The Complete Guide to the Knee Slice Pass in BJJ

Guard passing is an essential Jiu-Jitsu move that every student should master and practice. However, it is one of the most challenging aspects of BJJ grappling, especially for beginners. Therefore, to be effective in sparring and competitions, you should be well-versed in several jiu-jitsu guard passing strategies, such as the knee slice pass.

The knee slice (the knee slide or knee cut pass) is one of the most well-known and versatile BJJ passes. It is a practical and decisive move for passing the guard employed by several world champions and high-level competitors.

The knee slice passing technique is available in various variations, each effective. Nonetheless, it is vital to understand how to carry it out appropriately. Therefore, this article will teach you how to do the knee slide guard pass properly.

Knee Slice Guard Pass Basics

The knee-sliding pass has long been one of the most successful passes in all levels of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

It is an excellent jiu-jitsu pass move employed by many prominent players, like Xande Ribeiro, Marcelo Garcia, Lucas Lepri, Rodolfo Viera, and others.

In the video below, Professor Philipe Della Monica demonstrates the basic Knee slide pass from an open guard step-by-step.

Source: Gracie Barra HQ

Knee Cut Pass Setup

The knee slide guard pass is one of the most straightforward BJJ moves. Hence, everyone has terrific success with it regardless of experience level.

The Knee slice pass can be applied when you are in front of a seated opponent (also if he is lying down) with an open guard up.

The initial step is to grip his knees and then use both of your hands to open up his guard even more by pinning one of his hips to the ground.

Then, move your knee across your opponent’s hip. After that, finish the pass move and reach the side control position.

In the video below, Lucas Lepri, a multiple World Champion, explains the optimal setup to do a knee slide pass.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

Knee Slice Pass from Half Guard

The half-guard is among the first and most essential to learn in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

As a bottom-half guard player, he employs various methods to defeat his opponent, such as the underhook, knee slide, etc.

In the video below, Rafael Mendes, a six-time World Champion, demonstrates the knee slice pass from a half-guard.

Source: Guilherme and Rafael Mendes

Knee Slice Pass from Open Guard

The knee slice can also be used to neutralize open guards. However, in this case, it must be done powerfully and explosively.

As a result, by varying your pass, you may beat many open guard players and prevent them from establishing solid guards.

Aside from that, the knee slide may be used against De La Riva, Reverse De La Riva, Single-Leg X, Butterfly, and many other prominent open guards.

So, if you execute the knee cut fast, aggressively, and with superb timing, you can pass many open guards.

In the video below, Andrew Wiltse displays the knee slice pass from an open guard in great detail.

Source: Bernardo Faria BJJ Fanatics

Related: The BJJ Knee Shield is an effective tool for creating space, offering various offensive and defensive options, including sweeps, chokes, and guard transitions. Read More!

Attacks from the Knee Slide Position

The knee cut is not just a pass; it is an excellent position that offers numerous transitions and submissions.

Therefore, many BJJ fighters, like Romulo Barral, Rafael Lovato, and Xande Ribeiro, prefer to drive their opponents in the knee slice and build up many submissions.

You may seize a baseball bat choke, brabo choke, cross choke, D’arce choke, and many more in the knee slice position.

In the following video, Romulo Barral demonstrates the setup of getting and finishing a cross choke from the knee slice position.

Source: Romulo Barral

No-Gi Knee Slice Pass in Jiu-Jitsu

The knee slice is one of the most potent No-Gi guard passes, and it can be executed from several postures and angles.

In the video below, Andrew Wiltse demonstrates the no-gi knee slice pass in great detail.

Source: Wiltse Brothers BJJ

BJJ Knee Cut Pass Counter

The easiest method to counter the knee slice pass technique is to underhook your opponent’s nearest arm while he tries to slide his knee over your falling hip.

If you can get an underhook in, you’ll be able to fight from a position known as a “dogfight.”

You’ll have an excellent chance to win the dogfight and gain a more powerful position. Thus, the underhook can effectively counter your opponent’s offensive move.

Otherwise, a knee shield frame can help counter the knee slice pass.

In the video below, Jon Thomas, a BJJ black belt, demonstrates three efficient tactics to counter a knee slide pass.

Source: Stephan Kesting


The knee slice pass BJJ technique is beneficial for breaking through your opponent’s guard, especially from open and half guards. It’s a fundamental guard pass that may be employed at any jiu-jitsu level.

Recommended: Most takedowns are brutal, putting a lot of strain on the knees. As a result, practitioners must carry reliable knee pads to protect their joints and avoid injury. Click here to learn more!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Knee Slice the First Guard Pass That You Should Know?

The Knee slice is a decisive guard pass that you should practice from your first days on the mat. It has various versions that several great fighters may use in beginner and advanced jiu-jitsu fights.

How Do You Accomplish a Knee Cut Guard Pass in BJJ?

The knee cut is an efficient technique to pass an opponent’s guard from open or half guards. This technique is also referred to as a “knee slice,” “knee slide,” or “kneeling guard pass.”

The fundamental concept behind this technique is to cut your knee between a seated opponent’s legs.

Grip your opponent’s knees first, then use both hands to open his guard further by pinning one of his hips to the ground.

Then, move your knee across your opponent’s hip. After that, complete the pass motion and go to the side control position.

Is It True That the Knee Slice Is the Most Important Pass?

The knee slice is one of the most well-known and adaptable BJJ passes. It is one of the first passes you learn in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and one of the last moves you will train on.

Although it may appear straightforward initially, it is an effective technique in top-level competitions.

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