Simple, Effective Butterfly Guard Sweep to Use Against Larger Opponent – BJJ Fanatics

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In this Bernardo Faria video, 8 time world champion Bruno Malfacine shows a sweep he uses successfully against larger opponents. Discussion of the technique starts at 1:31.

The basics of the technique (as described by Malfacine in the video) are as follows:

To establish a secure guard position, Malfacine first controls the inside space to close the distance between himself and his opponent. Then, Malfacine establishes a common butterfly guard control — with his ear glued to his opponent’s chest, a belt grip, and one leg up (as a hook) and the other down. Instead of the traditional sleeve grip, Malfacine grabs the opponent’s pants. 

To perform the sweep, Malfacine uses a combination of his belt grip, his hooking leg, and scooting his center of gravity underneath his opponent to bump his opponent forward. In response, Malfacine’s opponent settles their weight back to their heels to resist the movement. As the opponent does this, Malfacine follows. Keeping his grips, he sits up (does a mini technical stand-up) and takes his opponent over their leg to get the sweep. Malfacine sets himself up for a pass as he finishes the sweep — placing his leg on top of his opponent’s and keeping his arm along the outside hip of his opponent.

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3 notable things about this technique:

  1. It’s easy to incorporate into a pre-existing butterfly guard game.

For someone that already uses butterfly guard (as a player with shorter legs may already), this sweep is a nice one to surprise your opponent with. If you happen to be much smaller than your opponent, this sweep is also ideal, since uses a reaction from your opponent to make them essentially weightless while you perform the sweep.

  1. The pants grip is a nice trick.

If traditional sleeve grip most butterfly guarders is hard to come by, the pants grip shown by Malfacine in this is a nice trick to add. If your opponent is making it hard to get their sleeve, the pants grip will always be there. That’s because your opponent needs to keep their leg close to you to maintain a stable base. And, if your opponent defends the pants grip, you can grab their sleeve. So, having a second gripping option does a lot to improve the versatility of the butterfly guard game.

Another example that shows the pants grip in action is shown here:

In this video, Malfacine uses a slight variation of the belt and pants grips to perform a more standard butterfly sweep. In this case, the pants grip is what keeps his opponent from leveling his hips and avoiding the sweep.

  1. A good fake and timing are key for this sweep

Correct timing allows you to catch your opponent before they re-establish a solid base. However, achieving this correct timing requires the proper reaction from your opponent. If your opponent doesn’t move forward enough with your initial pull, their base won’t be disrupted enough for you to sweep them over their leg. So, a good fake attack, plus following your opponent properly as they try to re-establish their base, are crucial to properly executing this position.

A big advantage of the position Malfacine uses for this sweep is that it allows for easy manipulation of your opponents’ base. Getting in close and under his opponent’s head is how Malfacine achieves this. However, getting to that secure, close position may be difficult — especially if your opponent has a longer range than you.

To remedy that, we look to Adam Wardziński: Butterfly guard master.

Here, BJJ Scout shows the grips Wardziński uses to enter butterfly guard. Starting at 2:12, it’s shown that Wardziński uses a same-side collar sleeve grip to control his opponent’s posture. Wardziński can then stuff his opponent’s sleeve (while controlling his opponent’s posture with the collar grip) and get the secure belt grip he’s looking for.

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Wardziński’s setup shows a secure entry into butterfly guard even from standing. This setup can then be used to perform the sweep shown by Malfacine, and many others.

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