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The Flower Sweep: BJJ Tutorials


The guard is a dynamic position. It is dynamic because of the all the things you can do from it. You can break posture, control an opponent, go for submissions or you can sweep. While there are plenty of good sweeps, the first sweep from guard that you should know is the flower sweep (also known as the pendulum sweep). The flower sweep is a high percentage, technically sound sweep. The goal of this technique is to get you off of your back, and get you on top. While you can play with it and always find which way you prefer, there are two great ways of getting the sweep. One for gi and one for no gi. Here are those ways.

Early Techniques

For this technique, if you can learn it in the gi first, that is preferred. Learning it in the gi will give you the proper control and movements that you need to go into the no gi variation. Anyway, let’s get into it. For the first step, you must grab your opponent’s sleeve on one side and grab his opposite side pants. From there, you can open your guard. On the same side sleeve grab, you put your foot on his hip. You will shrimp your hips, to get your other leg to go up into his armpit similar to the armbar technique. To finish, simply pull his sleeve to you and lift his pant leg. You will get into mount and be able to go for topside techniques.

Setting Up the Flower Sweep without the Gi Grips

But there is also a version for all the no gi grapplers as well. Without the gi grips, it gets a little more intricate. The best way to set up the flower sweep without the gi is to use an arm drag. As you arm drag your opponent to the ground, grab his far armpit, and then go through some similar motions as the gi version. Put your foot on his hip on the same side that you dragged his arm. Cut the angle and underhook his close leg. From there, with your leg on the hip, use a pendulum motion and sweep to get on top. You can actually do this way in gi as well.

The reason this should be every beginner’s first sweep is because it is not a difficult one. The flower sweep will give anyone the ability to get to mount and work that aspect of their game. It works for a wide range of people. Long people, short people, inexperienced and experienced. All these people can use the flower sweep for great success. Bernardo Faria’s The Closed Guard DVD goes over this sweep and more! Do yourself a favor and check out the fantastic, four DVD set.

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