Do you remember your Greek mythology and the story of Antaeus? He derived his strength from his connection to the Earth. So, as long as he was touching the ground, he was invincible.
When Hercules fought Antaeus as part of his Twelve Labours, Hercules’s victory was assured once he lifted Antaeus in the air.
That’s probably how most people feel when rolling against someone with a strong butterfly guard. The minute our opponent lifts us in the air and we’re no longer in contact with the ground, we’re helpless.
Fabiano Scherner is the “Master” of Old Man Jiu Jitsu. His DVD series on BJJ for people over 40 is one of the best instructional videos for older people who train BJJ.
Antaeus didn’t have the wisdom of Fabiano Scherner to fall back on, but fortunately, we do. In this video, Scherner demonstrates how to not only defend but pass the butterfly guard.
Scherner’s technique for defending the butterfly guard is the kind of technique I love: it’s mind-blowingly simple.
Scherner starts out in a bad position. He cannot wedge either arm between himself and his opponent to establish an underhook. In this case, he cannot stop his opponent from lifting him in the air, but he can still prevent the sweep.
After his opponent has lifted him, Scherner clinches his knees together to unhook his opponent’s feet and make it impossible for his opponent to complete the sweep. Meanwhile, he plants his hands wide apart to maintain his balance above his opponent. It’s that simple!
Having neutralized his opponent’s control over him, Scherner can then attempt to pass his opponent’s guard. In essence, he is attempting to control his return to the ground while preventing his opponent from doing the same.
Scherner’s pass attempt begins with a whizzer that forces his opponent to bring him back down to the ground. Since his opponent’s hooks have been neutralized and his legs are pinched together, Scherner has the advantage as he passes over his opponent’s legs.
Had Antaeus known this pass, today, he’d be more famous than Hercules.
Ten time world champion and MMA veteran Fabiano Scherner has put together all the secrets to “Mastering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu After 40” in this instructional that you will want to check out.