3 Tips To Improve Your Sweeps

The ability to reverse position and come to the top position against a tough opponent is one of the things that makes jiu-jitsu different than most other martial arts.

There are innumerable sweeps in jiu-jitsu. For every guard style, each has multiple sweeps. You will certainly learn the specific techniques but also understand that all of the sweeps have a few common elements.

If you understand how these elements are essential ANY sweeping technique, ALL of your guard sweeps will be much more effective.

Here are 3 tips to improve your sweeps from the guard:

1) Control the posting arm
The majority of failed guard sweeps are unsuccessful because the sweeper neglected to control the opponent’s arm in the direction of the sweep.
With their arm free, the opponent can post their hand on the mat and prevent the sweep.

Always control the posting arm to ensure the completion of the sweep.

Jiu-Jitsu Sweep with Marcio Feitosa

2) Unbalance the opponent
It is very difficult to power a heavy opponent over into a sweep. Judo uses a principle of “kuzushi” which means the breaking of the balance.

You can achieve the “kuzushi” in a number of ways depending on the specific sweep. A strong pull on the collar will break the balance for a scissors sweep.
Creating an angle for your butterfly guard hook sweep will also unbalance the opponent.

3) Look for the “dead angle”
In any top position, there will be a direction where the opponent does not have the ability to post and base out. This is called the dead angle. Only a small amount of force is required to sweep the opponent in the direction of this dead angle.

To truly understand what makes a sweep effective, you must know the precise angle to put your opponent. Your instructor can observe your sweep and help you identify the “dead angle” for a specific technique.

read also : Advice For New Students

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ