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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 August 2022

17/08/2022 - Teaching | Butterfly Half Guard | Basic sweep

Teaching #Evening
Artemis BJJ (7 Easton Rd), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 17/08/2022

Along with the three leg positions I cover in a my usual basic half guard maintenance lessons, there is a fourth one that is worth developing too: the half butterfly. From your kickstand or inside hook, bring your outside foot back enough that you can hook by their thigh. This is significantly easier if you either have short legs and/or you're flexible. You ideally will also have an underhook on that side, staying tight so they can't swim inside your underhook. Your inside leg maintains a firm control, as with the inside hook leg control.

For a butterfly sweep, the key part along with that hook is controlling their opposite arm so they can't post. It is equally important here, but trickier to control due to how you are positioned in half guard. If you're able to control their elbow, suck their arm in, though it is usually difficult to get a sufficiently controlling grip from standard half guard. Jason Scully suggests getting your head past their arm (something I do by using the facepalm cross-face block I learned from Braulio videos). To control the arm from there, Scully does an unusual grip of reaching behind his head to then clamp their arm tight from there.

It's awkward to get used to, but all you need to do is stop them posting. As soon as you begin to elevate them with your butterfly hook, you can bring your head out and switch to a more comfortable grip on their arm, controlling their elbow. From there, finish the sweep as normal if you're able to get your leg into position, or aim to end up in a strong knee slide position and pass from there.

As an alternative to what Scully suggests, you could also try using the paw position. If you are able to slide down and control their elbow, that is a much simpler variation, but it may be difficult to pull their arm in enough without them managing to swim it free.
Teaching Notes: Get that underhook arm right up into their armpit, making sure you whack them forwards, where your head in pointing. I like to flick with the butterfly hook, but if you end up following through, make sure they don't manage to trap your knee. With the knee free, you can either go to mount, or move that knee to the other side to knee slide.

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