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Butterfly Guard Mastery with Jon Satava
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Butterfly Guard Mastery with Jon Satava

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The butterfly guard is a lot of fun to delve into.

If you prefer more of an open guard approach to your training, the butterfly guard is definitely for you. With lots of focused practice you can begin to develop a solid game that includes the ability to constantly off balance your opponents, leading to a multitude of submission attempts, transitions, and reversals. The misdirection and trickery associated with the butterfly guard is unlike any other form of guard, and its mastery can lead to lots of success from the bottom position. 

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My first experiences with the butterfly guard were a bit difficult to say the least, but I didn’t have the direction and understanding of the position that I needed to become successful. I got my guard passed (A LOT) when first trying to get comfortable with the position, which is common, but over time I developed my reflexes and the game improved. Today its one of my favorite positions and I enjoy it immensely. I only wish I had the resources available back then that we have today! 

Jon Satava is a butterfly guard mastery. As one of Marcelo Garcia’s top students, Satava has taken the butterfly guard and adapted it to create an incredibly effective guard game. His knowledge of the position is otherworldly and the concepts he presents dealing with the position are accessible, effective, and innovative. 

In his newest instructional release, Satava shares his butterfly guard gold with us. He presents us with numerous techniques, concepts, and principles that are sure to help us make more sense of the position. Check out this quick video on understanding the butterfly guard with Satava. Before we get into some techniques this is a great piece of information to get started with. Here, Satava goes over some principles and themes he adheres to when implementing the butterfly guard. This helped me understand the position on a much deeper level. Check this out!

This particular video gave me so much to think about. Satava has turned the butterfly guard in to a comprehensive system, where all reactions are accounted for and dealt with accordingly.  Love learning this way. So, now that you’ve got a little more insight in to the position, lets take a look at a couple techniques! 

This first technique is an arm bar from the butterfly guard. Watch closely as Satava coaxes his partner in to the submission using solid mechanics and great technique. Enjoy!

Looking for an inverted arm bar, Satava secures the limb and falls back to begin the attempt. His hope is to sit up to create space, but here his partner stays heavy and keeps a strong base. As he notices the problem, Satava keeps the intention of sitting up with his body language, but instead puts both feet on the floor and performs a hip escape. After the hip escape is complete, Satava brings his top knee up and over into the space where his partner’s shoulder meets his body. He then allows his own elbow to hover over his partner’s elbow, creating quite a bit of downward pressure for the submission. 

This is an excellent variation of this technique, as we will quite often run into this exact problem when trying to hit the arm bar from here. Our partner’s find comfort in sitting heavy from the butterfly guard, keeping a strong base, but Satava has an answer for every reaction. No one is safe! Great stuff!

When you hear the term “blast double”, normally the butterfly guard doesn’t come to mind, but as we’ve already seen, Satava has an incredibly versatile game that goes all over the spectrum. Take a look at this next sneak peek!

With a two on one grip, Satava looks to get his partner’s head below his hips. Manny times this is difficult as we discussed before, due to the fight for posture here, and the passers intent to stay upright. As his partner looks to establish good posture and pushes off of Satava, Satava uses the two on one grip he’s acquired on the arm to clear his partners arm, by pushing up with the grips. The moment the arm pops off of his shoulder, Satava configures his legs in to what looks like hurdler stretch position. This configuration of the legs allows Satava to create enough energy to come forward, grabbing the legs and completing a double leg. 

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Removing the arms from the space allows Satava to open up and get a very clean shot toward the midsection. With this unobstructed path he’s able to perform a very powerful variation of the takedown. Taking it a step further, Satava also shows us how we can use our head directly on the centerline of the body to perform a takedown a little more reminiscent of a blast double. Regardless of the position of the head, the mechanics remain the same. 

This is a super cool technique, that more than likely would surprise most passers. Because there is such a fight for posture and to keep a solid base when being threatened by the butterfly guard, this may be available more often than you might think. 

Satava obviously has a very broad approach to the position as he’s demonstrated here. You can tell, especially in the first video, that there’s nothing the passer is going to do that he doesn’t have plans for. Developing this kind of game takes a lot of work, but Satava’s instruction can definitely get us on the fast track. 

If you’ve struggled with the butterfly guard in the past, consider Satava’s instruction. He’s a great teacher and the material is incredibly accessible. Hope you got as much as I did out of this! Good luck! 

Improve your butterfly guard game with up and coming grappling expert Jon Satava! His DVD "Modern Butterfly Guard" will give you what you need to make your butterfly guard game better, and more dangerous! Check it out here!

 

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