The 'Basic' Butterfly Guard Sweep
By Stephan Kesting
The 'basic' butterfly guard sweep is anything but
basic. It is an extremely powerful and sophisticated attack that
is difficult for your opponent to resist. In addition, this sweep
has many followups and recounters, which can make life unstable
and unpleasant for your opponent.
||Major Sweeping Directions in the
In the butterfly guard you can sweep your opponent
in every direction using different sweeps and variations.
There are 4 major directions you can sweep him in:
- To your right
- To your left
In both following techniques I sweep my opponent to
my right, but one variation takes him directly to
the side and the other takes him over at a 45
There are many different sweeps and attacks from the butterfly
guard, but the 'basic' butterfly sweep is probably the most important
move. Here I discuss the two most important variations of the 'basic'
butterfly sweep. These two variations have many similarities and
a few important differences. If you are serious about developing
your butterfly guard you should train both variations: depending
on the situation you find yourself in you may use either sweep.
- Sweeping your opponent at 45 degrees
- Sweeping your opponent sideways
Both variations can be done from a variety of grips and positions.
Here we will start in a common position: sitting upright with one
arm under his arm (an 'underhook') and one arm over his arm (an
The following is a small portion of the curriculum
from an upcoming video, "Dynamic Guard Sweeps", due for
release in the spring of 2004 (email
me if you want to be notified when it is released).
Variation 1: Butterfly sweeping your opponent
at 45 degrees
Step 1: Start in the butterfly guard with
your left arm under your opponent's arm (an 'underhook') and
your right arm over your opponent's arm (an 'overhook').
Step 2: Release your overhooking arm and place
that hand on the floor behind you...
Step 2 continued: ...and shift your hips to
your left, away
from the direction you intend to sweep him.
step allows you to shift your hips to a new angle. As you become
more comfortable with this sweep you may be able to move your
hips without posting your hand and/or get your opponent to move
into the correct position so you don't have to shift your hips
Step 3: Replace your right overhook and fall
towards your right,
bringing your opponent forward at a 45 degree angle...
Step 3 continued: ...make sure that you land
on your side, and not flat on your back.
Step 4: When your shoulder hits the ground
use your top (left) leg to kick your opponent's leg into the
air. Simultaneously drive off the ground with your bottom (right)
Step 5 continued: ...and come to the side,
pinning your opponent in
a modified scarf-hold position (Kuzure Kesa Gatame in Japanese).
Step 5 alternative: Instead of going to the
side, follow your opponent and end in the mount. Whether you
go to the side or to mount depends on your preferences and
the energy you feel from your opponent.
Sweeping Your Opponent Sideways