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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

28 July 2011

28/07/2011 - Teaching (Attacking Open Guard)

Teaching #013
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 28/07/2011

Geeza took the lesson last week, so tonight I picked up where I left off with open guard. I decided the next step after maintaining open guard is adding in two basic, high percentage sweeps. They are each known by a whole variety of different names: I'll use the terms I'm familiar with. They also both start from the same position, which is apparently known as 'cross-guard'. As with the previous lesson, this owes a lot to Kev Capel, who taught several excellent classes at RGA Bucks on the topic I'm about to cover.

I added in a drill to help people get used to thrusting their hips forward, as that's useful for the sweep. You start sat on the floor, one leg curled in front, the other foot out forwards. Raise yourself up with the curled foot, then thrust your hips forward. As you sink back down, switch your legs and repeat the motion for the opposite side.

The reason it is called cross guard, I assume, is due to the cross-grip you have on their sleeve: a cross-grip just means you're grabbing their opposite sleeve with your hand. On that cross-gripped side, you'll also have your foot pushing into their hip, while agC you can again push on the hip and pull back with your hook.

In order to get the angle, you'll have to turn towards them. Note that when you follow them up this time, your other knee will be raised. That means you'll need to make sure to shove their leg down and step over, enabling you to complete your knee slide. Remember, there is also the other option of trying the technical stand up instead.

There is a third option too, if they step round really far, which is to take the back. I didn't show this in the main technique, as I try to limit things to two techniques at most. However, I did expect at least a few people to discover that if they step round further, both the tripod and the sickle are less effective. So, for those people (I think there were only one or two), I quickly demonstrated the back take while they were practicing.

Change to a de la Riva hook on your pushing foot, then bring your other leg around behind. Use that to start moving to their back. Switch your hand from their sleeve to theihe position for the sweep.

Second, if you initially hook behind their leg with your same side foot, that means they can't avoid your grip on their heel by stepping back. You can then adjust your feet into the necessary positions. Third, once you've got a hold of their heel, pull that foot onto your hip, clamping it there.

Remember to keep your other hook behind their knee tense, as you don't want them to free that leg and step around, because that will enable them to regain their balance. You can also put it lower on the leg, but be careful, as that can increase the risk that they'll step out of the grip. Either way, once you knock them down, because you have that grip on their sleeve, you can pull yourself up as they go back, moving through into side control.

It also stops them basing with that hand, as you're sweeping in that direction (which is why you use a cross grip, rather than same side). Should you lose your sleeve grip, the sweep is still there, but it will be harder to sit up and move through to side control.

If you're having trouble knocking them down, angle the direction of your push a little, in the direction you want them to fall. It is important that you thrust your hips forward and come up quickly. Otherwise, they'll simply get up first, returning to your guard. That would mean you were back where you started.

Instead, come up and slide your inside knee over their leg, leaning your body towards them. Your other foot will step over their other leg. From there, you can switch their sleeve to your other hand, underhook their far armpit, them slide through into modified scarf hold. If for some reason you get your knee stuck in their gi, which has happened to me in the past, change your grip to their elbow, drop your bodyweight and move into side control.

Alternatively, you can do a sort of technical stand-up. Put your hooking foot on the floor, bring your other leg behind you. From there, stand up, still holding on to both their sleeve and their foot. That will make it difficult for them to recover, as you move around to side control. Standing up when someone has your foot in the air is hard.

Saulo shows that sweep a little differently in his excellent book, Jiu Jitsu University. On page 163, you can see that he starts from the foot in bicep open guard I showed a couple of weeks ago. I notice that in the picture, there is also a variation in gripping that ankle: Xande is holding the front of the bottom trouser leg, rather than the back.

The tripod sweep combines well with the similar sickle sweep: again, that almost certainly has other names, but I'm using the term from Theory & Technique (page 226). A good time to try this is if when you attempt the tripod sweep, they turn to the side to avoid your hook, stepping their leg back. You could attempt to readjust to recover your position, but it is probably easier to change your feet position and go for the sickle.

You're basically going to switch your feet so that they're performing the opposite role they did before. Remove the foot your had pushing into their hip, replacing it with the foot previously hooking behind their leg. That foot which was on their hip now goes behind their other foot (not the knee, so it isn't an exact mirror of the tripod. You could try the knee, but it isn't as effective). From there, you can again push on the hip and pull back with your hook.

In order to get the angle, you'll have to turn towards them. Note that when you follow them up this time, your other knee will be raised. That means you'll need to make sure to shove their leg down and step over, enabling you to complete your knee slide. Remember, there is also the other option of trying the technical stand up instead.

There is a third option too, if they step round really far, which is to take the back. I didn't show this in the main technique, as I try to limit things to two techniques at most. However, I did expect at least a few people to discover that if they step round further, both the tripod and the sickle are less effective. So, for those people (I think there were only one or two), I quickly demonstrated the back take while they were practicing.

Change to a de la Riva hook on your pushing foot, then bring your other leg around behind. Use that to start moving to their back. Switch your hand from their sleeve to their belt as you shift your position, then put both your insteps behind both their knees. From there, kick out with your feet and pull on the belt, dropping them right into back mount. Michael Russell executes it perfectly during his classic match with Andy Roberts. Geeza has the video on his YouTube channel, here.

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