No-Gi Scissor Sweeping

Q: Do you have any tips about doing the scissor sweep without a gi? I tried it last night and had a hard time doing it!

The scissor sweep is most often used in gi-based grappling, where you can control the sleeve and collar of your opponent.
In fact, some people have argued that it is the most important sweep in Brazilian jiujitsu…

But this sweep is a lot less common in no-gi grappling because you don’t have convenient grips to control your opponent’s head and arm.

This lack of control makes it more difficult to break your opponent’s posture, and also more difficult to stop him from posting on his hand, thereby preventing the sweep. Finally many no-gi grapplers counter a this sweep by leaping into an ankle lock or heel hook as they are being swept.

That being said I DO use the scissor sweep motion to set up other moves in no-gi grappling.

For example, say I’m in closed guard and want to transition to open guard, but I’m having difficulty getting my feet on his hips due to him controlling my hips and legs. To accomplish this transition I might fake the scissor sweep, bringing my left knee across his chest while creating a bit of movement and space. Now I can circle that same knee up so it points at the ceiling and voila: my foot is on (or very near) his hip.

So the bottom line is that the scissor sweep does have a role in no-gi grappling.  You  CAN use it to set up other sweeps and submissions in a no-gi context; you just have to do two critical things:

  1. control your opponent’s head, and
  2. watch out for those footlocks!

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