Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 05/11/2014
Almost to the day, it has been eight years since my first BJJ lesson. Appropriately, I am teaching one of the very same techniques I learned during that inaugural official class, the ankle grab sweep. The situation is that they have stood up in your closed guard. As they stand up, if you've got a grip on their collar or head, maintain it in order to keep their posture bent forwards. At the moment you let go of that grip (if you have one) and they try to reach an upright position, grab behind their ankles (around the outside: if you grab around the inside, there's an injury risk).
Open your guard (when they stand, they are looking to open it and pass. It's better if when you open your guard, it's on your terms rather than theirs), bringing your knees together under their chest. You can also put your feet on their hips, depending on their height and how much leverage you need. Either way, drive those feet or knees into them. That should knock them over if they aren't prepared for the sweep.
Before they can react, come up on your hand and same side knee, then bring your hips forward on that same side. It's important you don't try to move straight forward: your direction must be diagonal. Slide your knee on that side to the mat, keeping your hips low, also grabbing their head. From there, you could go to mount, s-mount, side control etc. It is an awkward position, so takes a bit of getting used to. I use a hip thrust drill during the warm-up to help: you can do a technical stand-up from here too if you find that easier, keeping hold of their leg and passing around to the side.
Teaching Notes: I went through both the hip thrust and technical stand-up during the warm-up, to give the students both options for transitioning through to mount or side control after the sweep. People definitely found the hip thrust easier, so I stuck with that when it came to demonstrating the technique. I also went through breakfalling, as you're falling onto your back. It's possible to go through the motions of the technique by having your partner just sit down and lie on the floor when you go to knock them over: that's handy if they have a back injury.
This technique should fit nicely with the tripod sweep, which I'll be teaching later. It's sort of a precursor to that. The tripod sweep has the additional advantage that you can control their descent, as you're normally grabbing a sleeve or collar as you knock them over.