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Checkout This Slick Armbar Set Up
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Checkout This Slick Armbar Set Up

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The flower sweep is one of the more traditional sweeps used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This flavorful technique can be executed with the gi and without the gi, just like many other sweeps from the closed guard. Although this sweep doesn’t get the credit its due, many grapplers are beginning to add it to their closed guard game.

The flower sweep, often referred to as the pendulum sweep, is unique as a closed guard technique in that the defender’s pants or leg needs to be grabbed. The only other techniques I can think of where grabbing on the leg is necessary is with the double ankle sweep or tripod sweep.

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As you may notice by observing many different sweeps used in grappling, those involving grabbing the leg always seem to be superior to the sweeps where only the upper body is utilized. By controlling both the lower body and upper body, the guard player has increased their ability to physically maneuver their opponents as they please.

As with many techniques from the closed guard, the flower sweep gets accused of not being effective against experienced opponents. I always find these accusations astonishing, because if you have ever watched Roger Gracie, you know that the old school, simple techniques can work just as well as modern techniques, the only difference is we invest a lot less time into them.

In order to have good techniques, we need to learn how to respond to certain defenses. The most natural and common defense for the flower sweep is pinning the outside leg once the guard player’s legs open. If the guard player doesn’t react, they will end up in an inferior position.

One of my favorite things about closed guard is how well different techniques connect together. For example, you can respond to a sit over sweep defense by attacking a kimura. Similarly, you can respond to a flower sweep defense by attacking an armbar. See below:

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