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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

22 January 2015

22/01/2015 - Teaching | Open Guard | Butterfly Sweep

Teaching #266
Artemis BJJ (PHNX Fitness), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 22/01/2015

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 I've taught previously, along with the stiff arm guard I've been working on), 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 a couple of variations tonight, both of which I've taught before. The ankle pick is something I've previously shown from the cross grip/stiff arm guard, so possibly not as applicable (though it's easy enough to switch from butterfly to the stiff arm). Taking the back is more effective. On that, I'll emphasise bringing your foot to the outside next time - this is something I will probably teach again on Monday, before finishing off the month with a basic butterfly pass.

I was also able to get in some more sparring. I'm really pleased I'm getting in more sparring time, but I need to be careful I don't get overexcited and make my groin injury worse. Especially as the GrappleThon is in less than six weeks now: it would be annoying to not be able to take part in the rolling, to say the least!

My butterfly guard as ever needs a lot of improvement. I was generally switching into the related stiff arm guard, going for my ankle pick off that, or transitioning into the tripod/sickle combination (as Kev advised way back in that private lesson. I think I'll get another private on the same thing when I next pop up to RGA Bucks in February).

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