My Favorite One-Two Sweeping Combo from X Guard

Far Leg Buckle Sweep from X Guard

Today I’m going to share two of my favourite (and very powerful) X guard sweeps with you. Plus I’ll show you how put them together so that it looks like you have amazing timing without actually having to increase your reaction speed one iota.

Let’s first talk about what makes two techniques work well together in general.

I touched upon the topic of complementary techniques in a previous article called The Jab-Cross of Open Guard Sweeps. But regardless of whether you’re talking about the Open Guard, the X Guard, or Muay Thai kickboxing there are certain classic pairings of techniques in the martial arts. For example…

…the jab and the cross in boxing…

…the cross choke and the armbar from mount in BJJ…

…o ouchi gari and uchi mata in Judo…

…the tripod and the tomahawk sweep in the open guard….

This coupling of techniques works best when the first attack elicits an automatic, predictable reaction from your opponent that then sets up your second attack.

Because you can trigger that inevitable reaction whenever you want to by launching your first attack, it makes your second attack SO much more powerful and easier to time. You don’t have to guess when your opponent is going to give you the opening; just launch your first attack and be prepared to take advantage of the reaction that you know is going to come.

By having your second attack already pre-programmed it makes it look like you have amazing timing, but really all that’s going on is that you’re reaping the rewards of planning and training your combination attacks.

So let’s get back to X guard. There are certain X guard sweeps that dovetail together perfectly; here are two of my favourites…

The first attack in this combo is the ‘standup sweep’.

This is the very first attack I use almost every time that I hoist an opponent up into X guard. It uses the technical standup motion that you probably learned in your first week of jiu-jitsu, but instead of using it to stand up against a punching and kicking opponent you’re standing up with one leg on your shoulder (click here for a breakdown of the technical standup).

Here’s the standup sweep broken down for you into four easy steps on video:

The standup sweep from X guard (above) has a very high success percentage all on its own.  If you really commit to it and do your damnedest to get to your feet then – most of the time- you’ll be able to sweep your opponent and end up on top.

But if the standup sweep doesn’t work then your opponent’s natural reaction will set you up beautifully for attack number two in the sequence.

If he manages to stay upright then his natural reaction will be to bring his legs close together again.  And after you’ve practiced this technique a few times you’ll be able to predict very accurately where his foot is going to land.

So, first you stretch him out, let him bring his far leg back in, and then – BOOM – you grab that ankle and extend your legs a second time.  When you do this his legs buckle and you can use his momentum to bring you to the top and in a great position to pass his guard

Here’s the far leg buckle sweep from X guard: check it out:

So there you have it: my favourite one-two combo from the X guard.  Get some reps in for both sweeps and then bust them out on the mat.  I’m sure that they’ll work for you, just as they’ve worked for me for many years!

Finally, for more help with the X guard you might want to check out the Grapplearts Guard Sweeps app for iPhone and Android, or if you want a really detailed masterclass on this position check out the Guard Sweeps Package available right here on


iPhone-X-Guard-video copy3D-Guard-Sweeps-Package-192


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