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How to Sweep the Bigger, Stronger Opponent with Lachlan Giles

How to Sweep the Bigger, Stronger Opponent with Lachlan Giles


We’ve all been there. Regardless of your rank, you’ve probably had the experience of clashing with an experienced wrestler on the BJJ training floor. This kind of run in with a fellow student of grappling can bring about some serious frustration at times. Wrestlers don’t play quite the same game that we do as BJJ practitioners, but this doesn’t mean they can’t throw you some curve-balls and throw a wrench into your plans.

Wrestlers traditionally have phenomenal base and can be incredibly difficult to sweep. With wrestlers also being some of the most conditioned athletes on the planet, they can also possess what seems like an endless gas tank. Wrestlers are aggressive, smart and in many cases incredibly athletic. Attempting to match speed, skill, or athleticism can be a tough way to go about dismantling one of these seasoned athletes.

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Great wrestlers can be a real problem, but it’s not impossible for us to use some good mechanics to try and get the better of a proficient wrestler. Also, don’t get frustrated. Understand that having these fellow grapplers on the mat is a blessing, not a curse. They will help you sharpen your BJJ skills and you will help them to become even more dangerous if you work together.

So how can we get underneath one of these talented folks? With strong a strong base and great top pressure, it can seem like an insurmountable task to achieve position and actually sweep a good wrestler.

Lachlan Giles just happens to have some suggestions for you on how to get ourselves into position, so that we can start reversing these top game titans. In this video, Giles presents us with a very intelligent approach to this conundrum. Have a look at this!


Beginning in half guard and with the two main goals being elevation, and also bringing the passer forward, Giles begins with some important details. First, with his knee shield, Giles recommends keeping it high. Planting it in his partner’s shoulder. His foot is also quite active here, pinching his partners back. Giles prefers this higher shield to a lower one that can be easily folded when heavy forward pressure is present. Then placing his elbow inside of his own knee, Giles establishes his first upper body frame. Look closely here though. Giles cups over the shoulder with this first frame hand, instead of across the body. This prevents the passer from coming forward aggressively and blasting through the structure Giles has built thus far.

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With an incredibly strong framework constructed underneath his partner, Giles has bought himself time and made it very difficult for his partner to advance. This next part is another unique concept that I really have never been exposed to. We’ve all probably gotten this far before and then began looking to get under that far leg. The problem is, when we do this, we normally run in to a big fat cross face. This stops our movement, in many cases flattens us out and send us back to the drawing board. Giles, however chooses a different path here. He begins building himself up on to his back hand. As his partner continues to try and come forward, Giles removes this prop and lets the passers momentum do the work. As this occurs, Giles reaches under the leg and achieves position. From this position, the under hook is more than easy to acquire and Giles can now attach himself to his partner in the half guard. Giles reminds us that obtaining this position can take a bit of time in a live setting, so stay the course and keep working back and forth until you secure that deep under hook. 

With a heavy whizzer in place (which will be very likely with a wrestler) it could be difficult for Giles to get up and continue to drive in to his opponent, as he’ll be dealing with some heavy opposing pressure. Instead he opts to travel back underneath his partner, once again securing the under hook on the leg. Here, he switches his half guard hook out for a hook with the top leg and beings to manipulate the knee upward and to the left. Giles also couples this with sliding his right leg under his partner and allows the passer’s knee to rest on the inside of his own knee. This is a very interesting detail I’ve never seen added to this scenario. As you can see, when Giles begins to move under his partner, it guides his partners knee toward the middle, making it easier to perform the reversal. 

Whether the passer is a wrestler, or just a bigger, stronger, heavier opponent, Giles has put next level details to work here in the quest for the reversal. There is no stone left unturned here as Giles has insulated this sweep with unquestionably sound mechanical specifics. These are the kinds of details that win matches and add considerable value to your technique. Great stuff here from one of the best instructors on the planet! 

Leg Lock Anthology: 50/50 by Lachlan Giles
Lachlan is quickly becoming one of the most sought out Instructors in Jiu-Jitsu. Whether it’s Half Guard, No-Gi Chokes, Body Lock Passing, or Leg Locks, you can BET Lachlan has the answers you are looking for. Revitalize your game today with Lachlan Giles!



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