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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

14 June 2019

14/06/2019 - Teaching | Closed Guard | Scissor Sweep (armpit hook & reverse scissor variations)

Teaching #879
Artemis BJJ (Easton Road), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 14/06/2019

If you're having trouble with the standard way of knocking them over in a scissor sweep, Xande has a useful suggestion to change the leverage. Instead of kicking your leg across, shift your leg position. Rather than your knee diagonally pointing at their opposite shoulder, put it vertical so it is against their same side shoulder. Hook your foot by their armpit, then complete the sweep as before, but with a diagonal kick towards your opposite shoulder rather than a kick across. It's a subtle difference, a good option for when your partner is heavily resisting the standard option.

Less orthodox still is the reverse scissor sweep. When you try to hit the scissor sweep, you may find that they shift their weight to block it, or try to grab your knee. Either way, that means you can then change to a reverse scissor sweep instead. Your shin is either across their stomach for the scissor sweep, or as Kev recommends, going higher and angling the knee up into their chest. You've also got a grip on the collar as well as their same side sleeve.

Rather than pulling them onto you and chopping out their leg, switch your sleeve grip to their opposite sleeve, then yank their arm across their body. The elbow of your gripping arm can be used for base. From the typical collar and sleeve grip, it can be tricky to adjust. John Will uses a slight variation, on his Mastering Sweeps DVD (which I bought from him at his excellent seminar a few years ago). Rather than gripping the collar and sleeve, he advises gripping and then pushing your palms inwards, rather than leaving any slack. This makes it a bit easier to switch their arm to your other hand, as you already have a grip, rather than having to use your collar grabbing arm.

If you're using standard collar and sleeve, release your collar grip arm and reach around to their opposite armpit, bringing them in tight. As when you're trying to take the back, you need to press your chest into the back of the arm you pulled across their body, so they can't pull it back out. Sit up into them, then drop back. This should enable you to fling them over in that direction with your braced leg (this should feel effortless: if you're straining, then adjust, as without good leverage you could hurt yourself) and move into side control. You should also end up in a great position to cross-face.
Teaching Notes: A lot of people don't immediately grasp the difference between the standard scissor sweep and the armpit hook. The way I think best explains it is talking about kicking yourself in the opposite shoulder, though that is a motion that can be tricky. The Xande video sums the three typical scissor sweep variations up nicely.

On the reverse scissor, making sure they sit up is the thing to emphasise, along with the placement of the knee. It's up by the same side shoulder, not diagonally towards the opposite shoulder like in a standard scissor sweep.

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