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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

29 January 2016

29/01/2016 - Teaching | Closed Guard | Handstand Sweep

Teaching #458
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 29/01/2016


A good follow up to the double ankle grab sweep is another option that works off wrapping an ankle. This one is normally known as the 'handstand sweep', though invariably there are lots of other names for it. As your partner stands in your closed guard, keep your guard closed, wrapping an arm around their same side ankle. You're looking to get the crook of your elbow behind their ankle: for further control, you could try reaching through to grab your own collar. For power, range and balance, put your free hand on the floor, as if you were doing a handstand (hence the name).

To complete the sweep, you need to bring their knee out sideways. Their foot has to be immobilised for that, or they'll be able to adjust and maintain their balance. To turn their knee out, bring your hips sideways, pushing into the inside of their knee (don't go above the knee, you need to stay either next to it or underneath). Once you've pushed it far enough so their leg swivels, that should knock them to the floor. Your guard stays closed throughout, opening at the last moment to adjust into mount.

However, that still leaves them a hand with which they can post out and recover. To prevent that, you can cross-grip their sleeve. This is what Xande calls the 'muscle sweep', because their ankle is by your 'muscle' (i.e., bicep). The set up is the same as before, but this time, you don't use your free hand to push off the floor. Instead, you grab their opposite sleeve, thereby both preventing them from posting out, and also providing you with an easy way of pulling yourself up into mount.

The difficulty is the decreased leverage at your disposal. Now that you can't use that hand to push up, you instead have to really push into their knee. Make sure your grip around their leg is tight, pulling their foot right up to your shoulder. You will also use your grip on their sleeve, pulling their arm to help you. This is tougher to pull off than the handstand, but it makes the transition to the top much easier.

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Teaching Notes: I always show both the option of pushing off the floor and grabbing the sleeve, though the second one is much tougher to get. That was borne out again today, with people having trouble completing the sweep without the hand to push off. I also think that next time I'll make a point of keeping that grip low on the leg, to really bend their leg around your hip as you push. It seems that if the grip is too high above their foot, they can resist the sweep more easily, judging by the progressive resistance I watched today.

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