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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

08 July 2015

08/07/2015 - Teaching | Open Guard | Sickle Sweep

Teaching #352
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 08/07/2015

The tripod sweep I always teach in a previous lesson combines well with the similar sickle sweep: as usual in BJJ, that almost certainly has other names (the most common alternative is 'hook sweep'), but I'm using the term from Theory & Technique (page 226). A good time to try this is if when you attempt the tripod sweep, they kick their leg free from your hooking hand. You could attempt to readjust to recover your position, but it is probably easier to pull yourself towards their other leg with your hooking foot, grabbing the heel on that side. Turn your body toward that newly grabbed leg, swinging your pushing foot over to that hip. With what used to be your hooking foot, chop back low on their other leg to knock them over.

Of course, the sickle works on its own too. Indeed, Rener teaches this before the tripod on Gracie University. The entry he shows is to hook their leg, pulling yourself in to grab their ankle, then switching into the sickle position: opposite foot on the ankle-grabbed side hip, then chopping low on their other leg with your remaining leg, using your calf or possibly your heel.

In order to get the angle, you'll have to turn towards them, or hook their leg to pull yourself in. If you're going from the tripod, you'll already have their leg hooked. Note that when you follow them up after knocking them to their back, compared to the tripod sweep, your other knee will be raised. That means you'll need to make sure to shove their leg down and step over, enabling you to complete your knee slide.

While grabbing the heel is a perfectly viable grip, it is probably better suited to the tripod, as then you can use Kev's trick of jamming the heel against your hip. With the sickle your body is turned, so that's not easy to do. I'd therefore recommend grabbing the trouser leg for the sickle. That's because it means that once you've knocked them over, you can pin their leg to the mat while also pushing it away. That stops them from closing their guard. This is important, because the sickle sweep will generally put you in a position with one leg in between theirs. Wait as long as possible to let go of the trouser grip: ideally, you want to wait until you've slid your leg out.

For finishing the sweep, I think with the sickle sweep, technical stand up works especially well. Base on the hand that's grabbing their trouser leg, also basing with your opposite foot. Use that to then bring your same side leg back and stand up. As you stand, thrust their leg into the air with your hand (you can bolster that by grabbing with your other hand too) and move around. It's really hard for them to do much if their leg is way up in the air like that, so passing should be fairly easy.

Teaching Notes: I didn't feel quite as solid teaching this as last time, though the structure still functioned ok. I tried going with a different version, without a sleeve grip, along with finsihing by lifting the leg. I think that's worth showing, but I need to make a clear link to the tripod that I taught earlier where I did use a sleeve grip. With the sleeve, getting up is very easy, as the momentum pulls you through into the knee cut.

Without the sleeve grip, you have to come up yourself. There's the option of hip thrusting through and knee cutting, or the one I showed today, where you do a sort of technical stand-up and lift the leg. I should have made a point of putting the second knee onto the belly, rather than putting down the first while I was demonstrating. That can work, but puts you in reverse knee on belly, a bit more awkward position than the standard KOB.

On an entirely different note, I'd forgotten I'd taken out the drawstring of my trousers, so ended up teaching SAMBO style in shorts and gi jacket. Sadly no sudden knowledge of Russian or facility with leglocks followed. ;p

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