Transitioning from Gi to No Gi: Don’t Skip These 3 Important Reversals from Closed Guard
Training in the gi is an important part of everyone’s BJJ voyage. The gi teaches us about control, positioning, how to apply pressure, as well as a whole host of other concepts. I spent a lot of years training exclusively in the gi before I really delved into no gi, which I absolutely fell in love with, and enjoy very much now, but I’m glad I spent my early days on the mat learning the traditional aspects of gi BJJ for many reasons. The transition from gi to No Gi is not without its challenges. You’ll notice obvious differences where control is concerned, and things tend to move a little quicker than they do in the gi.
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One important fundamental aspect of the crossover is the closed guard and its reversals. Closed guard in the gi can be an absolute nightmare for the passer. The grip sets are endless, and a good bottom guard player can make you feel like your tangled up in a spider web. But what about no gi? No Sleeves, no lapels, no pants to grip. Where do we start?
I’ve always placed more emphasis on reversing than submitting from guard. Maybe it’s the wrong way to go about it, but that’s the road I’ve chosen to go down. I recommend 3 basic sweeps from the no gi closed guard to get you started.
Hip Bump sweep –
The hip bump or sit-over sweep shows us the importance of taking advantage of our partners reactions. Keeping our partners posture broken down in the closed guard is of great importance in the gi and no gi as well. As our partner attempts to release himself from our clutches and regain posture, the hip bump sweep will often become available. Commonly paired with some nice submissions, other reversals, and back takes, the hip bump can set you up for success int the closed guard. Lachlan Giles gives us a look at the hip bump in this video. Yes, he’s wearing a gi, but uses no grips to complete the technique. Check it out!
Pendulum Sweep -
Basic and effective, the pendulum sweep will lead to multiple opportunities including other sweeps, submissions, and back takes. It teaches us to cut angles, another important fundamental principle, and it can be performed with minimal steps. In this video Lachlan Giles demonstrates the pendulum sweep, and then couples it with the arm bar. Take a look!
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Double Ankle Sweep -
But what if they stand up? Double ankle sweep may be the most classic reversal in BJJ, and just so you know, it still works. No, you may not see this sweep at the very highest levels, but I can guarantee you that good knowledge of this sweep will lead to much more! In this clip we get a peek at the basic sweep followed up by a slick armbar. Enjoy!
When your transitioning to No Gi. Keep it simple, and learn the basics of the foundational positions. This will set you up for success as your game progresses, and build a solid jumping off point for your No Gi game. Get to work!