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Avoid Getting Swept With This Technical Ankle Sweep Defense With Thomas Lisboa

Avoid Getting Swept With This Technical Ankle Sweep Defense With Thomas Lisboa



Getting swept can be both embarrassing as well as frustrating. You can be so focused on correctly executing a technique that you forget to defend the sweep, or you place yourself in a position to get swept. It is important to understand the mechanics behind successfully finishing a sweep in order to know how to defend it.

A very common sweep is the ankle sweep. This can be done from all different sorts of positions, and is effective because more often than not people use their feet at their primary base. If you are using your feet as a base and someone grabs your ankles, you don’t have the ability to adjust your base if your partner pushes you; often resulting in getting swept.

There are multiple techniques to avoid this such as adjusting the distribution of your body weight or just not getting caught there in general, however there are also more effective techniques.

In this video, Thomas Lisboa demonstrates a defensive technique to avoid the ankle sweep, check it out below!


Take A Look At The Technique

In the technique Thomas shows in this video, he refers to the ankle sweep that occurs when you stand up in someone's closed guard and they grab your ankles while opening their guard to push you down and sweep you. With control of both of your ankles and no way for you to step backward to regain a base, without this technique you will likely get swept every time.

When standing up in closed guard, Thomas makes the point that it’s important to not act desperate and being able to understand what is coming allows you to put yourself into the right technique. When you stand up in a closed guard and your partner grabs your ankles, you should know exactly what he is going to try to do.

Ready for more effective guard passing strategies? Click Learn More!



When your partner grabs your ankles, it is important to note the open space between his arm and his ribs that can be utilized. With this being said, you do not want to try to open your legs and widen your base or to step back, because in that scenario you are trying to create space or move against the resistance of his grips when there is already space available; just in a different direction.

Instead you are going to take advantage of the space already available by making a circular motion with your leg. Immediately when you get up, you should be waiting for the moment that he opens his guard to attempt the swep. Anticipating his move, you should be keeping your base and your weight low, because standing up high will just make it that much easier for him to get the sweep.

The instant your partner opens his guard, you lift one of your feet and move it inside towards his ribs in a circular motion and then lift up and step back. Utilizing that space between his arm and his ribs with a circular motion of the leg will effectively make his grip weaker and allow you to pull your foot up and get out of it.

Once your foot is free, you should immediately step back with that foot and establish a base. Now that one of your ankles is free, you are safe from the sweep and you can begin attacking or moving back in to pass the guard.
Learn more defense systems with the help of this guide Dynamic Striking Defense by Duane Ludwig.

About Thomas Lisboa

Thomas Lisboa is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under Fábio Gurgel, and is considered to be one of the best light featherweight competitors of his generation. Thomas came up in the ranks while competing for the Alliance Jiu Jitsu team, and has medals in tournaments such as IBJJF, World No-Gi Championship, and many others. Thomas earned his black belt in 2012, and since has dedicated his life to coaching both in the US and in Brazil. 

About Thomas’s Instructional

Thomas has devoted this instructional to beyond the basics of guard passing. Included you will find techniques such as knee cut pass, headquarters stack pass, pressure pass vs collar sleeve guard, low leg weave pass, and so much more.

Thomas has a huge variety of instructionals that each take the time to focus on different aspects of the sport. No matter how long you have been training, everyone can benefit from re familiarizing and learning new guard passing skills. Take the time to advance your game to the next level, check out his instructional here!



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