Knee Sweep From Butterfly Guard
If you could accel at one area of Jiu Jitsu what would you choose?
Would you choose to be a master at finishing submission attempts? Maybe you would choose to be flawless at transitioning, or even a specific technique?
Some of you inevitably would choose to be the best at sweeping. I personally think that I would be in this camp, choosing to be able to sweep anyone at anytime would certainly be an amazing skill set to have. If I am being honest, there is something about seeing the other person go from a dominant position to a much less dominant position with literally nothing they can do about it.
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One of the positions that I am personally finding more and more interesting as my game develops is the butterfly guard. While I am no world champion, I have found that for me the major guard systems I utilize most consist of the open guard, half guard and butterfly guard, with the butterfly guard being the newest addition to the list. I had certainly been undervaluing the butterfly guard until recently because it was never effective for me. If you find yourself having the same issue, whether it’s with butterfly guard, another technique, or even something outside of Jiu Jitsu in your personally life, chances are you are just missing a detail or two to make the concept work.
Being good at sweeping from a multitude of places is a crucial component of your Jiu Jitsu game and can not be overlooked. There are obviously attacks from the bottom, however, let’s face the facts, the top position is much more dominant and in any street self defense situation this is where you want to be to be the most effective.
Let’s take a look at the breakdown of the “Knee Sweep Butterfly Guard” – by Bruno Malfacine.
Bruno is well known for his ability to take on opponent’s with monstrous weight advantages and dominate them on the mats. While it’s Jiu Jitsu is designed for a smaller opponent to be able to take on a larger opponent and not only survive but thrive, there is absolutely techniques that aid in making this possible. Bruno, weighing in at 127 pounds has been able to accomplish this against 200 + pound opponent’s consistently.
Bruno starts out in a standard butterfly guard position with his feet inside the opponent’s legs and his knees flared out. Bruno scoots in close and gets an under hook on his right side grabbing the belt for added control. After getting the under hook Bruno is looking to use his head under the opponent’s chin to control the opponent’s head. In doing this he is looking away from the opponent’s head with his ear on the opponent’s chest. Next he opts to control the opponent’s pants with his left arm. To do this he simply grabs the opponent’s knee with his left hand. In the Gi, he is grabbing Gi pant material. Now we are in position and ready to get started.
In order to execute this sweep, like many techniques in Jiu Jitsu, we are looking to cause a reaction that we can capitalize on. Bruno first uses his belt control, knee control and right leg butterfly hook to attempt to bring the opponent towards him. If the opponent does not react, he would simply sweep the opponent at this point, however, more times than not the opponent is going to pull back in an attempt to not get swept.
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As the opponent pulls back fighting to not get swept, Bruno uses this momentum to drive into the opponent as they are pulling back. Bruno does a grappler lift coming up on his back knee creating space between his legs. To finish the sweep Bruno uses his grip on the opponent’s Gi pants to pull the opponent’s leg between his legs causing the opponent to fall to their hip and essentially putting Bruno in a top half guard position at this point that he can get to work from. It seems that since he already has control of the Gi pants and has the opponent’s knee pinned to the ground that passing the half guard from here would not be much of a challenge.
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