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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

17 January 2018

17/01/2018 - Teaching | Half Guard | Toe Grab Sweep

Teaching #744
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 17/01/2018

Short Version:
  • Get underhook, scooting down towards their legs
  • Reach under their non-trapped leg, grab their toes
  • Bring your other arm around their bum, transfer grip
  • Using your outside leg, drag their leg out
  • Turn and post on your elbow, drive, still holding toes, then move to side control

Full Version: I call this one the toe grab sweep, like Indrek Reiland does in his classic 'Functional Half Guard' video. Eddie Bravo's name for it - 'old school' - is common too, but his version is slightly less effective in my opinion, though it is similar. I prefer the way Jason Scully teaches it, over on the Grapplers Guide. I've also been taught it in the past, back when I was training at RGA High Wycombe with Kev.

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So, the Scully version begins from the basic half guard position I taught earlier, where you're on your side using the kickstand leg positioning, with an underhook. Use your underhook to bump yourself down closer to their legs, curling your head into towards their far knee. With your non-underhooking arm, reach for their far toes. Grab them and then shove their heel into their thigh. Make sure you are grabbing their toes: if you grip their ankle or higher, they will find it easier to kick their leg back and scupper your sweep.

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Bring your underhook arm down past their bum, then switch the toe grab grip from your non-underhook hand to your underhook hand. Bring your non-underhook elbow and then hand out for base, also turning to slide out your inside leg. Your outside leg tweaks their lower leg to further disrupt their base, then drive with your head and shoulder to move on top. Keep hold of the toes until you're past to side control. If they stay on their hands and knees, you can also just take their back instead.

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Keep in mind that it is possible to get this sweep with various leg configurations. I find it easiest from the kickstand, as I think that provides the best base for getting on your side, but it's certainly not the only option.

Teaching Notes: Tweaking the leg would be good to emphasise, along with switching the arms. The other thing that people often forget is to go under the leg rather than over. I think I emphasised them fair well during teaching, but can always do it more. Now that I have video for everything, makes it much easier to check back and work out what I should be improving for next time. ;)

Good turnout again tonight. The numbers for Mondays and Wednesdays are averaging out at 25+, which is very cool. The earlier Wednesday class was packed too, which is excellent: I was especially pleased to see plenty of women in the intermediate class. It makes me extremely proud that we have so many female blue belts now.

The later class gets even bigger, with students from the women's class upstairs heading down to join in too (I haven't managed to tempt all of them down to the co-ed classes yet, but we're getting there ;D). Four years ago, I did not think the club would grow this fast. :)

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