Sweep Like Your Back Is Against the Wall

Sweep Like Your Back Is Against the Wall

Far too often the guard player gets flattened out and controlled. Utilizing the butterfly guard against a passer on his knees can help alleviate this. Adam Wardzinski demonstrated this over the weekend at the ADCC European Trials. Adam emphasizes grip switching and maneuvering his base underneath his opponent to execute his butterfly sweeps.

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BJJ Scout has done all of us butterfly guard players a huge favor by having a comprehensive breakdown of Adam’s game. Adam has used his butterfly guard at a higher level than almost anyone else. Once in butterfly guard Adam makes good use of strong grips on the belt or an over hook to make it nearly impossible to stand.  By utilizing the structure of the butterfly guard, Adam forces his opponent make one of two decisions. Circle away from the hook or circle towards it.

Circling towards the hook will almost assuredly result in a grip/base switch equaling a sweep to the other side. Circling towards the bottom leg is circling into the power of the position. A common mistake while playing butterfly guard is letting your opponent apply pressure and weight forward into butterfly guard. Here is where the butterfly guard starts to fall apart.

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Falling to your back during a butterfly guard sweep makes finishing much more difficult. A little trick is to imagine a wall to your back while in butterfly guard. Any circling from the opponent should lead us to utilize our own circular movement to maintain our angular advantage. Since we are constantly managing our position we start to funnel our opponent to make a decision.

While executing our sweep it is imperative to not pull the passer’s weight on top of us. By sweeping with our “back against the wall” we keep our hooking leg strong. It also allows our “free” leg to utilize the mat for a little extra lift with our sweep. This will also allow you to follow the adjusting passer by using our free leg to center our base under theirs.

For more from Adam Wardzinski, check out his great series Butterfly Guard Rediscovered from BJJ Fanatics!  Learn all the techniques that helped him get to victory in Romania punching his ticket to the ADCC World Championships.  You can get it here!

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