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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

12 June 2019

12/06/2019 - Teaching | Closed Guard | Scissor Sweep (standard & push variation)

Teaching #878
Artemis BJJ (Easton Road), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 12/06/2019

Start by getting a deep grip on their opposite collar, then with your other hand grab their same side elbow or sleeve. Alternatively, you can grip their wrist and pin it to your chest. Rener makes a clear distinction here, as he suggests grabbing the sleeve if they are pushing into your bicep, grabbing the wrist if they are pushing into your chest. Either way, your intention – and this is true for lots of sweeps and reversals – is to prevent their ability to post with that hand. That makes for a straightforward test for whether or not what you’re using is effective: can they put their hand/elbow on the mat and prevent the sweep?

The next step is to put your foot on their same side hip (or the floor, depending on your preference) and shrimp out slightly, to make space to insert your knee. Slide that knee over, once again to that same side, until your shin is across their stomach. Hook your instep around their other side. Another option (which I prefer) is to angle your knee towards their shoulder, pushing forward with your knee at the same time as you pull on their gi (this can act as an entry into the triangle too). That also makes it much tougher for them to shove your leg down and pass, a potential vulnerability of the shin over the stomach. There's yet another version from Xande, as he shows how you can hook under their armpit for the same effect.

A key detail is to get them off their heels. Sit up into them, then drop back with a secure collar grip in order to move them. Alternatively (or in addition), raise your elbows towards your head, so that you're pulling them up onto your shin. The aim is to load them onto your leg, which in turn means that their weight is no longer heavy their own leg, making it easier to chop. Extending your torso back, rather than remaining curled up, may help that weight transfer as well. Kid Peligro suggests squaring your torso up, really arching your back and looking over the shoulder nearest the ground: Xande similarly arches away for extra leverage. You want to be on your side as you do this.

Having hopefully made them lighter, drop your other leg to the mat, chopping underneath them as you bring your hooking leg over. You can then roll into mount. Ryron has two handy tips here. Firstly, use the heel of your hooking foot to swivel and clamp to their side, becoming a leverage point to assist your shift into mount. Secondly, bring the elbow of your sleeve gripping arm further backwards, to put your opponent even more off balance. Should you have trouble chopping into their leg, you can also switch to a push sweep. This works in exactly the same way as the scissor sweep, except that rather than chopping, you put your foot into the side of their knee. Push it out and back (describing a semi-circle), which will knock out their base in the same way as chopping. You can then progress the sweep as usual.

Whichever sweep variation you use, maintain that grip on their collar. This will serve you well as you sweep them to mount, because you can then go straight into a submission. The choke is there, the armbar is a possibility too. At the same time, be wary of their escape: if you need to remove your grip to base, better to hold the mount.
Teaching Notes: People were making the usual mistake of not lifting the elbows right up, so I'll keep emphasising that. More people seemed to get it when I did the review at the end, talking about 'airing out your armpits'. Perhaps that works better as a visual cue, bit of humour is always good too (makes me wish I was naturally funny, makes teaching way easier ;D).

I combined the standard sweep with the push sweep, which I think works well. I also showed a number of people the Xande armpit hook variation, which I could show as part of this class, but I think that might be overloading it. I'm going to teach it separately on Friday, together with the reverse scissor sweep. We'll see how that goes, particularly if there is anybody in that class who hasn't seen the scissor sweep before.

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