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How To Sweep Your Opponent From Single Leg X Guard

How To Sweep Your Opponent From Single Leg X Guard

Felipe Preguica Pena Shows a Sweep From Single X

Are you familiar with the single leg X? The single leg X  is a position in which you using both your legs to cross one of your opponent’s legs in a X shape while hooking the outside of his foot with your arm. Typically you will also see a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player control the gi collar using their other hand. The single leg X is a very powerful guard for sweeping your opponent. The single leg X works well in both gi and no gi. There are some awesome techniques from single leg x. Today Felipe Preguica Pena is here at BJJ Fanatics Head Quarters to demonstrate a sweep from single leg X.

Single Leg X, X Guard and Butterfly Guard all work well together and flow together to create a constant sweep attacking guard. Learn from one of the best in these guard, Rafael Formiga Barbosa.

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If you do not know who Felipe Pena is, Felipe Pena, also known as Felipe “Preguiça” is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor and representative of the Gracie Barra – Belo Horizonte academy, as well as a black belt under Marcelo Azevedo. Pena is regarded as one of the top competitors of his generation. The list of Pena’s accomplishments is impressive. Some of his main titles are: ADCC Champion, IBJJF World Champion, IBJJF World No Gi Champion, IBJJF European Open Champion, UAEJJF Abu Dhabi Pro Champion, UAEJJF Grand Slam – Tokyo Champion, UAEJJF Grand Slam – Rio de Janeiro Champion, Copa Podio HW Champion, Marianas Invitational Champion and more.

Watch the video below of Felipe Preguica Pena demonstrating his single leg X guard sweep and then we will break down his technique. Check it out now!

Often times when playing single leg X, it is common for your training partner to first try and clear your outside hook by pushing your leg down. When this happens, you are in a very dangerous position, as it will allow your training partner to easily push down your knee and pass into side control. In the event that your training partner is able to clear your outside leg, the first thing you want to do is switch your inside hook to your opponent’s other leg. You should remain connected to the back of the knee. From here you want to take your other foot and slide it through on top of your other leg. This will allow you to establish X guard on your opponent’s opposite leg. From the X guard position you can work a variety of sweeps. Felipe prefers not to switch his hooks like other high level competitors sometimes do in order to establish knee bars, etc. With the X guard, you are using your feet as hooks to block your opponent from stepping either forwards or backwards. It is important to remember to keep both of these hooks set, otherwise your training partner will have an easy opportunity to pass.

Once you have established a tight X guard, you want to start to make your opponent feel uncomfortable. It helps to grip your own gi with the hand wrapping his foot. You should also have your knees tight, which will allow you to control where your training partner’s body moves. If your training partner’s opposite leg is close enough you can reach out and grab it with your free hand. Otherwise you want to use your X guard to stretch your opponent, forcing his stance into a very unstable wide base.  Your training partner will naturally counter this by trying to take a step back in. In do this, his leg will now be close enough to secure your grip.

Now that you have your grips you can hit the sweep. The first thing you should do is move your knee inwards. This will get your opponent off balance and facing in the right direction. Then you can use your X guard and grips to force him forward, causing him to post with his hands on the mat. Again, your opponent will counter this by pushing back and trying to regain his stance. When he does this you can now sweep him in the opposite direction, sitting up into an ankle lock or heel hook.

As you can probably already tell, this is a really cool sweep from the single X. By anticipating how his opponent will counter, Felipe is able to maintain very tight control in the X guard position. From here, he works to off balance his training partner by using his own movement against him. If you love playing X guard this technique is for you. Keep in mind that when training it you want to work on getting as many details right as you can. Felipe has a very methodical approach to his jiu jitsu, and so should you. By practicing to get precision technique, you greatly increase the potential of any sweep or submission. Anyways, I hope you found this helpful and I hope you give it a try the next time you are on the mats. Thank you Felipe Pena for demonstrating this technique for us today!


Another one of the best butterfly guard and x guard players in the world is Rafael Formiga Barbosa. Anytime Formiga has a hook in, whether it's butterfly guard, x guard or single leg x, you're getting swept.

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