Split the Legs Series (AKA Over-Under Pass)

What is Split The Legs Series / the Over-Under Pass?

Split The Legs Series or Over-Under Pass is a guard pass, when your opponent is hooking your leg. You can do this move in Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

We'll walk you through the steps here. If you ever have questions, subscribe to our email by scrolling to the bottom of the page and opting in. We'd love to hear from you! 👋


How to do Split The Legs Series.

Uke is going to be on his or her back with his or her feet up, you want to pick a side to pass on.

  1. First put your left foot between their leg, with your right hand push the knee down.
  2. Next go down on your knees, with your free hand go under the leg, grab either the skirt or the belt, and drive the shoulder into the leg as well.
  3. Then, with your right hand, make a grapevine which means hug the leg, remember live toes!
  4. Next bring your knee to the elbow, do a back step, that will straighten uke's leg.
  5. After that, lay on uke's leg, then do a windmill (put your knee down and move your leg over).
  6. Last, you're going to walk your knees up to uke's side and end in Yoko Shiho Gatame.

When should I use Split The Legs Series?

This move is best used when your opponent does a bad throw or wants to play guard.

The video above will show how to do the Split The Legs Series so you can do it in Judo or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Best advice is to WATCH THE VIDEOS - this is a complex move so take the time to learn each of the steps.

Examples of Over-Under Pass in Judo

The Split the Legs series is probably the best piece of newaza I've ever learned. You can see in this video of the -81kg quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympics, Travis Stevens (USA) uses it to easily pass Ivaylo Ivanov's (BUL) guard.

You'll also notice that many of Jiu Jitsu and Judo's best use this move as well, like Bernardo Faria and Jimmy Pedro.

 Things to watch for:

  • pin your shoulder as close to uke's hip flexor as possible (not up on the thigh or near knee)
  • have live toes (keep knees off of the ground)
  • use the "2 checkpoints" as you're doing this move to ensure you're progressing without letting your partner hook their feet together

Now after you've passed your partners guard you can move onto their reaction which is typically an Outside Turn Escape. Check out the video below for the Stack, which is the perfect counter to this typical escape:

Things to watch for:

  • after passing the guard with the Split the Leg (AKA: Over Under Pass) be sure not to panic, instead keep the belt or skirt grip and anticipate the outside turn from uke
  • don't be fooled by uke trying to hook and scissor your leg from the back, the only way to get toketa (hold down broken / stopping the pin clock) is for uke to scissor your legs from the front
  • use your head to pin uke

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