Re-Discover Butterfly Guard!
With so many options in Jiu-Jitsu it can be difficult to decide where to spend your time when training. Like always the usual aspects apply to getting better. Show up. Train Hard. Get the reps. Roger that. That said there is truly too much information out there to become proficient at every single aspect of BJJ. This is great because BJJ really cannot become stale, but that can lead to questions about how to spend your time.
Why Butterfly Guard is worth that time.
Butterfly Guard is a classic position that has seen its fair share of evolution over time. It is a position that doesn’t require a lot of explosiveness or athleticism to utilize. By making use of angles and strategic gripping it can become a great position to slow down that pesky passer whether they are applying pressure or mobility passing. On top of that it can work from white belt to black belt, just ask Adam Wardzinski who may have the best butterfly guard in the game today.
Here is a quick technique by Wardzinski that demonstrates how strategic grips and body placement he is able to manipulate his opponent’s base.
Here we see a position that is commonly encountered when playing the butterfly guard. The opponent is on their knees controlling the pants, perhaps looking to enter into an over-under passing situation. Immediately Adam begins by controlling Faria’s arm on the side he sets up his attack. He controls the arm first by gaining a cross grip on Faria’s sleeve as his outside arm grabs at the material between the Triceps and armpit. This starts to threaten arm drags, which creates the posture needed for the next portion of the technique.
As Faria starts to use defensive posture to defend any arm drags or back takes. This allows Adam to gain a dominant grip on Faria’s belt. This belt grip will permit Adam to close the space behind Bernardo’s arm. This traps his posture and makes it nearly impossible to base out to defend the incoming sweep.
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Adam describes the entry underneath of his partner as diving in. As he dives in he shoots his right arm underneath of his opponent’s thigh, and at the same time he keeps his elevating leg active. One aspect that you might miss is what his other leg does. His right leg actively grabs the floor to pull his hips under and then through his opponent’s base.
Ultimately, what happens is Adam replaces his opponent’s base with his own. From here there is nowhere for his opponent to base because of the initial arm trap made possible by the grip. Being able to set this up will ultimately hinge on the threat of taking the back off of the arm drag grips. As Adam sets the tempo in his attack he will be ready to switch and vary attacks.
Butterfly guard’s effectiveness hinges mainly on positional control and the ability to create tempo by constantly attacking your opponent’s base while threatening other attacks as well. This is a common thread in many positions in BJJ, but Butterfly Guard is one that can be played by most body types and ability levels.
Butterfly guard is one of the strongest guard’s that EVERYONE can utilize. Adam Wardzinski is on the forefront of competition testing his CONSTANTLY. Take a look at his in depth approach in BUTTERFLY GUARD RE-DISCOVERED