Positional Studies: Funk Rolling in BJJ

It would have been interesting to see Ben Askren compete in high level BJJ

I like tracking innovation and strategy in BJJ but then this film study approach does have limitations. Sometimes I see stuff that I think can extend the technique skill trees of BJJ but because of a lack of film footage or the person/competitor leaving the BJJ scene early, the “evolution” of their novel techniques cannot be fully elaborated on (short of me getting in front of the camera and showing my thoughts in person).

Hence my reason for making this video. I think the funk “pass” used by Ben Askren (if my GSP videos didn’t make it obvious enough, I am a fan) could have many potential uses in BJJ, especially from 50/50, double guard pulls and perhaps as a new way to get into the leg drag. I’ll let the video introduce the technique and leave you guys to chew on that, but here are some useful youtubes to get you started if you wish to experiment with this technique.

What is a “Pass”/Funk Roll

You never know. After all, before the berimbolo, the cool “inversion” move was going through the legs off a reverse de la riva (“Kiss of the Dragon”/KOD). That idea of taking the back by spinning under has finally “matured” into the whole berimbolo skill tree and in a similar vein, the funk “pass” has similar mechanics to that initial KOD idea (ie going through the legs) . Once you win that scramble through the backdoor you automatically put someone on the defensive and though it seems risky at first, you will see that the “pass” is already used in a simpler form in high level MMA and BJJ.

Kind to think of it, funking in general as a concept is a counter system when a wrestler’s primary defences have been breached and the opponent has gotten to his legs. That basically is what happens when you have pulled guard, you are on your back or the opponent has managed to put you on your butt. The 3 funk scrambles Askren used – the Pass, jumping over to get both ankles or trying for cradles off a low single are interesting food for thought. Grappling be it in BJJ or not, is all about movement and different movement patterns are always worth investigating I feel. We have mainly seen the “pass” in action so far in BJJ but who knows how else “funk” could be useful.

How the “Pass” can be used to re-compose back to guard after being passed




Hopefully now that I have done some “inception” on the community, everyone out there will be inspired to experiment a bit and we can then see how deep the funk rabbit hole goes. I have some ideas of my own which I will elaborate on in Part 2 of this series but till then (and after) if you have something funky to share, make a youtube video and let me know! Here’s my video by the way:





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