What is the Butterfly Guard?

What is the Butterfly Guard

The Butterfly Guard is one of my very favorite positions these days. Regardless of whether you're rolling with or without the gi, the Butterfly Guard keeps your opponent's weight off of you, it gives you unparalleled mobility on the bottom, and it allows you to unleash blistering combinations of some of the most powerful sweeps and reversals in all of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. … [Read more...]

Ronda Rousey and the Power of Gameplans

UFC Belt

In case you were hiding under a rock, Ronda Rousey fought Liz Carmouche last night at UFC 157. She both validated her UFC Women's Bantamweight title, and made history by being in the first-ever women's match in the the UFC. And just in case you were under that aforementioned rock, despite a very spirited fight by Liz Carmouche, Ronda won the match with an armbar at 4:49 of the first round. … [Read more...]

Fifty Ways to Improve Your Grappling Almost Immediately


Sometimes the best way to get better is simply to stop doing things wrong. Over the years I've shot quite a few guerilla-style videos breaking down many of the most common mistakes that I see for different positions and submissions. … [Read more...]

How to Salvage a Failed Butterfly Guard Sweep

Buttefly Guard Sweeps

The 'basic' butterfly guard sweep is one of the most strongest sweeps in grappling. That's why it shows up again and again at the highest levels of competition.  It's powerful, reliable, and works for a wide range of body types.  It works with and without the gi, on bigger people, smaller people, wrestlers, and judoka. This combination of power and versatility makes the butterfly guard sweep … [Read more...]

How to Set Up the X Guard

Butterfly Guard to X Guard

I love the X Guard.  It's such a high-percentage position. First of all, it can be applied from a huge number of open guard and half guard situations.  If you've ever watched an X Guard specialist you'll know that he needs just a tiny bit of room to insert those hooks and - BOOM - he's slithered into the X Guard. And once an opponent is caught in the X Guard he's going down!  In fact, by the … [Read more...]

On Starting Sparring from the Knees…

A reader writes: Hi Stephan, I've been doing BJJ for about 6 months and am wondering if you have any advice about what to do when you're starting on the knees? I find that most wrestling-style takedowns are very difficult to do from the knees, especially because my opponents are really good at sprawling. … [Read more...]

The Seated Guard and the ‘Idiot Sweep’

Idiot Sweep from Butterfly Guard

Here's a video in which Emily Kwok uses me as a dummy to teach the fundamentals of the Seated Guard and also one of my very favorite sweeps: the 'Idiot Sweep.' (I call it that because it's so simple and so effective that when you catch your opponent with it, he feels like - well - an idiot.) … [Read more...]

The Evolution of the ‘Logsplitter’ From Fluke to Trusted BJJ Technique…

Made by Samsung DVC

Today I want to tell you a story about how I stumbled across a technique by fluke at a tournament, and how it became one of my bread and butter moves from Butterfly Guard, X Guard and Half Guard. There's a high-percentage position that I call the 'Logsplitter' and I use it all the time. I often end up there by transitioning from Butterfly Guard, X Guard and/or Half Guard. The Logsplitter offers … [Read more...]

Get Up, Stand Up!


Why getting off the ground is a critical skills in grappling! (originally published in Black Belt Magazine) When mixed martial arts competition exploded in North America, martial artists quickly learned that most fights end up on the ground. And for years the prevailing wisdom was that groundfighting was inevitable, and if a fight went to the ground it would most likely stay there. … [Read more...]