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The Butterfly Guard System by Rafael Formiga

The Butterfly Guard System by Rafael Formiga



Rafael Formiga Barbosa is the reigning 2018 Master 1 Double-Gold World Champ. His butterfly guard system gives you a comprehensive look at how to fight off your back using the BUTTERFLY GUARD!

The Butterfly Guard System covers all essential aspects to make your butterfly guard top-tier. Entries into butterfly guard can be one of the most crucial parts of pulling off sweeps. Having a sloppy entry into your butterfly guard is a sure way to get it smashed and passed. Rafael has been using the butterfly guard at the highest levels of Jiu-Jitsu against younger, faster competitors. His system is what allows him to pull it off!

Being able to constantly attack your partner’s base is one of the biggest strengths of the butterfly guard. At the core of The Butterfly Guard System By Rafael Formiga is the sweeps. Rafael can sweep from every angle in butterfly guard. His guard involves small incremental movements that are constantly reinforcing his butterfly hooks.

Fan of the classics? Want to use them to defeat younger, faster, more athletic people? Click Learn More!


Think of yourself as a mobile wedge constantly shifting underneath of your opponent making them react and eventually fear your guard. These reactions are where a lot of success with the position can be found. If you go to sweep your opponent and they are able to post on your shoulder, it will destroy your original sweep attempt but opens some interesting opportunities. You can see an example of that here!

Being sensitive to reactions will determine your overall success playing the butterfly guard. It is not a position where you can go in with one technique, impose your will, and get the sweep. Its best to be prepared for multiple reactions off of your original attempt whatever that may be. Creating this tempo from the bottom can be tricky, but if utilized correctly your opponent will be too apprehensive to pass.

When playing butterfly guard you will undoubtedly run into a wrestler type person who loves to be on top, and loves to apply as much pressure as humanly possible. This can be difficult to deal with if you can handle their pressure. Here Rafael shows a technique to not only handle the pressure applied, but how to manipulate their over commitment into a sweep! Can’t miss this one.

You may have even seen this sweep variation before. However the key to making it work in training or a match is the application of the details that few people fully grasp. Rafael explains what each of his limbs are doing and what their goal is. How he kicks the passer’s weight a specific direction is just one example of the GEMS of info you’ll find in The Butterfly Guard System.

Not only does it give you a breakdown of the butterfly guard, it provides you with other guards that are off-shoots of butterfly guard. X-Guard, 50/50, and deep half all serve as options off of the butterfly guard. If your butterfly guard doesn’t provide a sweeping attack, utilize it to transition to a different guard. This will give you contingencies when the passer reacts in an unusual way or if the defeat your guard.

Rafael Formiga is a pioneer of the butterfly guard. The Butterfly Guard System provides a comprehensive look at all things Butterfly Guard. Techniques cover everything from entries, submissions and transitions from the butterfly guard!



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