Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 24/02/2016
You can set up the tripod sweep in lots of ways. I went for the simple option of hooking their leg, using that to pull yourself in towards them and grab their other leg with your other hand. When you grab for the ankle, you can control it in two main ways. Simply grabbing their heel is the quickest, but that means there is a chance they can kick their foot forwards and dislodge your grip. If you grab the trouser cuff instead, that escape becomes much harder for them.
With the heel grab, a good tip from my instructor Kev Capel is to pull that ankle onto your hip, clamping it there. This should also help with off-balancing them. You can also simply sit on it. Either way, remember to keep your other hook behind their knee tense, as you don't want them to free that leg and step around, because that will enable them to regain their balance. You can also put it lower on the leg, or even right behind their foot, but be careful, as just like the heel grip, that can increase the risk that they'll step out and avoid your control.
Once you knock them down, because you have that grip on their sleeve, you can pull yourself up as they go back, moving through into side control. It also stops them basing with that hand, as you're sweeping in that direction (which is why you use a cross grip, rather than same side). Should you lose your sleeve grip, the sweep is still there, but it will be harder to sit up and move through to side control.
If you're having trouble knocking them down, angle the direction of your push a little, in the direction you want them to fall. It is important that you react decisively after you've knocked them down. Otherwise, they'll simply get up first, returning to your guard. That would mean you were back where you started.
As ever, there are a couple of options. My preference is to come up and slide your inside knee over their leg, leaning your body towards them: you may find it useful to keep hold of their foot (which means you are both basing on your hand and maintaining control of their leg) to stop them moving, but you can still pass without doing so. Your other foot will step over their other leg, like a typical knee slide pass. From there, you can grab their sleeve, underhook their far armpit, then slide through into modified scarf hold. If for some reason you get your knee stuck in their gi, which has happened to me in the past, change your grip to their elbow, drop your bodyweight and move into side control. Here's Kev demonstrating the full sweep:
You'll notice the finish is different in that video: instead of the tight knee slide, you can do a sort of technical stand-up which ends up with a looser pass. For the stand-up, after you've knocked them down, put your hooking foot on the floor, bringing your other leg behind you. So, the hand that was grabbing the heel now pushes into their leg, pinning it to the floor and becoming your basing hand. Your other leg becomes your second base point, then you stand up from there. You remaining hand may or may not be gripping their sleeve, but this works either way.
From there, stand up, still holding on to their trouser leg (you could also keep hold of the sleeve, which will enable you to pull on both limbs for the pass, but it makes it harder to stand up), pulling up. That will make it difficult for them to recover, as you move around to a dominant position like side control or knee on belly. Standing up when someone has your foot in the air is hard.
Teaching Notes: Nothing much to add on this as I've taught it a lot. I tried doing a more considered drill to help standing up from the sweep, miming that diagonal thrust all the way through. I'm not sure if it helped or not, but I don't think anybody had too much of a problem getting up, so I think it was useful. An interesting question came up about what to do if they crouch while you're trying to sweep. I think my answer to that would be just finish the sweep, if you already have that foot into the hip and you're still hooking their knee. It's still possible to finish the sweep. However, if they manage to get their weight settled and establish a solid base, it's going to be harder: you'd need to keep driving with your hip foot as they attempt to crouch into a stable base, to keep them off balance. I think. Seemed to work when we practiced it, but I'd be intrigued to see what would happen with a more experienced partner, who might be able to stuff the sweep more easily as they moved to a kneeling position.
I added in the sickle sweep too, though that does get more tricky when it comes to moving into the pass off the sweep, due to your legs getting tangled if you attempt to drive. Hence why I prefer the 'stand up while grabbing their leg' option for the sickle. That requires a bit more drilling to get used to, but I can always cover that later. Maybe next time the tripod comes up in the cycle, I'll switch it round, so start with the sickle in depth, then have the tripod as an add on? That would make sense, tripod is more straightforward.