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

24 January 2012

24/01/2012 - Gracie Barra Bristol (Butterfly Sweep)

Class #443
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 24/01/2012

More drilling with Mike before class started, working on an interesting quarter-guard sweep from Caio Terra's DVD. It's been useful for passing to keep working on specific positions like that, and hopefully has been useful for Mike too (in sparring, he swept me with the exact butterfly sweep we drilled a while ago, which was cool ;D).

Tonight's lesson went through the basic butterfly sweep. Dónal's variation was a little different, as you start from further out than normal. That means you're too far to get the usual deep underhook. Instead, you're going to grip on the back of their head, slightly higher up on the skull for better control (like a muay thai plum clinch, but with one hand).

Other than that, the sweep is the same. One foot is hooked underneath their thigh, while your opposite side hand grabs their same side sleeve. From there, lift with your foot on the head grab side, pulling the sleeve grip towards the hooked leg (you need to make sure they can't post with this). Your other leg threads underneath the underhook side leg, as you continue to drive their weight through their knee. Bring them to the mat, then transition to knee on belly. Normally it would be side control or scarf hold, but due to that increased distance, knee on belly feels more natural from here.

Specific sparring went as poorly as usual for my butterfly guard, which is a really weak position for me. My go-to guard is either cross-grip or spider, which are both long-distance, so the close-up nature of butterfly guard is still a struggle. I've said it before, but something I need to work on. Generally, they just stand up and we end up in one of the two aforementioned guards. I was trying to go to sitting guard instead, to stick with something at least related to butterfly guard, but that's even less familiar. So yeah, I didn't get too far on the bottom.

On top, I looked to pass the same way as when drilling with Mike a while back: stay low, get a strong grip on the collar, try to drive my knee through and get past their leg. I also had a go at the one Kev showed me a year or two ago, where you kick your leg back and bring both your knees against one of theirs. I think I forgot a few details though, as I was having trouble isolating the leg properly.

Good luck to Geeza and all the GB Bristol students competing at the Europeans! :)


  1. I've definitely been finding the extra work useful, the only thing that has concerned me is that we might be spending too much time working on what I want to work on :)

  2. Heh - no worries, Mike: it's been useful for me too. I've been able to practice my passing as a result, which is in dire need of copious practice! ;)