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Tricky Back Take With Cesar Casamajo
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Tricky Back Take With Cesar Casamajo

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Can you use Butterfly Guard to take the back?


Butterfly Guard is a versatile position that can adapt to multiple goals. Primarily it is utilized to sweep the opponent and obtain top position. It can set up submissions, and it can also be used to set up defensive reactions from our opponent. These defensive reactions will be the focus for when our ultimate goal is to slip out to the back.


Taking the back is a great way to ensure victory. Ask any practitioner of BJJ and they’ll tell you that if you can get to the back you should be able to finish. This has lead to many positions to offer an option to take the back. In the video below you will see Cesar Casamajo utilize strong grips and sweeping pressure to force his partner to react in a way that is conducive to securing back control.



One thing about butterfly guard players that we’ve encountered is they usually have a preference on foot placement. Some people will play with both feet in between the partner’s legs while others will utilize a reverse “X” configuration on one leg. The upper body controls can vary greatly as well. Overhooks, underhooks, and belt grips can all be used to further your goals from the butterfly guard. So for this Cesar uses a reverse X leg position while his arm is behind his partner while grabbing the lapel.


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The lapel grip is ideal because in a Gi it will always be there. Obtaining a belt grip while playing butterfly guard can be optimal but at times the belt gets loose or it is completely off. Grabbing the lapel is a great alternative to the belt grip because it provides similar advantages of the belt grip.


Where the lapel grip might excel is being able put your partner’s hands to the mat. When trying to take the back from butterfly guard this is an essential skill. After the initial grips are established Cesar begins his technique be removing the elevating or inside hook. By “selling” the traditional butterfly sweep will cause the opponent to start to base out. This can make removing the inside hook and placing it to the mat much more manageable.


Now that the inside leg is planted and the grips are established it is time to “shuck” our opponent over top of us and to the floor. At first it’s important to go slow and methodical to ensure the partner doesn’t face plant. That said when you are comfortable with the technique you want this face plant feeling to overwhelm your opponent. This will force them to put their hands to the floor or face plant. By planting your foot it enables a strong hip lift while simultaneously bumping your shoulder forward into your partner.


After your partner has based out taking the back is now an option. Use your go to strategy from here. Try this tactic on a larger opponent who is shutting down your initial sweep attempts from the butterfly guard. When an opponent is overly focused on shutting down your sweeps they may just forget about the alternatives!

Butterfly Guard has never left but it is seeing a resurgence as of late. Chalk it up to people like Adam Wardzinski or Cesar Casamajo and their high level utilization of the Butterfly Guard!!

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