There are important moves in BJJ that most beginners may overlook or fail to see the value of. But the importance of the sweep is at times one of the underrated tools in any BJJ arsenal anyone has. To make things less complicated, let’s describe sweeps as a way to reverse a position from a less dominant to a MORE dominant one.
On the subject of sweeps, there are literally hundreds of variations. Different schools have different modes of executing sweeps.
In IBJJF, sweeps are counted similarly to take downs and knee on belly, which are already two points for you in an official IBJJF sanctioned match.
Sweeps from the Open Guard
Standing sweeps are generally sweeps done to reverse a position from an opponent who is in a standing position. There are variations to this. But by the move alone, to execute the sweep, the easiest is to use an open guard variation, such as the Dela Riva Balloon Sweep. See video below:
In this sweep, utilizing the hand fighting and control, and grabbing the ankle and reversing the position.
Sweeping from the Half Guard
In this video from Gracie Barra HQ in Irvine, a sweep is done in the Half Guard Position. Professor Eduardo Carreillo of Gracie Barra London Bridge showcases a sweep from the half guard position. From the half guard, he manages to create space with his opponent, clamping the leg and rolling to his left (or right depending which direction he is in) and reversing the position.
Check out the video:
The Close Guard Sweep
A pretty tricky one. The initial reaction of your opponent is to posture up while in your close guard. 95% of the time, they will. It just so happens that it’s the knee-jerk reaction of almost every BJJ fighter.
In this video, Tim Gillete from Gracie Barra Twin Cities shows how to sweep someone who is posturing up to while in close guard. Using the shoulders as a twisting point to the sweep, you will be able to reverse the position by locking in your opponent in an over-under position.
NOTE: the over-under is a dominant position both in stand up Greco Wrestling and with takedowns as well.