Simple Sweep From A Not So Simple Guard. But, We Break It Down, And Make It Easy!
The single-leg-X position in Jiu Jitsu has gained popularity in recent years due to its characteristic efficacy in both sweeping and submitting. This position, also known as Ashi Garami, made its initial waves when legend Marcelo Garcia began using it in competition to defeat many skilled opponents. Only within the last five to seven years has the position been associated more with leg attacks. Competitors such as Garry Tonon and Gordon Ryan introduced us to boundless options for this position as not only a guard, but a position to submit from and transition to more effective leg entanglements. Because of this, it is necessary that everyone learn this position if they wish to be successful in competition.
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The mechanical nature of the position seems complicated at first but becomes simple when actually drilled. To establish the position against a standing opponent, the hips of the guard player need to find themselves directly under the hips of the passer. By bringing one knee between the top player’s legs and wrapping the other leg to the outside, we are establishing a basic ashi garami. There are important details that need to be understood to make the position efficacious. One detail is squeezing the knees together as you would from many positions such as the armbar as this will ensure that you do not slip off the leg. Placement of the feet is vital; the foot of the leg positioned in between the passer’s leg should be place right under the far side butt cheek while the foot that is wrapped around the leg needs to be placed high against the hip. Ensure that your hips are off the ground too so as to keep the top player off balance.
From here, there are a variety of strong sweeps. The most basic involves the guard player lifting the hips strongly as if they are bridging and opening toward the side of the leg being controlled. In the video below, BJJ Globetrotters instructor Charles Harriot demonstrates this simple sweep.
After sweeping, you will be situated in a similar position but now your opponent is on the ground. From here you can come on tap to begin a pass, most commonly a leg drag pass. You can also attempt a straight ankle lock on the same side leg or transition to better leg attacking positions. This sweep is one of my favorites and I use it constantly because it is quite difficult to defend and easy to enter.
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