The Three Most Important Moves From Butterfly Guard


BJJ players with short legs should look at the butterfly guard as a solid guard game to suit their body type. Triangle greatness may not be possible with thick, short legs, but the butterfly hooks position is perfect for helping shorter-limbed fighters undermine the base of the passer.

Here are three of the most important butterfly guards you need to learn:

Hook Sweep

This is the most important technique from gi or no-gi. If you learn this sweep well, your opponent will never feel comfortable in your guard and you will have a very strong leverage to sweep.

There are multiple variations of the basic butterfly hook sweep. Here is one of them from Grapplearts founder Stephan Kesting:

Arm Drag To Back

If you want to study from the master of the butterfly guard, look up the name “Marcelo Garcia.”

Observe how Marcelo tenaciously grip fights for a 2-on-1 and looks for the opponent’s back. This is a key skill to master for this position. Grip fighting is incredibly important according to Marcelo.

Check out his arm drag to back video below:

Push To Stand Up

MMA fighters often make use of the butterfly guard with double underhooks to avoid strikes and use the legs to push the opponent off to a standing position. Memorably, Cain Velasquez was taken down by the hulking Brock Lesnar in their UFC title fight and used this technique to get back to standing. Due to the hooking position of your feet, you are protected against leg lock attacks.

Here’s Kenny Florian and┬áChris Lisciandro demonstrating how to escape to your feet using a butterfly guard.


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