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Take the Back From Butterfly Guard
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Take the Back From Butterfly Guard

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Most grapplers associate butterfly guard with sweeping, or as a transition to other guards.

Sure, there is the arm drag back take and the basic butterfly sweep, but most people are aware of those threats and are ready for them in rolling. Your butterfly guard needs paths that opposition won’t see coming.

Adam Wardzinski, the Polish black belt and man who refined the modern butterfly guard has a sneaky way to get on opponents’ backs before they even realize it. Wardzinski is the winner of numerous IBJFF Opens, UAEJJF Grand Slams, and won a spot in this year’s ADCC at the 2018 European Trials. 

Speaking of butterfly guard, are you ready to RE-DISCOVER one of the most effective guards in Jiu-Jitsu? Click Learn More!

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This back attack comes off of a failed sweep. A common defense against being swept for the top player is to start active posting with their hands, spreading their base out for stability. The result is that if the sweep fails, they end up spread out on all fours, with you underneath them. Rather than trying to reset back to guard, Adam instead takes advantage of this openness to move into another attack.

First, his top hook moves inside the opponent’s thigh down to hooking under the shin (note: Adam is doing this on the side that he has an underhook on already). This shin to shin control will keep the opponent’s leg extended. The bottom hook moves to the other leg (both of Adam’s legs are being used against the same leg now) and wraps around knee pit to pit, and that toes curling around the shin. It looks very much like a half guard hook.

The underhooking arm transfers to wrapping around the hips instead as Adam comes up to an elbow. He uses his other hand to clamp the opponent’s bicep, breaking that post down and immobilizing it. This makes them unable to keep posting the direction he wants to start dragging for back take, and makes it harder for them to pull the arm back.

 With all that in place, Adam shrimps slightly well pulling the opponent’s hips towards himself. At the same time, he straightens his bottom leg. This pulls the upper body to him well compromising the base, and he lands with a seatbelt grip and one leg hook already in place. From there he needs only to place his other hook to secure the position. 

The leg switch may take some repetitions, but once you can do it at speed will be able to get on all your training partner’s backs well they are still worried about not getting swept. 

Adam Wardzinski has proven that you can take basic games and make them work at all levels, even the elite! Butterfly guard is a game that people of all shapes and sizes can find success. If you like the above video from Adam’s YouTube, you will surely like Butterfly Guard Re-Discovered by Adam Wardzinski. BJJ Fanatics has his DVD! Check it out here!

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