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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

26 January 2015

26/01/2015 - Teaching | Open Guard | Ankle Pick Sweep

Teaching #267
Artemis BJJ (MyGym/Bristol Sports Centre), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 26/01/2015

Tonight, I wanted to cover what Xande calls the get-up sweep, which I first learned from Kev as the ankle pick sweep. Though I prefer ankle pick sweep as a name, the good thing about Xande's term is that it emphasises how standing up is a central part of this sweep, rather than simply driving forwards and muscling them over.

This sweep works from several positions. It can be done from butterfly guard, so links up with the butterfly sweep from last week. I normally use it from what I call stiff-arm guard, but that position has lots of other names. E.g., cross-grip guard, sit-up guard etc. In position, you have a grip of their opposite collar, then your other hand is based behind you. Keep that hand where you can't see it. The only time it should be in view, according to Xande, is when you're going for a collar drag and moving around the outside.

To enter into the guard, grab their same side collar while putting your opposite foot on their opposite hip. Open up the collar and switch to your other hand (easy enough from butterfly or most open guards, but like I said, the sweep will work from butterfly too). If you're greedy and start off with the cross-grip, that may leave you vulnerable to getting passed, according to Xande.

If they are on their knees and then start to stand up (you can also do this if they're already standing, in combination with the tripod and sickle), the ankle pick sweep becomes available. Follow them up into a sort of combat base position, grab their leg, then use your collar grip to direct them to the mat as you pull back on their leg. You can hold the heel/ankle for an ankle pick type takedown (hence the sweep name, which Xande also calls the 'get up' sweep), or the material somewhere on their trouser leg (e.g., by their knee).

Xande emphasises that the leverage doesn't come from trying to muscle them to the ground. It comes from your action of standing up. So, concentrate on getting the grips and then getting up, rather than getting the grips and driving forward before you've stood up. Xande also notes that you want to be careful of your momentum, as it's easy to fall forwards if you aren't careful of posture (his analogy is that if you were running and suddenly came across a cliff, you'd lean back to avoid tumbling over the edge). Lean back slightly instead as you knock them down, getting into a secure guard passing posture, then do a knee cut. Your knee should already be forward and in place, making this straightforward.

Teaching Notes: I put in a bunch of drills into the warm-up which hopefully helped, particularly the hip thrust and the knee cut. In terms of bits people tend to forget, the main thing is standing up as you do the sweep, rather than relying on arm strength. A few people also had difficulty getting up to their feet, so I suggested twisting their leg out and pushing off their toes. That seemed to help, so I'll mention it in the demonstration next time.

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