The concept of connecting your guard sweeps to your guard passes is incredibly useful. Anytime you can use one technique to set up the next you have an advantage, yet many grapplers fail to follow up after a successful guard sweep.
Let’s go through both the theory and practice of this concept. If you start trying to this then we can probably improve your grappling overnight…
The Theory of Connecting Your Guard Sweeps and Guard Passes
Let’s say you’ve just hit a sweet sweep from the guard and – THUD – your opponent hits the mat.
At this exact moment after sweeping the other guy you’ve got some huge advantages….
- Your sweep generated actual physical momentum that you can use to get on top and slingshot you into your next move
- To sweep your opponent you probably had a good set of grips, and you can continue to take advantage of those grips
- Often when your opponent hits the mat he’ll be in an unaligned mess and unable to mount an effective offence from the bottom right away
However WAY too many people commit a gigantic mistake after a successful sweep: they disengage, reset their grips, and try to figure out which guard pass they’re going to use.
This is much too late!!
If you back up and reset you’re essentially starting your guard pass from scratch. But their moment of reset also gives the other guy a chance to reset; he can catch his own breath, re-align his hips, get his feet into position, and establish his own preferred grips.
So now you’re essentially you’re starting the guard pass from scratch.
You’ll be be going against someone in good position instead of a temporarily disadvantaged opponent who is in a post-sweep jumbled heap.
The bottom line is that when you hit a successful sweep it’s critical to maintain your momentum. Keep the grips that made the guard sweep work in the first place, push forward, and don’t stop until you get to a dominant position!
Let’s take a look at a couple of concrete examples…
Connecting Your Guard Sweeps and Guard Passes, An Example from the Butterfly Guard
Here’s an example of a very high butterfly guard sweep that works in both gi and no gi.
It’s essentially a knee pick takedown from the initial hand-fencing range of the butterfly using the ‘butt double’ motion to get up from the guard.
Check it out…
Having hit the butt double reversal in the technique above you often end up in a low crouch, one knee between your opponent’s legs, with a cross collar and knee grip in the gi, a collar tie and leg control in no gi.
This position sets you up admirably for both the knee cut guard pass and the x choke finish.
Here’s Brandon ‘Wolverine’ Mullins showing how to seamlessly follow up from the sweep into the guard pass, turning a 2 point lead into a 5 point lead as well as, quite possibly, a match-ending finish.
See how the sweep leads into the choke below…
Connecting Your Guard Sweeps and Guard Passes, An Example from the de la Riva Guard
In our second example of combining guard sweeps and guard passes we’re going to start with the ball and chain sweep from de la Riva guard.
This sweep is one of the cornerstone attacks of the de la Riva. Some competitors have even built their whole game around it and go for it at every opportunity.
Check out the ball and chain sweep below…
As you learned in the video above the ball and chain sweep involves feeding your opponent’s arm through his own legs (this may seem hard to do but I promise that with a little determination and practice you’ll be hitting it all the time).
Because of this style of gripping when you complete the sweep your opponent is in a particularly difficult position. And that gives you a perfect opportunity to smash his guard and pass to a dominant position, even against a much bigger opponent.
Check out the video below to see how to connect the sweep and the pass…
About The Nonstop Jiu-Jitsu Book
The concept of connecting your sweeps and your guard passes is a very important theme of the book called Nonstop Jiu-Jitsu which I wrote together with Brandon ‘Wolverine’ Mullins.
This book is a beautifully laid out and information packed resource that I’m sure you’ll come back to again and again.
Scroll down for more information about it…
Nonstop Jiu-Jitsu is the giant new BJJ book that I cowrote with Brandon ‘Wolverine’ Mullins.
This book is laid out in gorgeous full colour and multi-page spreads where you’ll learn plug and play gameplans for exactly how to control and submit your opponent on the ground. These techniques and combinations have been developed and tested over decades of competition so you know you can rely on them when the chips are down.
You’ll also get advanced details, training tips and conceptual breakdowns that will make your jiu-jitsu more powerful than ever before.
- 265 FULL COLOUR PAGES: Every page and technique is brought to life with high quality, full colour photography, clearly showing all the details you need to master the material.
- STEP-BY-STEP TECHNIQUES: Every technique is broken down into easy-to-follow steps so that you always know how to advance your position properly.
- DETAILS, CLOSEUPS AND ALTERNATE ANGLES: Every technique is shown from multiple angles, with special attention paid to the little details that make the difference between success and failure.
- FUNDAMENTAL MOVEMENTS AND ADVANCED APPLICATIONS: The book covers the most important and fundamental movements in BJJ, exactly how to apply those movements in sparring, and how to link them together into advanced applications.
- COMPETITION PROVEN STRATEGIES: The techniques, tips and strategies shown have been field tested in hundreds of high level matches against some of the best competitors in the world.