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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

09 September 2017

09/04/2017 - Dan Strauss Seminar

Seminar #029
Artemis BJJ, Daniel Strauss, Taunton, UK - 09/04/2017

Dan Strauss, who has become one of the better known UK Grapplers thanks to his charismatic performances on Polaris along with his popular Raspberry Ape Podcast, is nearing the end of his butterfly guard seminar tour. I missed his Bristol dates due to being away, but fortunately I was available for Dan's stop at Taunton (only about 30 mins on the train). Impressively, this is the 40th time Dan has taught this material, having begun his tour back in March.

He kicked off with some pointers about butterfly fundamentals. Keep your head in front of your bum and make sure they can't crush your knees together. They might try using their knees to do that, which you can prevent by staggering your hooks. If they attempt to pass, you need to make sure you have your hooks engaged. Dan made the useful comparisons to the back position, noting that back hooks also need engaged (driving your heels in), or your back control will easy to escape.

Similarly, if you don't tense your instep, then your partner will be able to backstep and pass. Should they crush down, you need to either push them away with your legs, or push yourself away. Their head may stay down (or they may try to lead with their head to pass), in which case you should threaten a guilloiltine. That will make them shoot their head back: if they leave their head there, naturally you can just finish the choke.

Dan also showed how you can enter into butterfly guard from half guard and side control. From half guard, shrimp out, insert your foot (lead with your foot, don't bring your knee in), then use that engaged hook to move into butterfly. Under side control, Dan had some variations for the standard guard recovery. Walk your feet out and bring your body to 90 degrees. Bring and bring your knee in as usual, but with an important difference. Tuck your other foot behind that knee, meaning it is there ready to become a butterfly hook. That will require you to swing your leg in with your hips, as you can't drive off your foot.

The technical bulk of the seminar built around two variations of the basic butterfly sweep. First Dan showed how you can use a whizzer to create a strong control. When they underhook, bring your arm underneath and move round to their shoulder. Reach through to hook your hand over their other arm. With your free hand, pull that same arm by grasping their wrist, yanking it to your hip. You can then switch from the wrist to grab their elbow.

Put your hook close to their knee, in order to avoid lifting up into the groin. If you need more leverage for the sweep, push with your other foot just above their other knee, like the push sweep follow up to a scissor sweep. You can enter this same position from half guard, when they get an underhook on you. Shrimp out, then establish your butterfly hook and overhook at the sake time. With a gi, it can be even stronger, as then you can anchor your whizzer on their collar.

The seminar finished with my favourite grip from butterfly, the shoulder clamp, which Dan calls the single shoulder. It's his favourite too, so he had lots of great details on tightening it up. First off, the hand going under faces away, while the hand over has palm towards you. Lock it by their shoulder, jamming that shoulder into your sternum. Keep that shoulder pressed in, dropping back and stretching them out with your legs.

Drive your arm under their neck and roll them over, windscreen wiping your legs across their body to get knee on belly on the other side. That leaves you with a strong control on their far arm. Looking forward to more from Dan in the future!

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