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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

02 August 2014

02/08/2014 - Open Mat | Butterfly Guard | Butterfly Sweep

Class #585
Artemis BJJ (Impact Gym), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 02/08/2014

After teaching the nogi class, it was time for open mat. Like I do every week, I wanted to practice the techniques I'm intending to teach over the next few lessons, in this case butterfly guard (or at least, that's what I'll be teaching at Bristol Sports Centre.) I have never been a big butterfly guard players, but I have always wanted to get better at it. The main sweep is among the most powerful in all of BJJ, as ably demonstrated on Carlos Machado's awesome DVD on the topic from a while ago.

After running through the basic sweep a few times, I added in the technique I'm considering teaching on Wednesday, where you follow up a failed sweep with a back take. If you're using the orthodox grip for the butterfly sweep, where you have an underhook reaching around the back to grab their belt, you can do basically the same thing as if it was half guard. Shuck their arm by knocking it with your underhook, using the momentum to duck under the arm and spin to the back.

Mark mentioned a handy pointer when I was drilling this with him. If you have the underhook deep to your shoulder, then knocking them is simple. But if you don't have that deep a grip, they can exploit that space if you try to take the back. So, in that situation, flaring your elbow out when you're knocking their arm can increase the efficacy of your back take attempt.

Having a look through the butterfly sweeps on my favourite online training site, BJJ Library. Saulo has an interesting option he calls the 'switchback sweep'. Rather than underhooking or grabbing somewhere on the sleeve, he grabs over the top of each arm, locking that in by grasping the gi. That means he can sweep his opponent in either direction, because he's got both arms trapped. The difficulty I had when drilling this was that I'm not able to trap them very effectively, as they can normally swivel their arms free. If I do trap the arm really tightly, I have to get in close and drive my shoulder to do it, making the other grip harder to secure.

Anyway, the switch to sweep the other way certainly works, it's that initial sweep which is hard. If the first sweep is mainly a feint, that would make sense, though I assume I just need to drill this more to refine my understanding. The principle is a good one, so I'll be playing with this over the next week if I get the chance. Mark tried grabbing their arm with both of his: that works too, but then you don't have an arm free to try and trap their same side arm.

Mark wanted to drill reverse triangles under side control. I do use that technique, but most of the time just to recover guard. I rarely try to actually submit someone with it, but Mark had some cool concepts on the position from a Braulio seminar he'd been to a while ago. He also mentioned how Braulio had said that if you're going for the triangle from guard, but don't have it locked in properly, you can try grabbing their head and twisting it at an angle. This may put the carotid arteries into the right configuration that you can then tap them just by squeezing your legs, even if you haven't got a 'proper' triangle secured.

The last thing I wanted to note from open mat was what Mark said about defending the knee cut pass. Apparently, Dónal and Mark's brother Chris both reach under their own leg and grab the passer's ankle, stuffing the sweep. Dónal then attempts to hook his free foot under the passer's foot, moving into a sweep. I haven't tried that before: it feels a bit like knee shield. Mostly I've been trying to use the mawashi grip from that Kev private a while back, but this looks a bit more intuitive. Both worth investigating some more in the future. :)

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