Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 21/06/2012
Last time I went through what is probably the most basic sweep from closed guard, the scissor sweep. This week, I wanted to add in some variations. The first time I saw the reverse scissor sweep was a clip from one of Levo's old grappling tapes, but I was first taught it in a class setting much more recently, by Scott McVeigh.
When you try to hit the scissor sweep, you may find that they shift their weight to block it, or try to grab your knee. Either way, that means you can then change to a reverse scissor sweep instead. Your shin is across their stomach for the scissor sweep, with a grip on the collar as well as their same side sleeve. Rather than pulling them onto you and chopping out their leg, switch your collar hand to their sleeve and yank it across their body, passing the grip to your other hand. The elbow of your gripping arm can be used for base.
Next, reach your free arm (which should be the arm nearest the foot you have curled near their hip) around to their opposite armpit, bringing them in tight. As when you're trying to take the back, you need to press your chest into the back of the arm you pulled across their body, so they can't pull it back out. On the same side as the arm you've trapped, put your shoulder back on the mat, which should enable you to fling them over in that direction with your braced leg and move into side control.
John Will uses a slight variation, on his Mastering Sweeps DVD (which I bought from him at his excellent seminar last month). Rather than gripping the collar and sleeve, he advises gripping and then pushing your palms inwards, rather than leaving any slack. This makes it a bit easier to switch their arm to your other hand, as you already have a grip, rather than having to use your collar grabbing arm. Will comes up on one arm, then as he falls back to lift them, he switches the posting hand to instead reach through their arm. This is so he can end up reaching past their armpit into the collar, like the grip Geeza showed recently.
In his lesson, Scott then showed how if they sprawl, you can take their back. Though their sprawl will make it hard to get the above sweep, you can now just bring your free foot between their legs and swivel around to their back. Scott advised that I should be pressing with my heels rather than trying to curl my instep and toes for grip, as the latter could get hurt should they try and roll out. This is similar to drills Dónal and Geeza have used in the past, where you switch from half guard to the back then return to half guard on the other side. So, I included that drill too, to help people familiarise themselves with the movement. Geeza also recommends that you bring your knee out as you start to swivel to their back, to prevent them simply driving into you or pulling your knee to disrupt your base.