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3 Unique Sweeps For Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

3 Unique Sweeps For Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


Sweep Your Way To Success!

If you have spent any time on the mats then you will know just how vital it is to have an arsenal of sweeps to help for when you find yourself stuck in a bad position or facing a tough opponent. Sweeps are usually one of your first lines of offense. If you can hit a sweep you usually put yourself in a position to start attacking submissions. So what type of sweep should you use? Well, there are a variety of sweeps out there. It really depends on a lot of factors. But the goal of any sweep is to have a maximum amount of impact with minimal amount of effort. So with that in mind, let’s get started! Here are 3 unique sweeps for BJJ that you should know.

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#1: Rafael "Formiga" Barbosa Shows His Butterfly Duck Under Sweep

This is a technique that you can find on Formiga’s instructional series, “The Butterfly Guard System,” available exclusively on! Formiga is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under André Almeida and a founding member of the Soul Fighters Academy. Formiga was also one of the top lightweight competitors in the sport’s adult lightweight division, carrying on his great form to the Masters division (30+) in the competitive years that followed. This butterfly duck under sweep is useful for when you are starting a roll in BJJ and the opponent is good at basing out with his hand, opening up an easy back take. Watch the video below and then we will break down his technique. Check it out now!

The first thing Formiga emphasizes is his grip control. He grips the sleeve gri and he uses his other hand to grip his opponent’s belt. Formiga uses his butterfly hooks to bump his training partner forward, forcing him to post with his hands on the mats. From here, Formiga looks to switch his head position. He wants to get his head underneath to the other side of his opponent’s arm, directly under his opponent’s arm pit. Now he uses his hooks, belt grip, and head to pull his opponent. Formiga ends up with his back flat on the mat, still controlling his opponent’s arm with the gi sleeve grip and pressing down on his bicep with his head. From this position there are two options: you can either pull arm up to make your opponent tap. Or you can release you grip to free the side of your body that is trapped under your opponent. It is important to come up to your elbow as you throw your far arm across your opponent’s back. You can take your opponent’s back, or you can come up to your knees and control your opponent’s hips.

#2: Felipe Preguica Pena Shows a Sweep From Single X

Felipe “Preguiça” is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor and representative of the Gracie Barra – Belo Horizonte academy, as well as a black belt under Marcelo Azevedo. Pena is regarded as one of the top competitors of his generation. The list of Pena’s accomplishments is impressive. Here, Felipe demonstrates a killer sweep from single leg X. Watch the video below and then we will break down the technique!

Typically when a person is stuck in single leg X, they will try to clear your outside hook by pushing your leg down. The first thing Felipe does is switch his inside hook to his opponent’s opposite leg. Now he can slide his other foot through on top of his opponent’s other leg. In this way, Felipe establishes X guard on his opponent’s opposite leg. From the X guard position there are a variety of sweeps. Felipe prefers not to switch his hooks like other competitors often do in order to establish leg attacks. With the X guard, you are using your feet as hooks to block your opponent from stepping either forwards or backwards. Once Felipe establishes his grips he can hit the sweep. Felipe off balances his opponent using his knee which forces his opponent to post using his hands on the ground. When his opponent counters by trying to push back and regain his stance, Felipe sweeps him in the opposite direction, ending with an ankle lock or heel hook.

#3: Bernardo Faria - Knee Capture Sweep

This is a great closed guard sweep from Bernardo Faria for when your opponent stands to try and pass your guard. Bernardo is infamous for implementing simplicity into every aspect of his Jiu Jitsu. Bernardo is a five time Black Belt World Champion and has even won the most prestigious title in all of Jiu Jitsu, that being, the Open Class World Title at Black Belt. Watch the video below and then we will break down Bernardo’s technique!

Typically when your opponent stands to pass your guard they will have some sort of sleeve control. Even if your training partner controls your sleeves you can still use this technique. What Bernardo does first he reset his guard. He quickly opens his guard and then closes it back up around his opponent’s knees, causing his stance to weaken and off balance him. From here Bernardo comes up and secures both legs with one arm. He places his hand on the mat and hip escapes, driving forward forcing his opponent to go over.

Be sure to give these sweeps a try the next time you are struggling against a bigger opponent! They could just be the thing you need to get out of a desperate situation and start dominating all the guys at your gym.

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