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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

25 July 2016

25/07/2016 - Teaching | Open Guard | Tripod Sweep

Teaching #534
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 25/07/2016

You can set up the tripod sweep in lots of ways. I usually teaching this from the simple option of hooking behind both their knees, 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, but it does give them more opportunity to turn their foot (i.e., for a knee cut pass).

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: Is it confusing to do the drill to help people come up to mount after knocking somebody down from the sweep, given that I will generally show how you can pull yourself directly into a knee cut if you have the arm? I'm wondering if it would be worth either showing just one variation, or show them both in class? Either way, I need to make that distinction clearer. Also, when I do use that coming up drill, I must make it clear that it starts from a lying down position, to isolate the motion.

A photo posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on

We were lucky enough to have two higher belt Australian visitors, who I met a couple of weeks ago at the Leuven BJJ Globetrotters camp. This was therefore something of a mini-reunion, with Daphne and her black belt husband Jon. Sparring was therefore interesting, especially rolling with Jonathan at open mat. He was taking it easy, but I had a play with deep de la Riva x (couldn't get the legs locked in place), as well as reverse de la Riva. I sort of got into it a couple of times, but had no idea what to do from there. I should try for the tripod sweep, as well as looking at videos again. Jonathan did cool spinny stuff when sparring with Sam, going to deep half etc. I'm wondering if my legs are a bit short for reverse de la Riva, as I struggled to get my leg spiralled around like Christian did in his Globetrotter class.

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