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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 August 2014

09/08/2014 - Teaching | NoGi | Butterfly Sweep

Teaching #179
Artemis BJJ (Impact Gym), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 09/08/2014

Marcelo Garcia has written that when passing butterfly guard, it's important to keep in mind that "unlike the closed guard or half guard, in the butterfly guard, your opponent is not trying to hold you in place." In my opinion, the ensuing dynamism and movement makes butterfly guard a more advanced position, which requires greater sensitivity and timing than closed or half guard.

So, I stuck with the most basic technique in butterfly, which is the classic butterfly sweep. There are three main grips to try. Two less common options are grabbing the neck, or grabbing the same side sleeve and collar (or neck and wrist in nogi): the latter can be useful if you want to transition to a choke in gi, or perhaps back to closed guard to go for a scissor or knee push sweep. On Carlos Machado's excellent Unstoppable DVD all about this sweep, he shows many more variations, but it is definitely a higher level instructional (so, I wouldn't recommend beginners pick it up). The orthodox method is to establish a deep underhook with your arm, reaching around their back and/or grabbing their belt.

Saulo Ribeiro emphasises that you must be close with the shoulder to generate sufficient leverage. Saulo also likes to put a hand out behind him for base (just like the cross-grip guard we did last week), which contrasts with others who prefer to grab the knee. It is worth experimenting with several options. One of the best parts about training in jiu jitsu is that it is so individual. There is rarely a single 'right' way to do any technique, which is also part of what makes jiu jitsu so complex.

If you've lifted them up but they aren't going over, try hopping towards your lifting leg with your other leg. That should eventually provide the leverage to knock them to the mat.

Teaching Notes: I added in that additional drill this time, where you don't just do the solo butterfly motion, but kick through as if you were going to scarf hold as well. As this was the first time I've taught butterfly at Impact, I did it in two stages, starting with the sweep motion, then a second drill where I added the kick through.

I could also put in more butterfly passing elements to the drilling. For a start, riding the sweep when doing that lifting drill, balancing on your hands. The backstep off their sweep attempt is a good one too, but takes a bit longer to explain. I'd probably need to start with the backstep in isolation, then move on to the drill. I might give it a try anyway in one of the butterfly guard classes next week and see how that goes.

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