Many grapplers start their sparring sessions on their knees. From this starting position usually one of two things happen: either the two combatants push and pull each other until one falls over, or someone pulls guard and starts looking for sweeps and submissions.
Well there are alternatives, and one option is to jump into a sweep rather than jump into guard. If things go well, the technique of the sweep combined with the momentum of the jump should bring you to the top position. If things go badly you usually end up in the guard, where you would have been anyhow if you had just pulled guard in the first place.
To help illustrate this concept I have put a short clip onto Youtube for your viewing pleasure. I should stress that the four sweeps used in this video are NOT the only sweeps that will work: your homework assignment is to examine your favorite sweeps and figure out if they might work were you to apply them from your knees (or from your feet). My video can be viewed below or found here:
When you do sweeps in this manner, the line between sweeps and Judo sacrifice throws starts to blur. To illustrate this I’d like to point you towards another Youtube video where you can see a variety of sacrifice throws (and a variety of setups) demonstrated by two skilled Judoka (click here or see below):
Before I sign off I have to give some credit, as this isn’t entirely my own idea. I developed this tip after absorbing and fermenting the ideas that Marcio Feitosa, Roy Harris and Walt Bayless have shared on the topic (in seminar and/or on video).
Finally, here’s a related article on some of my other favorite alternatives to wasting the whole match with useless ‘knee wrestling’.