Rafael Formiga Barbosa Shows His Butterfly Duck Under Sweep
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the butterfly guard is one of the oldest traditional forms of guard playing. The butterfly guard is built on the concept of the butterfly hooks. By using your feet to hook the back of your opponent’s knees and thighs you jeopardize the strength of their base, allowing you to unbalance their weight. The butterfly concept can be used for playing guard as well as sweeping your opponent. A high level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor will almost always be familiar with the butterfly, even if it is not one of their primary styles of play. A good butterfly player will know how to use those hooks really well to control their opponent’s every move.
Today we are going to look at an excellent use of the butterfly concept: Rafael ‘Formiga’ Barbosa’s butterfly duck under sweep. If you are not familiar with Formiga, he is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt under André “Dedeco” Almeida and a founding member of the Soul Fighters Academy. Formiga was also one of the top lightweight competitors in the sport’s adult lightweight division, carrying on his great form to the Masters division (30+) on the competitive years that followed. The list of Formiga’s accomplishments is impressive. Some of his main titles include IBJJF Masters World Champion, IBJJF New York Open Champion, CBJJ Brazilian National Champion, CBJJ Brasileiro de Equipes Champion, IBJJF World Masters 2nd Place, IBJJF Pan American Championship 2nd Place, IBJJF World Championship 3rd Place, and Brazilian National Championship 3rd Place.
Butterfly guard has been proven effective at the highest levels time and time again
Watch the video below of Formiga demonstrating his butterfly duck under sweep and then we will break down his technique. This is useful for when you are starting a roll in BJJ and the opponent is good at basing out with his hand it opens up an easy back take as Formiga demonstrates. Check it out now!
The first thing Formiga emphasizes is his grip control. Pay attention to how Formiga grips his opponent’s gi sleeve. This is a small detail but very important, especially when dealing with a larger, stronger training partner. Formiga establishes the sleeve gri and he uses his other hand to grip his opponent’s belt. Formiga uses his butterfly hooks to bump his training partner forward, forcing him to post with his hands on the mats. From here, Formiga looks to switch his head position. He wants to get his head underneath to the other side of his opponent’s arm. Notice, that the sleeve grip Formiga has allows him to do this while still maintaining control of his training partner’s wrist. Also take note of Formiga’s head positioning: it is directly under his opponent’s arm put. Now he uses his hooks, belt grip, and head to pull his opponent through him, completely breaking down his posture. Formiga ends up with his back flat on the mat, still controlling his opponent’s arm with the gi sleeve grip and pressing down on his bicep with his head.
From this position you have two options: you can either pull the trapped arm of your training partner upwards, causing him to tap. Or you can release you grip to free the side of your body that is trapped under your opponent. It is important to come up to your elbow as you throw your far arm across your opponent’s back. You can take your opponent’s back, or you can come up to your knees and control your opponent’s hips. What is great about this position is that one of your hooks is already set, all you have to do is come across and set your other hook.
This is a really cool sweep, especially if you love playing open guards like butterfly guard. It is important to remember that when using butterfly hooks you want to stay active and dynamic with your hooks. This will help you control the distance between you and your opponent as well as dictate where the match goes. So be sure to give this one a try the next time you are training in a live roll or in competition. It is a very effective sweep and having it your arsenal is guaranteed to make you a well rounded Brazilian Jiu Jitsu player. Thank you Formiga for demonstrating the Butterfly Duck Under sweep for us today!
Rafael Formiga Barbosa is one of the best butterfly guard and x-guard players in the world. His DVD on the Butterfly Guard is one of the best series in the world to give you the details on dominating from this dynamic guard positions.