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Butterfly to X-Guard Transition with Lachlan Giles
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Butterfly to X-Guard Transition with Lachlan Giles

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In this video, Austrialian grappler Lachlan Giles shows an option when your opponent is making it tough to get the Butterfly Guard sweep.

To advance with a stubborn kneeling opponent, Giles opts to get his opponent onto his feet and into X-Guard -- a position made famous by Marcelo Garcia, and used with huge success since in both gi and no gi.

First, Giles starts square with his opponent, uses his hands to nudge his opponent forward a little, then rocks back and using his two hooks and arms to throw his opponent forward. This makes his partner go from his knees to a wide standing position -- ideal for X-Guard.

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If your partner gives you that wide standing base, the entry from there to X-Guard is relatively simple. 

Giles grabs one of his partner’s legs, and pulls his head next to it, and hooks his legs around his partner’s other leg. To make the X-Guard hooks that give this guard its name, the top foot hooks around the front of your opponent’s hip, and the bottom foot hooks behind your opponent’s knee, as Giles demonstrates.

Giles shows 3 things that are important for maintaining the X-Guard:

  1. Maintaining outward pressure with your hooking legs to keep your partner from slipping out of them.
  2. Controlling the leg nearest to your head by holding the kneecap. You can also pinch your head and shoulder around their ankle to make it even tighter if you want. 
  3. Keeping your opponent off-balance. The two main ways to do this are by widening their stance using their hooks and by forcing their hands on the mat as Giles shows

One of the most important aspects of this position is keeping your opponent off-balance. If you let your opponent settle their weight on top of you, it’s virtually impossible to sweep, and it becomes much easier for your opponent to pass your guard.

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That’s why the way Giles uses the knee of his top hook to force his opponent’s hands to the mat is a really cool trick. 

By putting the leg of his top hook behind his opponent’s hamstring and turning slightly, Giles throws his opponent’s weight forward. This leaves little weight on your opponent’s leg’s -- making the sweep a lot easier than if your opponent were standing straight up.

First, to perform the sweep, Giles removes his top hook (the one on the hip) and uses it to kick his partner’s leg out and sit up (bringing his partner’s leg up with him). Once he’s up, Giles can either follow his partner if he runs away, or do a technical standup -- still holding his partner’s leg at the kneecap -- if his partner keeps their weight on top of him.

As Giles shows at the end, he uses this knee-bump trick to facilitate the classic X-Guard technical stand-up sweep. 

As soon as Giles feels his opponent moving forward, he goes into the technical stand-up sweep. Starting the sweep as his opponent is thrown off-balance makes it much more difficult for his opponent to defend.

This Butterfly to X-Guard transition provides a piece in a powerful guard game effective in gi and no gi. 



Want more from Lachlan Giles? Check out his DVD  "The Half Guard Anthology", and get to work on improving your half guard! BJJ Fanatics has it! Check it out here!

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