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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

28 July 2014

28/07/2014 - Teaching | Cross Grip Guard | Ankle Pick Sweep

Teaching #170
Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 28/07/2014

Moving back to sweeps, I wanted to cover what Xande calls the get-up sweep, which I first learned from Kev as the ankle pick sweep. Though I prefer ankle pick sweep as a name, the good thing about Xande's term is that it emphasises how standing up is a central part of this sweep, rather than simply driving forwards and muscling them over.

You're going to be in a position sometimes referred to as 'cross grip guard'. That essentially just means you have a grip of their opposite collar, then your other hand is normally either based behind you or hooking an ankle (e.g., for the tripod and sickle sweep combination, high percentage from this guard). If your hand is behind, keep it where you can't see it. The only time it should be in view, according to Xande. To enter into the guard, grab their same side collar while putting your opposite foot on their opposite hip. Open up the collar and switch to your other hand. If you're greedy and start off with the cross-grip, that may leave you vulnerable to getting passed, according to Xande.

If they are on their knees and then start to stand up (you can also do this if they're already standing, in combination with the tripod and sickle), the ankle pick sweep becomes available. Follow them up into a sort of combat base position, grab their leg, then use your collar grip to direct them to the mat as you pull back on their leg. You can grab the heel/ankle for an ankle pick type takedown (hence the sweep name, which Xande also calls the 'get up' sweep), or the material somewhere on their trouser leg (e.g., by their knee).

Xande emphasises that the leverage doesn't come from trying to muscle them to the ground. It comes from your action of standing up. So, concentrate on getting the grips and then getting up, rather than getting the grips and driving forward before you've stood up. Xande also notes that you want to be careful of your momentum, as it's easy to fall forwards if you aren't careful of posture. Lean back slightly instead as you knock them down, getting into a secure guard passing posture, then do a knee cut. Your knee should already be forward and in place, making this straightforward.

Teaching & Sparring Notes: I tried to match up the drills as much as I could with the technique, mainly the hip thrust drill where you have one knee out and the other forward, then rise into a knee-forward crouch without using your hands. I considered having the technical stand-up in there, but decided to stick with the hip thrust. I also put in a knee cut drill, as I find that's the natural pass to follow up this technique.

With the technique itself, the main thing I want to note for next time is that if they've stood up, you might end up holding a leg as they hop to keep their balance. From there, you can of course go for any of a number of single leg takedowns. I would probably go for the one I learned from Kev a while ago, where you move to the outside of their leg, lift them slightly and drop them. So, putting in some kind of super-simple single leg drill into the warm-up would be a good idea.

I asked if people had questions a few times, which I try to do if there's a bit of time. It's really good that questions are coming back more frequently now: hopefully everyone can get into that inquisitive, technical mindset. I may have done it a few too many times though (I think three?), as some of that time could have been given over to a bit more sparring. Hard to know the best balance: maybe just asking once, twice if the first time doesn't take long? Something for me to think about.

In sparring, I was trying to practice a technique from something I'll be reviewing shortly, Aesopian's Mastering the Crucifix. I won't be able to properly test it until we get onto another month where we look at the back, but I could at least practice spinning to the turtle side ride from side control. I wasn't very successful at it, because I couldn't get behind them. Even that brief attempt did at least give me a different perspective on side control, seeing it as a position to go for attacks like the crucifix. So that was fun. :)

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