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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

20 July 2016

20/07/2016 - Teaching | Open Guard | Deep spiralhook X Guard Sweep (strong side)

Teaching #532
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 20/07/2016

A photo posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on

As Ana was coming for a seminar on Sunday, I wanted to run the class through her deep spiralhook x guard sweep. To begin, you want to get a super deep spiralhook. Starting from a double sleeve grip with both feet on the hips, shift towards the leg which you want to spiralhook. Swing your same side leg around that for an initial spiralhook, bringing your instep to their inner thigh, releasing your same side sleeve grip in order to grab their heel. Pull the heel towards you, so they can't easily move their foot. Watch out for them kicking it across your buttcheeks: you want to keep that heel jammed against your body.

Shift a bit more to the side and raise your hips, turning towards them in order to extend that spiralhook all the way to the other thigh. This is what Dónal used to call the 'surfboard', due to the way you do a sort of plank with your lower body. When you've got your instep in place, solidly hooked around their thigh, bring your other foot lower on their leg, hooking around the other side. Your feet should now be forming an x, hence the 'x guard' part of this technique. Squeeze your knees and pull them in.

At this point, you can switch from grabbing the heel back to the sleeve. Using your knees and those sleeve grips, steer them in the direction your lower foot is pointing, in order to knock them to the ground. Maintaining your sleeve grips, come up on your elbow, then step out what was your lower foot. You can then do a knee cut with what was the spiralhook to finish.


Teaching Notes: As well as that main technique, I also include Ana's 'monkey tree' drill. That can be quite challenging. Two people form the 'tree' by clinching, then a third jumps on a back, with the goal of spinning to the front (like somebody has just stood up in their guard) and then swinging across to closed guard on the other person. That swing across is invariably where it goes wrong. I've managed it a few times, but I've also fallen down quite a few times too. You need to stay high and make sure you have a good grip on their gi, or it will drop you to the mat. Sam demonstrated it well, which didn't surprise me given his general agility. :)

A video posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on

The technique itself went fairly well, though I'll need to practice that lots to iron out all the kinks. It's already been a useful addition to my open guard, meaning I have an option where I can entangle their legs without having to mash up my fingers with crazy grips (I was sticking with pistol grips on this).

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