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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

08 December 2014

08/12/2014 - Teaching | Closed Guard | Scissor Sweep

Teaching #244
Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre/MyGym), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 08/12/2014

Start by getting a deep grip on their opposite collar, then with your other hand grab their same side elbow. Alternatively, you can grip their wrist and pin it to your chest. Rener makes a clear distinction here, as he suggests grabbing the sleeve if they are pushing into your bicep, grabbing the wrist if they are pushing into your chest. Either way, your intention – and this is true for lots of sweeps and reversals – is to prevent their ability to post with that hand. That makes for a straightforward test for whether or not what you’re using is effective: can they put their hand on the mat and prevent the sweep?

The next step is to put your foot on their same side hip (or the floor, depending on your preference) and shrimp out slightly, to make space to insert your knee. Slide that knee over, once again to that same side, until your shin is across their stomach. Hook your instep around their other side. Another option is to angle your knee towards their shoulder, pushing forward with your knee at the same time as you pull on their gi (this can act as an entry into the triangle too). That also makes it much tougher for them to shove your leg down and pass, a potential vulnerability of the shin over the stomach.

A key detail is to get them off their heels. Sit up into them, then drop back with that collar grip secure to move them. Alternatively (or in addition), raise your elbows towards your head, so that you're pulling them up onto your shin. The aim is to load them onto your leg, which in turn means that their weight is no longer heavy their own leg, making it easier to chop. Extending your torso back, rather than remaining curled up, may help that weight transfer as well.

Having hopefully made them lighter, drop your other leg to the mat, chopping underneath them as you bring your hooking leg over. You can then roll into mount. Ryron has two handy tips here. Firstly, use the heel of your hooking foot to swivel and clamp to their side, becoming a leverage point to assist your shift into mount. Secondly, bring the elbow of your sleeve gripping arm further backwards, to put your opponent even more off balance.
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Teaching Notes: My intention was to add in another option to follow on from the lesson about breaking their posture. The pressing armbar makes sense if you can pull them right down, so for the collar and elbow grip, the scissor sweep feels like a natural progression. It's a fundamental technique, though personally I rarely get this in sparring. My issue with it is opening the guard without giving them too much space.

So, using Kev's knee-in-chest version could help with that, as then you can generate more pressure by pulling them in at the same time as you push into them with the knee. It also makes it harder to shove your leg down. However, raising them up onto your leg remains difficult if they have good base, so I need to think about some good follow ups (e.g, submissions).

I showed the push sweep too, as it's a natural one to follow up if you've got into a good position but their leg is too heavy. I'd like to fit in the usual armbar/triangle/omoplata sequence at some point too, so will have to see where that makes the most sense. Naturally I don't have to cram absolutely everything about the closed guard into this month, as long as I can provide a decent overview for students to build on. Christmas cuts into things a little, but should still leave enough time for a few more subs and then onto passing.

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