BJJ / Grappling Techniques: Butterfly Guard Sweeps

I used to love butterfly guard sweeps in both BJJ and in no-gi submission grappling. I still love it, but it's been more of a long distance relationship.

I used to play a lot from the butterfly guard position but my closed guard sucked majorly so I focused on that for a year or two and now my interest in butterfly guard sweeps (and submissions) is re-awakening. I still believe the most important concepts are the Posture (where to place your body and limbs in relation to that of your opponent to get the most leverage advantage), Pressure (realistic movements and pressures that you are exposed to and you can affect in this position) and Possibilities (the actual finishing sweeps or submissions that flow from the Postures and Pressures).

Butterfly guard is one of the many expressions of the open guard in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. For a very thorough analysis of the open guard postures, pressures and possibilities, check out Cane Prevost's post on the matter.

At a recent John B Will seminar, John talked about the X-guard being a position that occurs when your butterfly hook wasn't up to scratch. He focused on clamping the hip between your hooking leg and your same side arm (if it's gripping their belt, for example) and having some serious controling pressure with it. Thanks John for that great note!

Hugging. It does you good.

For one of the best analysis on the Posture and Pressures on the butterfly guard in particular, I recommend you check out Saulo Ribeiro Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Revolution Series 1. He really does a great job of describing where to put everything and why.

Once you've done that, here are a few nice teasers (aka Possibilities):

Backward rolling sweep from the butterfly guard:

Triangle choke from the butterfly guard:

Standard sweep from the butterfly guard:

Now, add a simple armdrag to the butterfly position and you suddenly open a world of opportunities, such as this triangle here:

Just ask Marcelo Garcia :)

Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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A.D. McClish said...

It's a post full delicious techniques!! I am the opposite of you, Liam. I relied on closed and open guard for so long and just now am I trying to get more fluent with butterfly and x guard. Thanks so much for these!

The Part Time Grappler said...

Haha thank you Allie. Make sure you read Cane's posts and watch Saulo if you can. Awesome stuff.

We're teaching Butterfly today. I'll see if I can remember to film some 3P for the blog

graham cooke said...

Hey Liam,

I cant see the video at work, but I have a question about butterfly guard (no-gi):

The other night I found myself with butterfly hooks in quite a lot, but on my back flattened out instead of sat up with back straight and hips away from my opponent. My partner was passing from here EVERY time and I couldnt do anything because he had pretty good control of my hips.

I've been thinking since then, what do I need to do to make this position work, or is it only when I'm sat up that I can get the most from the butterfly guard position? If so, how do i get from a flattened out position to be sat up? I'm assuming the route is to push the opponent away with my hooks and a post on his shoulder, then post up on one arm behind me and scoot my hips back?

Kinda hard to explain here but I hope you get what I'm asking!!

The Part Time Grappler said...

Hey Graham, thanks for stopping by and for the question. I love the butterfly guard and it's 3P. I will make a short video to look into what you had in mind, after the weekend though. Stockholm is calling my name :)