BJJ Training: Four Basic Guard Sweeps – Sanabul Skip to content
BJJ Training: Four Basic Guard Sweeps

BJJ Training: Four Basic Guard Sweeps


As the title says, these are sweeps from guard; all of the following explanations assume that you have your opponent in your guard.


#1 Sit-Up Sweep

Choose which side you want to sweep your opponent to.


Post your hand on the side you want to sweep your opponent to (if sweeping opponent to the left, post your left hand).  Post the opposite side leg on the mat.  

The leg that is posting will give you a base for sitting up


Your free arm (the one not posting on the mat / the arm on the side of the posting leg) will shoot up and across your opponent’s body

Aim to put your armpit over the opposite side shoulder of your opponent 


Continue the reaching motion of the previous step and trap your opponent’s arm (the arm that you have your armpit over).  

To trap their arm, grab their wrist/forearm with your reaching hand and sandwich their arm between your own arm and body, squeezing your elbow tight to your body.

This prevents them from posting, which prevents them from defending this sweep


Bring your hips up to their chest, using your posted arm as assistance


Since this is a guard sweep, the leg on the side of the posting arm is already in position to block their hip (aka placed anywhere in between their hip and knee), 


Now, drive your weight into your opponent, and turn your body in towards the arm that is posted.  


This should be one fluid motion: let your momentum from the your-hip-to-their-chest movement assist you throughout this entire process when sweeping them 


After sweeping, you should be landing in mount, posting both hands in front of you and above your opponent’s head


#2 Flower Sweep

Control one of your opponent’s arms by holding their wrist on your chest


With your other hand, grab close knee of your opponent (if your right hand is your free hand, you will be grabbing your opponent’s left knee)

If you have trouble grabbing their knee, elevate their butt off of their heels by bringing your knees to your chest.  When they move forward, grab the side/back of their knee with your hand.


Once you have control of the knee, post your opposite side leg on the mat.  

Your hamstring should be on top of their thigh and your heel should be blocking the outside of their calf.


Raise your other leg (the one not posted) up to their shoulder, so that the area from your hamstring to your calf is connected to the side of your opponent’s torso.

Scoot your body toward the side of your raised leg.  This will put you in a better position to sweep.


Bridge your hips and kick your raised leg over and in toward their armpit (as if your leg were going through your opponent’s chest).  Make sure you bring the knee you have been controlling toward you.  


Once your opponent is on their side/back, slide into mount

#3 Scissor Sweep

Grab the inside of your opponent’s collar by reaching your arm across their body.  


Immediately after gaining control of their collar, use your other hand to grab control of their wrist  on the same side you have the inside collar on.


Both of these steps will help you to control one side of your opponent with both arms.  This side that you control is also the direction that you will be sweeping your opponent to.


Now that you control one side of your opponent, place your opposite side leg on the mat


Use this foot to help you hip escape (aka shrimp facing toward the side you control).  When done correctly:

You will be on your side, chest pointing at the collar you control.

Your bottom leg (same side leg as the side you control) will be resting on your opponent’s thigh.  The side of your leg (ideally anywhere from middle of calf to middle of thigh) should be on your opponent’s thigh.


Bring the knee of your top leg up to their chest.  Your shin should be resting on your opponent’s core/side, while the instep of your foot hooks your opponent’s side or hip (to prevent them from escaping).


Pull your opponent in to bring their weight forward and over their hip line.  

A good indicator that you have done this correctly is if your opponent’s chest is closer to your chest, than their hips or knees are.


When you have your opponent’s weight driving forward toward you, drop your bottom leg to the mat and maintain contact with their leg (the backside of your bottom leg will be connected to the side of your opponent’s calf; the side of your leg will now be on the mat).


The path of your legs will be a scissoring motion.  The following are done simultaneously:

Your bottom leg will sweep in towards your opponent’s legs, eliminating their base.  

Your top leg will also drive in toward your opponent, kicking their upper body over their lower body.


Once you sweep, they should end up on their side or their back.  Use the momentum from your sweep to immediately move to top position, controlling them from mount.


#4  Waiter sweep

This sweep is great for when your opponent will try to stand up in order to break and pass your guard.


If your opponent doesn’t do this when trying to break your guard, place their wrist on your chest.  Control this wrist with your opposite side hand


When your opponent stands up, hold on to their wrist and keep your legs wrapped around their hips.


Swim your free arm under the near-side leg, bringing it to your shoulder:  

Shoot your free arm in between your body and closest leg.  Connect the top of your wrist to the back of their calf.  Use this to pull yourself closer to your opponent’s leg.

Control their leg by placing the area from the middle of your bicep to the middle of your forearm behind the heel of their foot.


Push your hips toward the inside of your opponent’s thigh while simultaneously pulling their heel up and off the mat with your arm, toward your shoulder.


Make sure you control their wrist before, during and after the sweep.


When you sweep your opponent, they will land on their side or their back.  Post with the arm you used to club the heel toward your shoulder and make sure you are still controlling the wrist.


Using the post, push yourself forward to top position.  You can also use the control you have over the opponent’s wrist to pull yourself on top to mount.

Thank you for reading - we hope these closed guard sweeps help!

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