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Fine-Tuning the Basics: Scissor Sweep
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Fine-Tuning the Basics: Scissor Sweep

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One of the first sweeps that most new Jiu Jiteros learn is the scissor sweep.  But it is also one that has use and value long after those first few years in the dojo.

So, it would be worthwhile to fine-tune our approach to this sweep.  And who better to learn from than one of the famed BJJ Dirty Dozen?

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Chris Haueter is one of the first twelve Americans to be awarded the black belt in BJJ.   He earned his black belt in 1996 from Rigan Machado.

In this video, Haueter shows us his approach to the scissor sweep.

He begins by using a spider grip on Bernardo’s arm, which he then twists to the side so that he can lock Bernardo’s arm against his body.

Haueter’s next step is to grab the material at the seam of Bernardo’s armpit, again locking his grip tight.  He then places his feet on Bernardo’s hips and begins to attack Bernardo’s arm.

Essentially, Haueter’s plan is to distract his opponent so that they don’t see the scissor sweep coming.  So, Haueter attacks Bernardo’s arm, forcing him to pay attention to defending this attack and leaving him unprepared for the coming sweep.

When Haueter feels Bernardo’s resistance on the armlock, that’s when he quickly sets his feet in place for the sweep, with his right foot hooked around the far side of Bernardo’s body and his left leg planted on the floor so that he can sweep Bernardo over it.

Notice that his right leg is high on Bernardo’s torso.  In fact, in the image below, we can hardly see Haueter’s right leg because it is high enough to be hidden behind Bernardo’s arm.

To complete the sweep, Haueter locks Bernardo onto his hip—which is up in the air—and simultaneously pushes with his right leg while pressing into Bernardo with his left foot and calf.

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Working his entire body as a unit, Haueter brings Bernardo up onto one knee and then rolls him over, following Bernardo’s movement so that he ends up in mount.

By combining the basics of the scissor sweep with the distraction of an armbar, Haueter engages in the classic bait-and-switch of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, leaving an opponent unprepared to defend the sweep that is coming.

For Haueter’s complete tutorial on the scissor sweep, watch his entire video below:

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