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BJJ Instructional Videos
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How To Deal With Wrestlers From Butterfly Guard

How To Deal With Wrestlers From Butterfly Guard


Jiu Jitsu and wrestling go hand in hand.  Many times we see wrestlers making the transition to Jiu Jitsu, and let’s be honest, they are usually athletic and professionals at pressure.  Wrestlers will push the pace of match and work hard every second of the round. With the incredible pressure they are able to apply they may be blowing through your guard which is a recipe for disaster.  While you likely won’t get tapped, at least by the newer wrestlers, they certainly know how to make your life painful for every second left on the clock. Knowing how to manage this pressure and deal with the typical wrestler that is new to Jiu Jitsu will make all of the difference.  

Rafael Formiga is here to show us how he uses butterfly guard to deal with newer students who have a wrestling background.  Let’s break it down and see what we can add to our game to help us do the same.  

Rafael starts in butterfly guard with his partner flattening him out so he is laying flat on his back on the mat.  He also is assuming he does not have either under hook, only an over hook on the right side that he uses to reach all the way down the opponent’s back to his belt.  With his other had he is simply cupping the back of the opponent’s head.  

Use the Butterfly Guard System to Dominate the mats! Click Learn More!


In this position the typical “wrestling” thing to do would be to pressure in applying shoulder pressure on to the bottom of your chin or into your face.  Contrary to what you might think this is actually good for us. As much as it is unpleasant, this puts us in a position to use this pressure against the “attacker”.   From this position Rafael is cupping over the opponent’s right elbow preparing to push the elbow and in turn the arm under the opponent as we execute the sweep. 

Keeping his right hand gripping the belt Rafael then uses his right leg to lift the opponent towards his left side.  As he lifts the opponent he is steering them with the grip he has on their belt while also removing their base by shoving their right arm under them as they begin to create space.  

As he comes to the top Rafael is looking to go to mount ideally, but it may not happen.  There is a good chance he will get caught in top half guard and have to work to pass the half guard.  When looking to pass the half guard Rafael first looks to sit to his hip and rather simply pull his foot out.  If this method does not work he may need to try additional passing methods. 

The Butterfly Guard System by Rafael Formiga


Rafael Formiga is a pioneer of the butterfly guard. The Butterfly Guard System provides a comprehensive look at all things Butterfly Guard. Techniques cover everything from entries, submissions and transitions from the butterfly guard!



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