then sprawl, hard. My knees should align with the guarder. This should free one leg, which is enough to windshield wipe the other one all the while my head flattens him out by pushing into his armpit. Once both leg are cleared, the usual transitions to side control can start.

Weak Side Pass

Sometimes the knee shield just won’t drop. In that case,the right hand takes a pants grip outside of the shield, the left one grabs the knee. Get on the toes, lift his knee and turn him on the other side, aka. his “white belt side”. From there the pass is straight forward.

Big Ass Pressure Pass

Instead of turning him completely to his weak side, stop in the middle. Bring the trapped knee slightly forward onto the abdomen, grab the left hand sleeve and the collar and presao. He should feel miserable there.

Taking the back

At that point, he’ll really try to get the fuck out. He can push the knee to either side but that gives me mount or side control / arm bar. His best bet is to push the knee back; in that case, the right hand cross grips his collar and I give in to his pull to make him sit up. Use the control on the arm to step to the back. There is a straight transition to a bow and arrow choke.

Daniel Marques: Defending The Turtle

General rule is feet flat, elbows out but tight to the body. The pressure will be either on the shoulders or on the hips; whatever part is pressure free can move around.

Daniel Marques attacking a turtle named Eric

At that point I was starting to have a little information overload so my notes become less precise. To get away from the turtle,the general idea was to roll backwards with a leg behind the opponent, making him fall over during the roll. It works best with a grip, on the far side knee or on the wrist.

David George: Leglocks

A nogi class on how to attack the legs when the guarder plays DLR. The base position starts with placing the leg in a deep DLR position and then squat down to lock it there. The hooked leg then turns outwards with the shin deep into the back of the knee.

Kasper in the process of leglocking me

The easiest attacks start with locking a figure four with the leg and diving on the second leg, hugging it. The figure four does a slight calf slicer which can be intensified by moving the figure four. Meanwhile the second leg is open to toe-holds, knee bars and heel hooks.

David George having fun

The other attack that can also be chained after the first one is to invert under the DLR leg, flattening the opponent on his belly. Reaching to his hips/shoulders slices the calf.

Keenan Cornelius: Worm Guard

The camp highlight, 150 people stacked on 3 mats ready to soak in knowledge from catboy himself. Instead of splitting the 3 hours in two gi / no-gi lessons, he offered to teach us the worm guard for two hours and then roll with as many people has he could for the last one. Some people who came specially for nogi were a bit bummed but the vast majority agreed with the plan.

Keenan introducing the seminar


Aside from the entry, He showed us 6 techniques which are, I believe, all on his website.

From the worm guard, he showed us the scissor sweep and the transition to shin to shin and single leg. Something he emphasied more than on his videos is the process of coming on top after a sweep; it’s not just going straight up, you have to get some sort of angle, be on your knees and slide into mount.

Wormguard demonstration

Then from the ringworm guard he showed us the wormnado and another one I can’t remember. And eventually from the RDLW, two backtakes; the first one is just like the DLR around th world backtake: shoot in a deep DLR hook, grab the belt and shoot the legs forward, all the while maintaing the worm guard. The second one is flashy; the worm leg gets up on the hip, from there you load up the opponent and flip him mid-air. I can’t quite remember the details on that one.

Overall teaching

Obviously there were too many people for him to debug every single of our problems so I didn’t get any special attention. I did the whole session with Kasper, one of the local guys I met on my first day. Super nice dude, he had all the tricks to get us valuable mat space. Keenan doesn’t really have the “instructor voice” but we could all here him alright. He does have a little charisma and I couldn’t help but feel a litle intimidated sharing a mat with him. He insisted on us counting to three and clapping before trying each technique, don’t know what that’s supposed to do.

Otherwise he was very friendly and down to earth. His answers to questions were good — I liked how he pointed out the first “What If” question right away and avoided going into that territory.


After the teaching and Q&A part was done, it was rolling time. Everyone who wanted to roll lined up and because there were too many of us, he suggested we do a king of the hill: four purple belts sat in the corners and he himself took the middle spot; and then everyone just rolled. He took on all of the black belts, the brown belts and then some purples, almost without a single rest. The video made the rounds on the internets and hey!, I’m in there.

…not rolling against him though, I figured right away there were too many people for that. Instead I took on one of the purple belts… and triangled him! We fought it out for a good 15 minutes; I restlessly chained attacks from my close guard, giving him no space; but he managed to fend them all off. I had to open up a couple of times but prevented him from passing my open guard, eventually sucking him back into closed. I only vaguely perceived the claps that broke the silence from time to time when Keenan submitted a black belt.

Wormguard demonstration

At some point I sensed his posture was too far back and started a hip bump, even though I knew his arm was already out of reach for me and that he would post; it was more of a distraction then anything else. But as he posted, I did a move that I had never felt comfortable doing before: I transitionned from the hip bump to a triangle… and caught him! He resisted for a while, but the exhaustion eventually made him tap.

I was still absolutely out of breath when the next guy came for me. I took him in closed guard but I was too tired to keep attacking. I conceded a pass and thought I’d recover later, but he grabbed a quick kimura and I had to tap. That made me realize even moe how much of a beast Keenan is; while I got through one fight, he had submitted 4 black belts and was still going steady. Crazy cardio.

Wormguard demonstration

I watched the remaining rolls between Keenan, Oli, and Kari, and then some black belts going at each other. I don’t know if it was the atmosphere or the fact that everything was live, but the fights were breathtaking. I usually like to watch BJJ fights but it’s not the most interesting thing in the world either; but I could have watched them for a long time if it hadn’t been for the hunger / thirst / exhaustion of the week.