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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

09 July 2014

09/07/2014 - Teaching | Open Guard | Sickle Sweep

Teaching #165
Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 09/07/2014

The tripod sweep I taught on Monday combines well with the similar sickle sweep: as always in BJJ, that almost certainly has other names (the most common alternative is 'hook sweep'), 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 kick their leg free from your hooking hand. You could attempt to readjust to recover your position, but it is probably easier to pull yourself towards their other leg with your hooking foot, grabbing the heel on that side and changing your feet position to go for the sickle.

Of course, the sickle works on its own too. Indeed, Rener teaches this before the tripod on Gracie University. The entry he shows is to hook their leg, pulling yourself in to grab their ankle, then switching into the sickle position: foot on the ankle-grabbed side hip, then chopping low on their other leg with your other leg, using your calf or possibly your heel.

If you're following on from the tripod, 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 (or like Rener shows, hook their leg to pull yourself in. If you're going from the tripod, you'll already have their leg hooked). 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.

Teaching & Sparring Notes: Like with the tripod, I think people had a little bit of trouble popping up after the sweep. The knee cut feels like the most intuitive option with the sickle, as you end up with your foot behind their leg, perfect to drive straight into the knee cut. Or rather, I end up with my foot behind their leg. A few people when drilling had the foot in front of the leg, which was interesting: different people, different body types, different ways of executing the sweep and different finishing positions. Something I need to keep in mind and adjust for. Also, I forgot to do that knee thrust drill again - next time, must remember!

I fit in a quick roll with Dónal at the end, always useful because I know that he can not only smash me, he's also going to have good advice. I was mostly on the defensive as usual, trying to wriggle out of a choke. I often find myself in a situation where I'm staying slightly ahead, but rapidly losing ground: somebody more experienced will tend to catch up and finish the submission.

It's interesting to see if I can free myself. This time, I was trying to both spin in a direction that would relieve choking pressure, also reaching back for the elbow to pull the arm off. I held off that choke for a little while, but eventually Dónal blocked my escape route by shifting his grip and finishing off the submission. When we restarted I had a brief attempt at some kind of sweep, wrapping the gi over his back and lifting his leg, but didn't get the angle or the leverage (and Dónal's base is obviously very good).

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